November 2011 Archive

Just hold on

Posted November 23, 2011 By Mark


Sitting at her window on a rather cold and dark winter day, a young woman began to feel very alone and discouraged. It seemed no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t keep up with the demands of life. The children always needed more of her attention, finances were tight, she felt like she had lost touch with who she used to be, and there seemed to be no end in sight. As the tears began to well up in her eyes, the telephone rang, and she composed herself to answer it.

A friend was calling just to see how she was doing and to offer some words of encouragement. By the time they finished talking, things were better. The lingering winter yielded to a hope for eventual spring. She began to see the opportunities in her life rather than just the burdens. Her problems didn’t disappear, but somehow just knowing that she was not alone, that someone cared for her, made them suddenly seem bearable.

All of us feel, at times, that we’re alone, that we’ve been abandoned and left to fend for ourselves. The everyday challenges of life seem to hold us back and weigh us down until we don’t know how we can keep going. Then something happens. We hear a child laugh, we’re inspired by sacred words or music, someone expresses appreciation for our hard work, or maybe a good friend calls to cheer us up. Our hope is renewed that somehow we’ll get through—if we just hold on, in some way we’ll manage. And we always do.

God is in His heaven watching over us. Spring flowers are just waiting for a chance to bloom. Dawn comes surely after even the darkest night. Every time someone reaches out to us—and every time we reach out to someone else—hope is reborn, and we realize that we’re never really alone.



delivered by Lloyd D. Newell – Music and the Spoken Word

What You Think of You

Posted November 23, 2011 By Mark


Life, in this world, can be hard on anyone. We hear and see things that are discouraging, even disheartening, and at times we may feel dismayed about the state of the world and the condition of our own lives. Yes, life can be hard.

But within us, deep down in our heart of hearts, resides a sense of robust hope and sweet expectation that can lift us out of life’s fog to see clearly who we are and our capacities. We lift the fog every time we count our blessings, every time we are kind toward others, every time we seriously ponder life’s purposes. We lift life’s fog as we pause to listen to our heart.

Each one of us is here for a reason, a purpose that may sometimes get lost in life’s heartaches and disappointments. Who are you really? Why are you here at this time and this place? What can you do to make a difference in someone’s life? How can you truly look into your heart?

“What you think of you is what finally matters,” wrote one observer. “When you look in the bathroom mirror in the morning, the court is open for business. And you are the jury and the judge on the case.”

Thinking of yourself as someone capable and worthy of good things sets positive change into motion. Quietly, your heart begins to change. You then begin to see and think and feel that your life can be good—despite life’s heartaches. Listen to that small voice in your heart that whispers to you the power to change, the potential for happiness, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that what you think of you matters.


delivered by Lloyd D. Newell – Music and the Spoken Word

Keep Calm and Carry on

Posted November 23, 2011 By Mark

On July 10, 1940, German bombers and fighter planes filled the skies above England, launching brutal air attacks that would last through October. The Netherlands, Belgium, and France had already fallen, and the German war machine now aimed at Britain, with the intent to cripple the country and break the spirit of the British people prior to German occupation. But while the Germans pummeled the land, destroying mercilessly, they never took control of the British Isles.

To allay fears of German invasion, the British government printed posters to serve as a rallying cry to bring out the best in its citizenry. One of them, written in white capital letters on a brilliant red background with King George’s crown at the top, read “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.” Since the invasion of England never occurred, the posters saw limited distribution.

But a few years ago one of the original posters was found in a Northumberland bookstore. Suddenly, the call to “keep calm and carry on” had new life. The message of resilience has since resounded in the hearts of British citizens and people everywhere. Whose life has not taken unexpected turns? Who hasn’t faced days of disappointment, discouragement, and loss? juggled a series of setbacks? or had to address seemingly insurmountable challenges?

Those five words are a quiet, calm, authoritative voice of reason, suggesting we downplay the drama, set hysteria aside, keep steady, exercise restraint, and rely on the strength within to keep going. “Never give in. Never, never, never, … never give in,” Winston Churchill admonished the British people.

Though today’s wars may not be waged on our doorsteps, their effects are still real and often personal. And the sufferings and traumas of everyday life are real and never ending. We can be beaten or we can rise above with the resilience reflected in the stirring admonition to “keep calm and carry on.”

delivered by Lloyd D. Newell – Music and the Spoken Word

Self Worth

Posted November 11, 2011 By Mark


It’s been said that people will only treat you the way you allow yourself to be treated. If you’re in a bad relationship, or if your friends rip on you all the time, you must not like yourself very much. If you did, you wouldn’t be in that relationship, and you wouldn’t have those friends.

