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Monday, December 10, 2012

"I Choose" - by Anonymous

"I Choose...
to live by choice, not by chance;
to make changes, not excuses;
to be motivated; not manipulated;
to be useful, not used;
to excel; not compete.
I choose self-esteem, not self-pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice,
not the random opinions of others."

- Anonymous

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Spiritual and Creative Genius of Robert Hammond

Every once in a while a spectacurly talented human being creates something with such all-encompassing genius. 

That happened, not once, but twice with author/screenwriter/producer Robert Hammond and his astounding books:  Ready When You Are: Cecil B. Demille's Ten Commandments for Success, and C.B. Demille: The Man Who Invented Hollywood (A Novel), both published in 2012 by New Way Press.

One book is more compelling the other; different in presentation (nonfiction and fiction), yet the same; both centering around Demille, another creative genius.  As everyone may know, DeMille directed seventy feature films, including classics like The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) and The Ten Commandments (1956).

With both Ready When You Are and C.B. DeMille (A Novel) Hammond takes his cue from Commandments, and invites us into DeMille's epic and electic world.  With his work, Hammond delightfullly delivers with such grace, style and intuitiveness not only deep insight into DeMille's incredible life; but explains how the reader may apply the legendary director's existence and philosophies as a guide to success in every aspect of life.

More than just the average self-help book, Ready When You Are presents, as the Prologue outlines, "how to make your dreams come true"; different than any novel you have or will ever read, C.B. DeMille manages to tell a wonderful story of a unique human being without leaving the reader out in the cold. 

Indeed, both Ready and C.B. are nothing but warm-hearted, well-written literary platforms for much more than just the casual reader. 

No - you just don't read Hammond's books - you experience them; you live them.

All the way to your "A-Life"!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reject the Rejections!

I don't know about you, but my brain only functions on positive thought.

Or at least, it only functions WELL on positive thought; positive thought and words motivate me.

Negative thinking...just writing that disfunctional to me; it deflates me;  there isn't enough room in my brain for negative thought.

Yes, it's a fact that we live in a broken world.

And that in and of itself may sound like negative thinking; but it's ultimately it's a truth of this world.

So what do we do?

Well, all I can tell is you what I do...and/or at least strive to do:

Ultimately, I live by a joyful rule...a hard and fast rule...but a joyful rule:

Whatever we concenrate on, expands.

Focus on the good, things get better.

Focus on the bad, things get worse.

Upon first consideration, it seems a difficult task to think positive, and be positive, mostly because we're not yet in Heaven and we are yet unable to grasp the Heavenly things of perfection.

But thinking only good thoughts all the time, even in the midst of fact...especially in the face of just like laughing at a bully:

Laughter renders bullies powerless.

As such, positive thoughts do the same with negative thinking and circumstances.

So concenrate only on the good.

Think only good.

Speak only good.

Project only good..and discard the negative...laugh in the face of a bully...reject them and reject all negative thought...reject the rejections!

We'll never be able to fix this broken world.

But we can certainly mend at least a few of its cracks with positive, joyful "glue-full," glee-full thinking.

And then - watch, as if by magic, how the heart-"breaks" become less and less...while the heart-"warmths" increase and increase again!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letters of "Light" For Aunt Amelia

Growing up on Erie Street in Rochester was a magical thing.
My parents had each come from large families (of 10 brothers and sisters); the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins was massive.   As a result, every night was a party mostly because every night was a celebration of someone’s birthday. 

Into this mix were regular visits by any number of neighborhood or lifelong friends, and sometimes even kind strangers; all were welcome into the double red brick house that my immediate family, my Mom Frances, Dad “Herbie P” and sister Pam then shared with my Uncle Carl, Aunt Elva and cousin Eva Easton.
Also, too, of course were the holiday parties through the year.  The summer holidays were celebrated between Aunt Rita and Uncle Vincent Tacci's summer home in Honeoye Lake and my Aunt Sue and Uncle Pat Borrelli's summer home in Waterport.  Easter, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were mostly celebrated on Erie Street, as was Christmas Day.  New Year’s Eve took place at my Aunt Rita and Uncle Vincent's house on Lake Avenue.  Thanksgiving was at Aunt Anna’s; and Halloween would be spread across the board, depending on where we’d learn that the combined children of the family would best be served as trick or treaters. 

Many times we'd celebrate Halloween at Aunt Amelia’s on Arnett Blvd because that was the largest, safest neighborhood.  Aunt Amelia and Aunt Alice, and their respective families, shared a double house on Arnett (though an “up-and-down”; and not like Erie Street’s “side-by-side” configuration).
Suffice it to say, Halloween was the main reason I liked to visit Arnett Blvd.

