Sunday, December 27, 2015

MOVE JOYFULLY WITH YOUR CONVICTIONS INTO THE NEW YEAR

We all have problems.
We all have challenges.
Never let anyone make you feel like you’re the only one who makes mistakes.
We all make mistakes.
Never let anyone make you feel anything less than positive and joyful.
Do not allow the martyrdom or false guilt of others to convince you otherwise.
Stay away from bullies.
Do not allow passive-aggressive individuals in your life who manipulate you into doing their bidding by seducing you with false kindness, false joyful words, and money – just to suit their needs.
If you have only the best of intentions in mind, healthy, strong-minded, good intentions - and if there are those who fail to see that, then let them go. It is not your problem they are unhappy – it is their problem…especially if they are not smart enough to hear the wisdom of your joyful, positive insight.
Surround yourself only with people who appreciate your positive view and healthy way of living.
Surround yourself only with positive, uplifting, loving-kind people.
Surround yourself only with people who have your best interests in mind.
Surround yourself only with people who speak joyfully of you, and others.
Surround yourself only with people who are healthy-minded, even in the midst of what may be their own infirmity.
Stay away from those who hurt you or abuse you in any way, physically, verbally, psychologically or emotionally.
Stay away from those who constantly curse, or use vulgar words.
Stay away from those who do not believe in any good Universal being or essence who runs the Universe, and/or those who do not believe in Love.
Live your life joyfully and surround yourself only with those who appreciate that joy, and whatever wisdom you profess in any area of life. Because if you espouse to be healthy, and you seek only all to be healthy, and if there are others who do not see or appreciate any of your wisdom, kindness, or insight…and if they seek only seek to be self-destructive, mean-spirited and unhappy…then let them be – and let them go.
Simply bless everyone, even those who do not have your wisdom of Love.
Just live your life joyfully, while blessing on their way others who seek a different path.
Love and forgive all of those who hurt you, while knowing, too, that just because you love and forgive them, that doesn’t mean they have to be in your life. You can still love people from afar, and just leave them be.
Just present your wisdom of Love and Health as best you can, and surround yourself with those who are smart enough to see your Love, and let go of everyone else who doesn’t.
Just be happy, share your Love, “let it rest where Jesus flung it,” as they say, and if it doesn’t stick, then just move on – joyfully – for the highest good of all concerned!
Happy New Year, Everybody!

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Mom's Circle of Peace

Many years ago, when I was maybe ten or eleven-years-old, I journeyed with my parents to see my father's sister and her husband who lived in a suburb of Rochester, New York called Greece. En route to Greece from my childhood home (on Erie Street in the inner city) we traveled down Mount Read Boulevard to the roundabout entrance way to West Ridge Road.

In the center of that roundabout was an empty field of green grass, which is still there.

This one particular day, circa 1971, as we made our way about that circular turn, a group of teens were standing, in confrontation to each other. One group was on one side of the field; a second band, on the other. A few of the kids had broken bottles in their hands, while others had knives.

These two groups were either two formal rival gangs, or two very opposed bands of kids who, either way, were planning on a nasty fight.

But they had no idea with whom they would soon be dealing.

Upon noticing these two opposing young groups, my Mom turned to my Dad in his 1969 green Pontiac Catalina, and instructed him to "Stop the car."

My father was like, "Uh? What?!"

My Mom reiterated with a slightly firmer and halting tone.

"STOP...THE...CAR!"

So, my Dad gave in and pulled over on the side of the circular exit near the field where cars usually never tread.

My Mom then exited the vehicle, shut the car door behind her, and stood, glaring at the two groups of kids. She wasn't budging - and she wasn't kidding.

Meanwhile, I turned to my Father and asked, incredulously, "Dad – WHAT the heck is she doing?!”

"Who knows?!" he replied in complete exasperation.

We then both looked on in awe and in fear of the scene before us, waiting for God only knew "WHAT."

By this time, my Mom and all the kids from the two rival gangs were staring at each other. It had now become a contest not between the two opposing groups of teens, but between both of those bands – and my Mom.

A few minutes passed, and as my Mom remained firm in her stance and her glare, something miraculous started to transpire.

One by one, each of the teens from both sides of the field, started to drop their knives and bottles. In a few more minutes, the two groups began to disband, and get into the cars of their own, or walked away into the distance.

Soon, the field had become empty again, save for that beautiful green grass.

At that point, my Mom got back in our Pontiac, and we drove away.

Somehow, my Mom prevented a riot, and possibly some very tragic, if not fatal injuries.