Though you can’t control how any certain individual treats you, you can control who you allow to be in your life. Those who are closest to you affect your world. Jack Canfield says that the 5 people closest to you ARE you. If you combine the qualities of all of them, you get you.

Think of who is closest to you…who you talk to every day. Are those people happy, successful, in loving relationships, positive about life? If not, why are they the closest to you?

Some people feel that it’s more important to be needed than to be happy. They usually get treated poorly. They have the kind of friends who thrive on drama, or need money they never pay back, or favors they never return. You can tell a lot about a person by their friends.

This is not to say that the minute a friend of yours has a problem, you should never ever talk to them again. It’s great to help people, but the drains should never be in your closest circle. You’ll spend your whole life so worried about helping them be better, that you’ll become more like them in the process. You won’t have much positive to say. You’ll lose focus of your own hopes, dreams, and goals, and you won’t be much fun to be around. Then, when you need something, those people just won’t be there. They’re too used to you being the strong one, the provider, the shoulder to lean on. It may not even occur to them that you would ever truly need anything. Don’t be an uneccessary martyr.

When you speak to someone on the phone, after you hang up, how do you feel? This is the easiest way to tell who is a drain and who should be in your closest circle. If you feel lifted, happy, make more time for that person. If you feel deflated, worried, or even a little depressed, allow some distance to develop between you and that person. You’re not abandoning anyone, you’re just letting them find their own strength, rather than being there to wipe their nose every time they sneeze.

Self-worth means that you would never allow anyone to treat you worse than you would treat them. Not even if you really really love them.

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Posted November 11, 2011 By Mark


Faith is commonly associated with religion, but it is actually very separate.  To have faith, means to have no doubt. More than that, it means to have no doubt, even though you may not have any concrete proof that what you believe is true. You believe it as if there were concrete proof already. Because of this, faith is directly tied to trust.

To have faith in a religion, or in another form of spirituality, means to have faith in the world. Knowing that even when things seem to be on a downswing, that they will soon be back on the upswing again.

To have faith in another person, be it a friend, a spouse, or a boyfriend or girlfriend, means that you believe in that person. Faith is the greatest compliment one can give to another. It allows them to be themselves, enables them to feel and express joy and have success. If you watch any awards speech, you will see one thing every single time. The award winner receives applause from the crowd and is the focus of the attention, but he or she always is humbled. He or she always thanks one person…one person who stood by him or her when it was not certain what the outcome would be. One person who believed in him or her and was there to help erase any doubt they had about themselves. From Presidential Acceptance Speeches to Oscar Speeches, the champions always were lifted and humbled by the faith given to them by one person…be it their mother or their spouse.

Having faith in one’s self is, then, the greatest gift you can give to yourself. If you know in your heart that the world is a good place, and that your best life is just a matter of navigating through seeming obstacles to get to where you want to go, to achieve what you want to achieve, then you will always be all right. Even if it seems like nothing is working, you will know that if you just keep going, just keep believing in yourself, everything will fall into place.

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Newspaper he worked at for not being creative enough. Tyra Banks was turned down from modeling agencies. Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy four times. J.K. Rowlings couldn’t get Harry Potter Published, and it went on to become the bestselling book of this generation besides the Bible. Abraham Lincoln could not seem to win an election no matter what he did. They all kept going. They all believed that they could achieve, and they all did. Even if not the first time, or the fifth, or the 100th,

If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?  Believe in yourself, keep going, and sooner or later, the miracles will happen.


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Posted November 11, 2011 By Mark

“Time waits for no man” is a pretty famous quote. Time waits for no woman or child, either. The one thing we all have, yet none of us claim to have, is time.

Though we would ideally like to have enough for everything and everyone, that usually isn’t the case in an adult life. This is when we prioritize, whether consciously or not. Prioritizing according to where we feel most needed or obligated, instead of where we’re most loved and appreciated, can result in spending too much time working or helping, and not enough time enjoying life.

Some people realize that years are going by quickly and they are not really living as they would like. This may cause them to make small changes, or if left too long, may cause them to have an entire overhaul of their life, or, as it’s often called, a “midlife crisis.”