But there were other, more important reasons.
Aunt Amelia, Uncle Val, Rita, Fred and Bill Valerie (the latter of whom, God bless him, just passed into Heaven) lived downstairs; and Aunt Alice and Uncle Angelo Schiano lived upstairs in a home that was placed in what I had then perceived as a Leave It To Beaver neighborhood.  It seemed every house had a white picket fence in front with lots of manicured brush, and each displayed the greenest of lawns.

Aunt Amelia and Aunt Alice also had the most magical of “inside front porches” that they used to call “sun rooms,” mostly because of the visual light and physical warmth that these rooms exuded. 
But clearly that “Light” and “Warmth” could also be defined as and possessed of a spiritual nature.

I spent many an hour in those sun rooms, reading old magazines, and book’s like Archie Comics and the Farmer's Almanac. 

And every so often, when dozing off in Aunt Amelia’s sun room in particular, she would walk in and ask me to mail one of her letters.

And that didn't mean emailing or even driving to the post office; it meant walking to the corner mailbox.
Uncle Val was a mailman, and maybe that's partially why Aunt Amelia loved to write letters; because her husband was on "the inside" of the postal circuit.  But she also loved to write letters because she loved to talk and communicate with people; she had several friends with whom she corresponded.

So I always enjoyed walking to the mailbox for her; I felt honored, actually. 

That little red and blue mailbox was only one block up the street, although it seemed like a mile away at the time.
Yet it could have been two miles from her house; I didn’t care.  I had a mission and a purpose.  I felt important that Aunt Amelia trusted me with her trusted written thoughts to her trusted countless friends and family (including the wonderful Bob and Bonnie Marinetti; and Rene and Maxine Piacentini).

I miss those Leave It To Beaver days and neighborhoods.  I miss Halloween on Arnett Blvd, and Christmas on Erie Street.  I miss my Mom and Dad; Aunt Elva and Uncle Carl; Aunt Anna and Uncle Tony Fort, Aunt Alice and Uncle Angelo; Uncle Joe and Aunt Antoinette Turri.
And I miss mailing those letters of “Light” and “Warmth” from…and for…Aunt Amelia.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Widen Your Margin of Error

"Nobody's perfect," says the old adage.

And that means you. 

And me.

And everybody on the planet

The Universe and in other dimensions?

Well...that's for another blog post.

For the moment, let's just keep things to THIS reality.

Which means we live in a broken world, with too many instances of overtly-high expectations set down by and for others - and by and for ourselves; expectations that are impossible to meet.

"Lose expectation," Confucius said.  "Gain everything."

So, here's the deal:

We need to cut each other - and again, ourselves - some slack.  A lot of it.

If we know of someone who has made a mistake, and we're unwilling to forgive them that mistake, you can bet your bottom dollar that, when karma comes back around to bite you on the butt, others will be just as unforgiving towards you...when you make your mistakes.

And you will.

Because you're only human.

We all make mistakes, and the biggest one is not fully realizing how not understanding this important point can end up affecting your life in many conflicting ways.

As Emerson said, "Whatever we send into the lives of others, comes right back into our own."

So you really need to lighten up and "get that."

Take your life seriously.  Take your work seriously.  But never take yourself seriously.

And most of all, just know that we are imperfect beings in  an imperfect world; a world that will never be begin to be remotely healed or perfected until we all start understanding our imperfect ability to comprehend the perfection of Love, which surpasses ALL understanding...and overlooks ALL mistakes.

Consequently, it could only benefit you and your existence in this world to widen that narrow margin of error that is constricting your life in ways of which you may not even be aware.

Free yourself...from judgement of others...from self-condemnation - and just embrace what you can start to view as the joys of imperfection, otherwise known as just "being human."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Your Child-like Heart Will Save The World

A few weeks ago, I had a silly disagreement with a friend and, in a heated moment, he scolded me and said, "You're acting like a child!"

Upon first hearing that, it wounded me.  A great deal.  Not because acting like a child is a bad thing (because I think it's a great thing), but  because my friend made that accusation with so much venom.

In the end, I was hurt more for him, than me.

And yet, as I look back in retrospect, the "child" reference is such a the child's heart that I posses has always been so very good to me.

It's kept me healthy, and strong - and young.

I always take my work very seriously, and I always take my life very seriously.

But I never take myself seriously at all.

The "unseriousness" of my child's heart has kept me singing and dancing since 1960 - and it will keep me energized forever, through good times and bad.

For, ultimately, on the flip side, I know how mature I am.

I know the maturity that it takes to have accomplished the things I've accomplished in life, professionally and personally, against all odds and obstacles.

I know the maturity that it required to serve as primary caregiver for my elderly ill parents for 15 years - and I was certainly younger at the time, then I am today (physically, psychologically and and even spiritually).

I know the maturity - and unsurmountable courage - it takes to have uprooted myself, time and again, to follow dreams that others, in many instances (if not all), have tried to curtail me from pursuing, if mostly with their best intentions.

