The Bizarre? No, the Bazaar.

One of the greatest aspects of my family is that no matter what has happened to us in our lives, we have been able to laugh.  This is a priceless gift  and I consider myself blessed to receive it.  We’ve never really been either rich or poor.  It has been (at least for as long as I can remember) a typical middle-class life, with its occasional ups and downs.  My brother and three sisters, however, have been around a lot longer than I have, so they are more likely to tell you the stories of hand-me-downs and sharing one bedroom.  For myself, I sometimes see my part in the family like a role in a television show.  We have quite a cast of characters, many of whom I will introduce to you as we move along, haphazardly, through the retelling of some of the more entertaining moments in our family history.

Growing up in Westchester County, New York in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s was an experience that I didn’t really appreciate until I got a little older and was thrown into a whole new world called Tucson, Arizona.  We left New York in 1983, but the memories of the days growing up on the East Coast have not faded.

While we still lived in NY, my mom would take us us to a place called “The Bazaar Mall”  in Mount Kisco to window shop and get us out of the house for a few hours.  We would hardly ever buy anything while we were there as my mom would explain in her strong,  New York accent,

“Ooo, I nevah buy nuthin’ in them mall staws,  dey raise awll dere prices to covah deyah ovah-head.”

So, mostly we would browse.  Besides, if we needed to get clothes or anything like that, my mother knew of about a hundred different places where we could get what we needed for a lot less:

“Heeah, try this on.  For three dollahs ya can’t go wrong.”

So, we were in the Bazaar one chilly afternoon in late October because they had one of these miniature circus exhibits going on.  It was one of those deals where there were all these little figures carved out of wood to about the size of an average pinkie finger and some of them were rigged up to move around a little. There was a guy in the lion’s cage with a chair and bull-whip, and there were a couple of elephants that would rear up on their hind legs.  It was basically your typical circus scene, carved out of wood, and very small.

Anyway, we went and looked at this thing for awhile and then we did some window shopping and were on our way out of the mall when we passed by a TV and electronics store.  As we walked past the display window, one of the television sets caught my mother’s attention:

“Ooo, look! Deyah showin’ some kind of movie deyah.”, she said as she stopped in front of the store’s window. “Look, dohse people ah goin’ through a dawah way deyah. But I can’t see wheyah deyah goin’”, as she squinted at the screen. “What an odd movie dis is.  Oh, look deyah’s a man in deyah!”, and as she said this she pointed and waved at the screen, at which time the man on the television pointed and waved back to her. “Ooo, he waved at me, didyas see dat? Who is dat strange man?  He must want us to come in deyah and buy sometin’.”

By this point my sister Annie and I could not control our laughter anymore, and we  both exclaimed in unison,

“Mom, that’s you!”

My mother had been watching herself and the action around us on a TV that was hooked up to a video-camera pointed directly out of the window we were standing in front of.  That “strange man” she saw waving and pointing at us was her!  After a few more minutes of hysterics, my mother, true to form, replied,

“Ooo, it must be this jacket. It makes me look like a man.  I’m throwin’ it out as soon as we get home!”

And she did.

Who Will Write Your History?

The world we live in and share with others is complicated, yet one amazingly simple principle applies: Find your gift and use it.

Joseph Campbell worded it much more poetically when he said, “Follow your bliss.” We all have talents to offer, and it is a matter of choice as to whether or not we follow through with our dreams.

Too many “ifs” clutter our minds and lead us to dead ends.  The word “if” is at the start of all illogical statements. One must “do”. That is how we are programmed. To sit and wait for something to happen to us is to be dead. Action leads to action. Since we are all children of the universe, it is safe to compare the forces of the universe to our own lives. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Potential energy is not really energy at all until it is utilized.

Imagine a stone. As it sits in the mud, does it “do” anything? If we pick up the stone, we give it potential energy. The potential is to drop it, or throw it or put it in our pocket. Still, there is no energy until we put the stone to use. Early man began to pick up stones and put them on the ends of sticks to create tools. Again, even though it looks like a tool, it doesn’t really become a tool until it is used to create or destroy something. What are you doing with the tools in your life? Do you use them, or do you merely put them on the shelf and wait for something to happen? You will be waiting a lifetime for that tool to do something on its own.