If you don’t make time for the ones who love you, eventually, you will grow apart. Too often, we make time for the ones who claim to need us: bosses, friends who are down on their luck, family members who are having some kind of drama… We tend to then put off those people who we love to spend time with but don’t ever seem to “need” us, and they always understand when we cancel for something “urgent.”

Eventually, “some other time,” will not exist.

If you think of how you’ve spent the past year, look at where you have invested the most time. Think of good friends that you have not seen or even spoken to in awhile. While there is no true “making up for lost time,” if, when looking back, you see that you’ve been neglecting any one person or people, be sure to make time for them from this day on.

When we’re young, we usually have so much free time that we do not have to plan. As we get older, our lives and our friends lives get more complex, and planning and scheduling becomes more important.

Many successful couples have one night per week that they block off for only each other as a “date night,” even when they have been together for many years. It may not seem like much, but it is a guaranteed 52 dates per year.

Connections between people to be kept strong must be attended to regularly, like a houseplant. It doesn’t need constant attention, but it does need regular attention. If not, it will wither after awhile but can be revived. If neglected too long, then no matter how much water you put on it, it’s just not coming back. 


found at


Posted November 11, 2011 By Mark


Often when we think of power, it comes with a negative association of someone misusing power over someone else. Many world leaders throughout history have abused power, resulting in worldwide destruction.

But power really only means concentrated energy.

Other people in history have had great power, and used it to better the world. They did this in one lifetime, due to belief in people and belief that they could. Gandhi and Mother Theresa had great power and changed the lives of millions of people.

Everyone has power over themselves and others. Your words have the power to change even a stranger’s mood. Your every interaction sets off other reactions with every person you interact with, and everyone they interact with. If you are in a great mood and compliment someone, they will more than likely appreciate the compliment, and continue that positive energy in a return to you or to someone else.

If you get the notion to right a wrong, or to improve a condition, taking that notion to more thought, then action, will affect others. You may wish to improve the condition of your neighborhood. Although everyone else in the neighborhood also sees the trash, patchy grass, and graffiti, they have accepted it as what is, as depressing as that may be. But if you use your energy to appeal to others to gather to clean up the neighborhood, the combined energy will increase. After your neighborhood has been cleaned, you may inspire others to do the same, or the group that participated in your neighborhood may have felt the job so rewarding that they wish to continue to improve things.

Often times, when we see a large problem, we can feel overwhelmed or angrily question why the government doesn’t take care of it, or wish that a movie star would come and donate millions of dollars to fix it. That energy of feeling overwhelmed is power in an unusable form. Transforming it into action will not only relieve the anger, but it will also put that energy to good use.

Your thoughts have the power to initiate, your words, to form, and your body, to act. Real and lasting change does not occur in one enormous revelation, but in small, dedicated actions over time. Combined with one or two people, then more, then many, enormous changes can occur in much less time than one would think. Look around you in your surroundings. What is one thing that you would really love to see made better?  Start with an action to improve it, no matter how tiny and insignificant it may seem. It may just be the seed to a giant oak.


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Thoughts and Words

Posted November 10, 2011 By Mark


In the old days, people used to think that their thoughts were “just thoughts,” and that sticks and stones would break their bones, but words would never hurt them. Little did they realize the true power of their thoughts and words.

We all can see motion of an object, say, a swing, rocking back and forth. We also can  appreciate radio waves with the use of a radio, or television programs with the use of a TV set.  When we use our microwaves, we can see that heat can also be produced by a higher frequency of wave directed in a small area. While microwaves are for the most part contained within the microwave, we know that radio waves are at all times all around us. We don’t think it’s magic when someone puts on a radio, tunes it to a certain frequency, and sound comes through. If you were to pluck a person out of the year 1700 and show them these devices, they would not believe their eyes. They would think you were a witch or some kind of magician. Because we know these things to be true, we don’t flip out every time we turn on the TV and pictures and sounds show up on the screen….we only flip out when this doesn’t happen!

Your mind is not a contained system like a microwave. It is like a radio tower. The thoughts you think are not limited to your own mind. They are signals sent out to the Universe, just like radio waves. The radio is the device that can interpret radio waves. The subconscious mind is the device that can interpret thought waves. When you think certain thoughts, you are sending out these signals, and all of the subconscious minds of people who are tuned into the same frequency will pick them up.

