Inspirational
One Small Step... Print E-mail

There's an old math question that we've all heard: What's the shortest distance between two points? The traditional answer is "a straight line."

Now, envision your life's path. From the beginning to this moment in time. The time line may be fairly linear, but what about the path? Does the path look like a straight line, or are there a few dips and rises, peaks and valleys, twists and turns?

There are a thousand self-help books, and at least a few billion practical approaches to living a life of "progressive enlightenment," "further up, and further in." The best examples are those that we live, and the lives of those that we witness as exceptional examples of the expression of our highest and best.

On a sunny summer day in July of 1969, two men accomplished the first of two major  milestones of a goal set forth just seven years earlier when President Kennedy said "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."

That "one small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind," an incredible accomplishment, began with a simple concept that is also a mandatory requirement for accomplishing great things: SET DEFINITE GOALS.

Has anyone heard the saying "If you don't care where you're going then any road will take you there?" This is the opposite of what we're talking about today. Today we claim the promise, the Law, that Jesus described when he said 'I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’

Of course, it was Richard Bach who said in Jonathan Livingston Seagull: "You didn't need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying."

So which is it? Is it faith? Is it diligence? Yes. Yes! YES!  SET DEFINITE GOALS.

And when you start thinking about the challenge and the obstacles and the impossibility say YES and accept the challenges and YES to overcoming the obstacles and YES to accomplishing the impossible.

You know there's something about the impossible that fuels us as humans. Maybe it's because we know what we are. We know that we're designed to do the impossible. You think there's something that can't be done, tell my wife she can't do it. Not just Dana... many of us accept the impossible as the required result.

Still many more of us do not. We take the limiting drivel of others and turn it into the law. It's a false law, but we ascribe and assign the same  authority as Truth.

It's only impossible if it's unimagined. And imagining something is the equivalent of taking the creative power of Spirit and bringing it into consciousness. Now the manifestation of that image...? Get busy!

Now tell me: forget moving mountains, when you set the goal to move heaven and earth... whatever... move from earth through the heavens to reach your goal, what are your resources?

Always START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. If you think that you do not have the resources to accomplish something great, then here are a few names you might recognize, or not, that started in their garage with a great idea, a lot of excitement, and every bit of energy: Steve Jobs, John Pemberton, Glynn Lokey.

Steve Jobs story is fairly common since his biography was recreated shortly after his transition. You know he started Apple in his garage with the help of Steve Wozniak. His goal was to bring computing to the masses.  How'd he do?

John Pemberton. John who? "Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton was trying to make a cure for headaches. He mixed together a bunch of ingredients -- and don't ask, because we don't know; The recipe is still a clos ely guarded secret. It only took eight years of being sold in a drug store before the drink was popular enough to be sold in bottles." (Coca Cola.)

And Glynn Lokey... well, more about him later.

When I say "start with what you have," what resources are you bringing to the process? Are you consciously aware of what you are? See, most times when someone talks to you about their dreams and goals what do they almost always immediately follow-up with? "If only I had enough money.... if only I had enough time... if only..." or "I'm afraid that it will just turn out like the last time I tried to go out on my own."  Fear, the thief of dreams.

I don't even buy that when it comes to someone who might find themselves trapped behind an "iron curtain" government controlling access to information and resources and "freedom" itself.

What is holding you back? Spirit has equipped you with the perfect equipment for exploring and conquering this universe, for taking the vision for your life and making it a reality. Do you know that? Do you believe that? You're sitting atop a life-filled-rocket-of-discovery-and-success, and all that's stopping you is pressing that launch button, or picking-up that nominal box of computer parts, or beginning to mix that next great creation in the pot on your stove.

There is another step: Trust in the Law!

What law are we talking about? It's the greatest Truth and the most magnificent principle  of the universe. "Human beings create their experiences by the activity of their mind."

Now, let's focus for just a minute on the words.

We, humans, create our experiences... not necessarily anything outside of consciousness... but our experiences, but the way we think.

Did you know that? Did you know that you could do that? It gives you infinite power over  every situation. When things seem amazing and wonderful, it's because you've aligned yourself with those thoughts, feelings and emotions. And when things seem unbearable, heartbreaking... it's also because you've aligned yourself with those thoughts, feelings and emotions.

So the most creative power, or the most destructive force, in the universe, lives right between your ears.  It takes practice, and patience, and experience, to begin to trust the creative power.

I remember vividly an experience during one trip to Unity Village when I received news that a lifelong friend had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now Dana will tell you that I'm big on the "respond vs. react" to most situations... and these types of situations almost always illicit the same response: "Oh no." "Oh my God." "Oh that's terrible." Something was different for me in that moment, and my response surprised even me.

I felt an amazing peace and awareness of the truth of what my friend is.

And you know what, in those moments WHO YOU ARE and HOW YOU THINK MATTER! It begs the question: In those moments, are you going to be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution. And even characterizing these events as problems is problematic... but language is sometimes the greatest challenge. We want to communicate our concern, and yet what we've done is buy-in to the false belief that what is true about us is somehow fragile and temporary. When the exact opposite is true. It's awesome how powerful we are.