We have the “potential” to create, destroy, and renew ourselves every day of our lives. The world is not really a series of paths, like it has been described so many times before. It isn’t the paths that matter at all. When we do not walk down a path, it cannot possibly have any meaning or use in our lives. Standing in the forest, or the desert, or on the beach, we “choose” what we will do next. So, life, then, is not paths, but choices. Making choices requires us to act. Therefore, life is action. Action is life.

The most basic force of the universe, although it may seem complicated, is nuclear fission. The splitting of atoms creates tremendous amounts of energy. The action of splitting atoms creates the reaction of unleashing the stored atomic energy within them (see: Law of Physics; every action has an equal and opposite reaction.). So, here we have the simple proof. Action leads to action. It must be true, then, that inaction leads to inaction.

We can speak about potential until we turn blue in the face, but there is no such thing as potential. In fact, I’ve heard “potential” defined as “a fancy French word for not doing anything”. Potential is a non-entity. Although we use the term “potential” to describe possibilities, our possibilities cannot exist until we act. We are what we do. There is no more truth in the universe than that.

So, if we are looking for meaning in our lives, and we are waiting and wondering about enlightenment, we will certainly be sitting in the mud for a long time.

The question is this: Do you want to be that stone in the mud, waiting for someone else to decide your fate? Or do you want to take control of your own life, make the choices necessary, and succeed?

Unfortunately, for many of us the choices can be frightening. We do not know. We cannot know what may happen as a result of some of the choices we make. Fortunately, we can look to the past to discover what reactions can possibly take place. This is the purpose of history, and science and memories.
The two ideas or concepts concerning our existence that spring to mind are:

1.) “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” (Sort of your own personal Hell).

2.) “If you know your history, then you will know where you’re coming from. Then you wouldn’t have to ask me, ‘who the hell do you think I am?’” -Bob Marley

Make your own history through action. Be someone who contributes and makes a difference. Otherwise, what are you doing here?

What is your True Nature?

Our lives are filled with opportunities. These include the opportunity to complain, to argue, to get angry, frustrated, to cry, or to give up just as much as the opportunity to change, to hope, to grow, to laugh or to have faith. Your true nature will determine which choice you will make. When faced with adversity, it is often difficult to recognize these positive options on our own. This is when we reach out to others for support. I recently experienced the healing power of positive thoughts and friendship when my 19 month-old daughter was hospitalized and underwent surgery to treat a very bad infection. There is no doubt in my mind that the thoughts and prayers of the people in my circle of friends (as well as those from people they told that I have never even met)  made a huge difference. My wife and I were completely overwhelmed and comforted by this support. We were not alone, even though we were out of town when it happened.  This positivity we received flowed through us and I know it affected my daughter’s recovery. Certainly the medical attention she received was top-notch and we made the choice to bring her into the ER, which reminds me of a story:

A man was trapped in his two-story home in the aftermath of a very serious hurricane that brought heavy flooding. As the floodwater reached the top of the first story of his home, a National Guard rescue boat came around to pick him up and he responded from a second-story window by saying, “No thanks. God will deliver me from this.”
Later that day, as the floodwater covered the second-story, the rescue boat came around again. And this time, he responded from the roof of his home, “No thanks. God will deliver me from this.”
Even later that day, as the waters began to cover the roof of his home, a helicopter hovered above to take him from the rooftop. Once again he responded, “No thanks. God will deliver me from this.”
Not long after this attempt, the man was swept up by the floodwater and died. When he got to heaven, he asked God with some hostility, “What happened?! I had faith that you would deliver me from the floodwater!”
And God replied, “I sent two boats and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

God’s true nature is to help and He sometimes works through us to deliver it. If you want help, it never hurts to ask for it.  If we aren’t helping each other, what are we here for anyway? This is not a dress rehearsal. You are a gifted and sentient being, and you can make a difference. You can make the life you want by choosing it.

My Friend David Willard Has A New Book Out

My friend, David Willard, has written a book and it is available now.  David is a fantastic person and his values are of the highest caliber. He and his wife, Gretchen, co-wrote the book, “Conflict, Balance, Breakthrough“, and it is an excellent expression of their beliefs in positive attitudes and faith.

It has been so amazing to be a part of this phenomena. The “law of attraction” is in full effect, and I have been experiencing it firsthand. There truly is great abundance in the world, and we were meant to share in it. If you come from this place, rather than one of scarcity, you can do great things. Follow your heart, take a leap of faith and believe that you can achieve your dreams.