This is why when you think of a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile, you’ll likely hear from them “out of the blue” within a couple of days. You may even know who is calling before you check your caller ID. This isn’t magic or a coincidence, it’s just thought waves being transmitted and received.

This is also the basis for the now infamous “Law of Attraction.” It’s not “attraction” so much as it’s just all that the subconscious of other people can pick up. Back to the radio analogy, if “happy” were on station 105.7, and “sad” were tuned into station 101.3, and you were sending out thought waves of 101.3, you would never be able to hear or get in tune with anyone on 105.7. You may have heard the phrase “get in tune” with your feelings. Thinking happy thoughts and being positive will literally get you in tune with more happy and positive people and the circumstances surrounding them.


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Posted November 10, 2011 By Mark


Love is a tiny little word that has about as many interpretations as there are stars in the sky. Most often, it’s confused with lust, ego attachment, or infatuation. Love has many definite characteristics. Meaning, without those characteristics, it’s not really love.

Love is secure. Love is inclusive, kind, encouraging, honest, and is based on appreciation and trust over time. It’s respectful and uses power to build up, not to tear down. It is a moment to moment strength of a bond between people that cannot be fully explained, but those who have experienced it, know it for life.

Most often, the first true love people feel is between themselves and their parents. The way their parents treat them and each other is the basis for our definitions of love. As adults, we show love by taking the role of one of our parents, or by acting similarly to how we did when we were children. This may not be the healthiest plan, as often our parents were not effectively able to act out of love to us or to each other.

Love can be hindered by insecurities, low self esteem, past pain that’s not yet been forgiven, and many other factors. If one cannot say that they love themselves, then it’s unfortunately true that they won’t be able to love another person and show words and actions of true love to them.

We all have an immense capacity to love ourselves and others. True love is the most incredible gift to ourselves and others, yet most of the masses are not engaging in it much if at all. The biggest reason for this is the fear of getting hurt. But like trust, if you choose to just not love or trust anyone your whole life, then instead of being protected the entire time, you’ll actually be hurting the entire time, and hurting others in the process.

Starting with you, learn to accept yourself 100%. Focus on your positive qualities, your physical features, your wit, your problem solving skills, you willingness to help others…think of the last 10 compliments you’ve been paid. Believe them. People mean them….rarely do folks just throw around random compliments.

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Posted November 10, 2011 By Mark


Appreciation is similar to gratitude, except that several letters are different.  Both words mean realizing the good in your life and being both aware of, and thankful for it. Many people recognize the value of appreciation towards themselves, but not always the value of their appreciation towards others. Many expect that others should “just know” that they appreciate them, or think they shouldn’t have to tell them all the time. Truth is, everyone should be told as much as possible how much they are appreciated, and everyone should make an effort to tell others how much they appreciate them as much as possible.

Think back to when you were a baby…remember? Remember lying there in your crib, relaxing, food or love was only a couple of shrieks and a scream away. Why on earth would you ever leave this blissful state? If you needed to go anywhere, you were picked up by a warm being who smelled like flowers, and carried you everywhere you needed to go. Transporting you from crib to sofa, sofa to carriage (or stroller if you prefer), carriage to auto, where you were then chauffeured around town.

The reason, the only reason, you ever learned to crawl and then walk (a virtual evolution over the course of just a few months), a miracle of nature, was because of appreciation. If you’d began to crawl and they said nothing, you may not have bothered again for a couple of years. If when you’d taken your first steps, they’d thumbed their noses, you’d hardly have made it across the room. We are hardwired to value appreciation so much that it is the basis for all of our learning. Sitting up, crawling, walking, speaking, eating certain foods (like peas), going to the potty…everything you don’t remember learning but are vital to your success as an adult were done so on the mere basis of appreciation.

Now, do you see why it matters so much?

Think of someone you appreciate. Now, text, or email them a message in two lines or less, thanking them for something specific, or just for being a great friend, sister, brother, mom, dad, accountant…whatever the case may be.

Unless they think you’re up to something, you are guaranteed two things: First, you’ll receive an equally appreciative reply. They may even tell you that they needed to hear this today. Second, you will have made them feel great, even if only for a little while, based on a tiny effort on your part. Actually, one more thing…you will feel better, too. This is a great habit to start doing on a more regular basis, yes?


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