So SET DEFINITE GOALS. START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. TRUST IN THE LAW!

And then you are go for launch! And there's just one more thing: JUST DO IT! Sitting on all this energy and excitement and potential without taking action is like holding the blades of a fan and then turning on the switch...  can you smell the motor burning out as you hold the blades, all the raw power trying to spin the blades and you holding on tightly? That's exactly what happens when you sit on your dreams and goals, or when you make excuses or limit yourself with limited thinking or fear of failure.  Why suit-up for the adventure, journey all this way, and get to the foot of the ladder, only to say "it's all just too much," or "I'm too afraid to take that last step." That last step on the journey is the beginning of a whole new adventure in a place that more than a few folks probably thought you'd never reach.

So who is this Glynn Lokey? Glynn Lokey's goals were simple: to provide for his family and to serve his community.  As a foreman on the Santa Fe railroad, his goals were the safety of his team. He was proud that, although there were a few close calls, no one on his team was ever injured. And although economics may have suggested that times were tough, his children tell stories of his generosity.

Glynn Lokey passed away on February 18. At his memorial service, stories were told of how he worked hard to provide for his family. About how he served his community by sharing his abundance.

One member of the community said: 'There was many a time that I would say to my husband, "I just don't know what we are going to do. We don't have any food, and we don't have any money. I just don't know how we're going to get by." About that time here would come Glynn Lokey with a big mess of fish and bags filled with fresh vegetables from his garden. He would save the day.'

There's a big difference between the stories and lives of people like Neil Armstrong, Steve Jobs, and Glynn Lokey. And I think my grandfather's story is just as inspiring as any other.

Set Definite Goals. Start with what you have. Trust in the Law! Act!

Just as the Lenten reading suggests, we are like fish living our lives unaware of the water that holds us UNTIL we awaken to reality that we are living in the framework of Spirit. We are energized and empowered and exercising each moment as a unique instance of God. And if we will live each of those moments with that awareness... well, then anything is possible.

 
The Dream is Over... Print E-mail

Hush now don’t you cry. Wipe away the teardrop from your eye. You’re lying safe in bed… it was all a bad dream spinning in your head. Your mind tricked you to feel the pain of someone close to you leaving the game of life. So here it is, another chance. Wide awake you face the day, the dream is over…. or has it just begun?Silent Lucidity by Queensryche

My dreams never lie. No matter how much I deny the appearance and affirm the absolute, somehow my fears and anxieties find expression in this vividly dark, loudly silent domain. I wake in a cold sweat, shaking and reaching for something solid to help confirm the reality of this new place, like the nightmare has given birth to a fearful man into a darkened room.

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Suspend Disbelief Print E-mail

It’s always an unexpected treat when my dad calls to see if I’d like to go to the movies. What’s really surprising is that we do not go more often since we both love cinema so much. Unfortunately, with the spaghetti western genre in short supply, movies that meet our peculiar tastes are hard to come by. We are particularly thankful that Quentin Tarantino has a knack for the same thematic elements.

As the movie previews began to play I found myself consciously shifting into that ‘suspend disbelief” mode, like flipping a switch that allows us to sit through an experience that is clearly fictional, highly improbable, or just nearly impossible. (It’s not like watching Idol or Battlestar Galactica, where you can just appreciate the rawness and reality of the event. Ok, yes I know that one of those shows is a completely contrived fantasy world filled with madness and mayhem, and the other is Battlestar Galactica for crying out loud.) Anyway, you know what I mean. It’s that agreement that we have with ourselves that we are going to slip into a fantasy world for a couple of hours with the understanding that anything is possible, and that when it’s all over we can get back to “reality.”

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9-11 Print E-mail

It just doesn't seem like it's been eight years. Here's a sonnet that I wrote shortly after 9/11.

Sonnet 10 - 9.11.2001

Four ships of air did meet their fate that day

and thousands left this earth unknowingly

as men with years of hate where hearts should be

put every soul on Earth on knees to pray.

 

We wept to comfort self amid the strife

and clenched our fists to strike at empty air.

What started as a morning free from care

ended with pleas, prayers, and respect for life.

 

The memories and scars are still too fresh

to think of life outside this sad context.

But when from higher perch we introspect

we see beyond the world of pain and flesh.

 

To move beyond this point, indeed, our goal,

and make our world a home for peaceful souls.

 

© 2001 by Russell E. Duckworth

 
Being Unoffendable Print E-mail
Written by Russell Duckworth   
Thursday, 27 August 2009 14:14

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to be a part of a Police Department learning experience for members of my community called the Citizens Police Academy. There were more than a few things that made this an interesting experience: driving a police car, observing a 911 call center; participating in a live-fire exercise (come on, you know it sounds fun). It always seemed like the next week was even more exciting: “Next week, one of you will be rundown and tackled by a K9 officer.” Awesome! Pick me, pick me!

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