Years later, when I saw the movie Gandhi, starring, Ben Kinglsey, I was reminded of this one day with my Mom. In many scenes of the movie, Kingsley's Gandhi remained steady and calm - as violence transpired around him, experiencing threats many times against his own physical being. And still, he never struck back. He remained firm in his stance and belief that violence solves nothing – and that aggression is weakened by doing nothing in retaliation.

That's how my Mom was that day near the green field of troubled young souls. She stood there, as Gandhi would, but looking like Clint Eastwood (minus the "hardware"), as if to say, "Go ahead...make my day."

But for my Mom, "make my day" meant, "Put down your weapons, hurt no one, and cause no harm."

And somehow those bands of kids listened as my Mom spoke her "peace" - her silent wisdom – all the way across that field and around that circle – and into their hearts.

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Read more about my Mom - and Dad - in the tribute to them, by cutting and pasting to the link below.

http://herbiejpilato.blogspot.com/2009/12/looking-back-and-moving-forward-tribute.html

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Just give people what they want...for Christmas...and always

We might think we are controlling the Universe of what happens in our life, but sometimes we work against our own best interests.
"Nay, I don't wanna go to that party. Why? So I can make the host happy?! Who cares?!"
or
"I really used to like it when Betty Lou would always win at Checkers. But you know what? She's really bugging me now with that winning streak of hers! How dare she parade her Checkers genius to the world?!"
Let it go, peeps. Just be happy for people doing their thing. And be part of their joy...just as much as you want others to be part of your own joy.
Making people happy...even with feeding their ego just a little bit...brings a lot more Light into the world...especially during the Holidays.
As opposed to goin' all Grinch and Scrooge on the people who love you the most.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Caregiving for my parents shaped me into who I am

I dedicated my "core" years to caring for my parents, and I don't regret one second of it. While most of my friends were finding true love, getting married, securing their career paths, investing and making money, I was caring for my ill, elderly parents. And trust me: I didn't do it for the money. My parents didn't have any. Not one cent. I did it because I loved them, and they needed me. First, my Dad, "Pompeii," or "Herbie P," who died in 1995, and then my Mom, Frances," who died in 2008.
I'm not saying it was easy caring for them, because it wasn't. I did sacrifice a lot. But what I sacrificed I made up for in gaining a ton of love and lovely and inspiring moments that I forever cherish and get to keep long after I leave this world - all worth more than any annuity or estate or financial inheritance could have ever paid off.
Into this mix, I became a better person in caring for my parents. I'm no angel now, nor was I ever, but in caring for my parents, I learned to be more compassionate and caring...more understanding...more of everything good. I learned more about love....of every kind.
Every good thing I say, think or do is based on something I learned from my Mom and Dad, directly or indirectly. And I never felt that God or the Universe or the Great, Good Superior Consciousness of All...or however anyone wants to term it...I never felt that I, my life or my goals, would be abandoned if I cared for my parents during those "core" years...because I didn't abandon my parents.
"Honor thy mother and father" does not just mean to honor our parents when they are alive. It means to honor the lives that God, the Universe, etc. gave us THROUGH our parents. And I believe I am doing that. And in the process of doing that, and caring for my parents in the past, I've shaped a life that inspires me, and maybe a few others, every day...a good life that every so often seeps into my work...be it a book...a script...a essay...or even a live event...or a party.
All of that, and so much more, is sprinkled with just a little bit more light and love...because of the light and love that shined upon me in caring for my beautiful parents.
Bless you always, "St. Frances" and "St. Pompeii." I know you're both watching over me now from Heaven, in a far superior way to how I watched over you both on Earth...and we're all the stronger and more loved - and more evolved, in countless, graceful, amazing ways that cannot possibly ever be measured.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

We are defined by our capacity to Love

Our social status does not define us. Our political parties do not define us. Our cultural heritage does not define us. Our favorite interest group does not define us. Our sexuality does not define us. The color of our skin does not define us. Our physical abilities and agilities do not define us. Our physical appearance does not define us. The status of our health does not define us. Our bank accounts do not define us. Our job status or position does not define us. Our particular talents do not define us. Our religious organizations and beliefs do not define us. Our spiritual organizations and beliefs do not define us. Our agnosticism does not define us. Our atheism does not define us. Whether or not we eat meat and donuts does not define us. Whether or not we like "That Girl" does not define us.
Instead, we are defined by our humanity...our ability and capacity to Love. That is the core of who we are. We are Love...in any measure we choose to experience it, share it, or give it away.