Saturday, May 29, 2010


Wonder twin powers activate!
This Saturday morning cartoon was one of my favorites. With fondness, I recall waking up at 6 in the morning, retrieving a large tupperware bowl from the cabinet and filling it with Frosted Flakes and then watching the Superfriends.

I believe this was one of the first shows that taught me about the importance of team work. Ideally, I would have learned this through actively playing in some type of little league, however I did not. I was very much a latchkey kid and one of my best friends was the television.
Now, why do I bring this up? Lately I've been reflecting on and listening to many conversations of friends, acquaintances, and peers at work regarding our American economy and this "recession". Many of us are working harder, looking for that second (maybe even third) job , aiming "to make ends meet."

Recently, I heard though "that ends do not meet, that's why they're called ends." Maybe there is a wiser way to earn money? The past few years Ive been learning about "leverage". As J. Paul Getty, the founder of Getty Gas stated, " I'd rather have the efforts of 100 people working for me rather than 100% of my own efforts!" This is a new philosophy.
Robert Kiyosaki describes it best:

Now this is challenging: building a business!
I offer this as a consideration not because I'm a networking marketing guru, but to suggest that we all find our passion and then build our business from this.
Maybe it's a film company.
Maybe you want to sell cookies.
Maybe you want to begin a new clothing line.
Whatever it may be discover and begin to build it!
As we discover our "true north", our drive, maybe then from there we can begin to build new income streams and find the freedom for the lives we want!

Friday, May 28, 2010

And then quiet.- O DEATH WHERE IS YOUR STING PT. 5

Ultimately when a loved one dies we go through stages, passages. No one's journey is the same. What I will suggest though is the need for Ritual to grieve. Ceremony that allows us to travel through this time and to come out stronger, wiser.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross suggested that everyone goes through 5 stages:
So there is a process.
It was a year before I could place a picture of my mother in my room and look at it and reflect on her life without feeling extreme sadness.
I knew I was healing when I could listen to the Intruders great song, " Ill always love my Momma"

And every major faith has ritual to grieve for the dead:
Those who practice Judaism-



And Christian-

This last response is what has resonated with me the most. The belief that this world has meaning. That this, our personhood is unique, and that we will see our loved ones again because of what Jesus has done. As Jesus said in the Gospel of John, chapter 11 verses 25 and 26, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
"And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
This was no pat response. Jesus wept. As the writer states in vs. 35.
For me there was hope in this.
And a new joy: I would see mom again.
I am Eastern Orthodox Christian, and on Pascha morning (Easter) we sing this triumphant hymn:


This faith gives me strength now to walk forward. I now can begin to remember Mom, accept the sadness and yet know there is a new hope.
Again as Paul the Apostle declared in I Corinthians 15:55:
"O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, Where is your victory?"

May I recommend a consideration of this offer of hope- Christ is Risen!

To all my friends- LONG MAY YOU RUN!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sometimes It Snows in April.- O DEATH WHERE IS THY STING. PT. 4

"Our loved ones remain with us
in our thoughts

In memory of our loved ones, I think Prince sung it best!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stay With Me- O Death Where is Your Sting Pt. 3

"Why did you give up?"

"We could have made it through."

"Where did you go?"

These were the questions I had for Mom when she passed. I felt an enormous sense of guilt and responsibility for her death. I thought, "If only I had intervened!"
The temptation to despair.
These were my emotions.
Very much like the doctor in the above film, THE FOUNTAIN, I wanted to control fate ( or in my thoughts God's will) Yet I was not able.
Part of losing a close love one is this need to save them (if they are dying) or to some how return them from death. In the fountain, often the doctor's wife just wants him to stay with her.
I offer the above video as a meditation.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Yesterday is gone..."- O Death Where is Your Sting Pt. 2

"Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today,
let us begin."

- Mother Teresa

"The past is history.The future mystery. Today is a gift" I have often shared this quote in the context of therapy groups to emphasize the important and value of BEING PRESENT TO THE MOMENT AND TO THE NOW. However in a time of grief this is difficult. Wanting to escape though, it's easier to enter the comforting cloud of escapism, reveling in daydreams, past memories, "what could have been", or even addictive activities (drinking, drugging, sexing, shopping) The challenge is to "remain where I'm at."

The question I want to propose today is, "How do I remain present and not escape or want to?" What I discovered in my journey is, that we remain present through the presence of LOVE in our life- the love of family, the love of friends. When my mother died, I learned this, that somehow, "an energy" is communicated that strengthened me and supported me as I went through the grieving process.

Also for me it was faith. I know that not everyone who reads shares my faith, I will share though, statements of faith that lead me to relief and strength:




PSALM 23:4



Also, as Bill Withers sang:

And as John sang once,

May words of wisdom and present friends give us all strength!

Monday, May 17, 2010

"...there like a splinter in your Mind"

What is the Matrix?
Riddle of the wk. How does the above video relate to the below quote?

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

- George Orwell, 1984 (book)

"O Death, where is your sting?..."

These words are quoted by Paul the Apostle in First Corinthians 15:55. Here he is describing physical death as "the last enemy," that has been conquered by Jesus in his resurrection. Now, for the present, I'm not attempting to convince the reader of the veracity of this statement of faith nor of it's relevance, however I'm introducing it as a spring board for a discussion of this dire reality for many of us. The passing of our loved ones.
As of this writing I have been on the planet for 39 wonderful years, and like myself most of my peer group is also in this age bracket. Many of us are now beginning to see our parents "get up in age" and some of us have even lost one of or both of our parents. My mother died a little over a year ago.
Her passing for me was not expected and it was a shock for my family. As a person of faith it touched the core of my most deeply held beliefs. As a Christian, I had to begin to observe was Christ's resurrection a true, existential reality for me, one beyond the abstract, intellectual assent of my youth. I had to ask myself, "Do I FEEL this is true?" And Christ's resurrection, did it provide true consolation? Though untouchable, I needed to ask, if this act, event, was as real to me as my mother's love, though that also was intangible. Did faith provide a meaning and give a strength to me that others did not have access to?
These were my own inner questions.
The loss of a parent, some how shakes our whole "ground of being." It's like the realization of the abyss, especially if our identity, values, worldview, and security was learned from them. One begins to ask, "who am I now?" I would guess, that without faith in a god, one may have to completely redefine one's self. When my own mother died, I had to stare "the abyss" in the face, it's heart. I recall screaming "Momma where did you go?"
Death causes us define our priorities and meaning. I thought of this after watching THE LIVING WAKE recently,

The key character, K. Roth Binew, asks these same questions. Without sharing the conclusions Binew comes to (I recommend seeing it), I think this black comedy reveals the questions all of us eventually ask, "What is the sum of my life?"
Recently, a dear friend also lost a parent, a father. When my own mother passed, one thing I saw very clearly is that I survived( and I use that word "survive" deliberately because I didn't believe I would survive) because of the love and presence of dear people to me, dear ones who allowed me to 'be" where ever I was I and yet who remained present. They allowed me to discuss my mother and her death (and also her life) if I wanted to or to say nothing If I wanted to do that. To maybe escape my pain through watching a movie. Most importantly, they were with me and I believe it was their love that got me through. As the rock group, King's X sang, it's "love, that holds it all together,"