I know the maturity it requires to dream big.

I know the maturity it requires to stand firm in the midst of any challenge.

I know the maturity it requires to laugh in the face of the bullies of the world, as they battle their insecurities and personal demons.

I know the maturity it requires to "take it like a man," and to laugh like a child - even when I feel like crying like a baby.

So if someone happens to one day say that you're acting like a child.

Stand firm, keep a smile in your heart and on your face, and remember all the maturity it required to get you where are.

And then, somehow, your accusor will one day open their eyes to understanding the importance of widening their margins of error.

Soon following, they will bless you for having been in their lives to help them see their flaws - the flaws that we all share in this broken world - a world that that is more times than not held together by the laughter of a child.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm A Love-tian

Anything that is said or done or thought that is not Love is not God...

Because Love is God.

And I listen to what Love says...

Because with Love there are never any conditions, commands or judgements.

Love is Love...unconditionally...without judgement or demands.

I listen to Love.

I'm a Love-tian.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Invest In Your Joy, Instead of Your House or Car

Does anybody anymore really just buy anything just to have it and enjoy it?!

Does EVERYTHING have to be an "investment"?

Can't we just buy a house or a car and mere embrace it for what it is - in the moment?

Do our homes and vehichles HAVE to give us a "return investment" - one that we "trade in" after only a few years?

Back in the day, people purchased homes and cars to actually enjoy them, long-term, over a lifetime.

Maybe not so much with cars, but houses for sure.

So, please, everybody - let's stop the insanity, ok?

Just buy your house, or your condo, or even sign a long-term lease on a beautiful apartment home...and, for the love of Heaven, please...just ENJOY it - TODAY...and stop thinking about what kind of "return investment" you can or will make on it in the future.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When Love Is God There Are No Divisions

Do you really think that the God of Love in Heaven has anything to do with war?

Do you really think that the God of Love in Heaven would turn any of his children against the other?

Would any sane earthly father or mother do such a thing with their biological children?

Of course not.

Then why would anyone think that the same of any true loving-kind God of Heaven and his spiritual children?

In effect, we are all Children of the Light...children of the same loving God in Heaven.

Whoever is dividing us on earth has little to do with Love.

And if Love IS God, and I believe that it is, and if Love is never jealous than how could there be a jealous God?

It doesn't make sense.

So whatever god is turning nation against nation, brother against brother, friend against friend, political party against political party...and religion against religion...that NOT the God of Love of Heaven.

For when Love is God there are no religions.

And when Love is God there are no divisions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Light Through Yonder Breaks

We live in a broken world…where things aren't always that easily fixed, if ever fixed at all.  But every one and a while…a Light shines through the cracks of this world…a Light that periodically helps to mend those cracks a tiny bit.  In the process of it all, this broken, unfixable world becomes a little less broken…and a lot more kind...with a Love that blossoms from the Light with a measure of Loving-Kindness that we get to take with us when we leave this broken world behind.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Reward/Punishment System Doesn't Work

Someone reaches out to you because they deem you worthy.

They lend their hand to help you.

You accept in kindness.

They have good intentions, but things don't work out.

You reach back to them and ask for a slight change in the plans.

They resent you for telling them how to help you.

But what does that have to do with sincerely helping anyone?

In the end, you shouldn't have to walk on coals fearing you will offend anyone, whether they are helping you or you are helping them.

There should be no Reward/Punishment system among friends, loved-ones or co-workers.

Such thoughts are incongruent to true partnership, certainly with regard to favors.

When you favor someone, you love them, and they should feel that favor with love in return.

If somehow that favor was misperceived, then it must be fixed.

In either case, all things should be said, written and done for the highest good of all concerned...however that is made to happen.

The conditional Reward/Punishment system has little to do with true assistance, and everything to do with control.

Compromise in gentleness, with a clear, positive communication between all parties, is the only way to go

Blessings to all...

The Power of Words

The Bible says, "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12: 37); "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 12: 21); And "Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee" (Job 22: 28).

Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, wrote: "The spoken word carries vibrations through the Universe ether, and also moves the intelligence inherent in every form, animate or inanimate."

Ernest Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science, has written: "The word gives form to the unformed. The greater the consciousness behind the word, the more power it will have. Just words, without conviction, have no power, and just conviction, without words, will never stir up latent energy. There must be a combination of the two to make a complete thing."

The Tibetan master D.K., through Alice A. Bailey, has said: "Every Word differentiated or synthesized, affects the deva kingdom, and hence the form-building aspects of manifestation. No sound is ever made without producing a corresponding response in deva substance."

As author John Randolph Price writes in his wonderful book, THE ANGELS WITHIN US, "From these resources it should be obvious why the masters of the early academies taught the aspirants to be aware of the consequences of words on the mental, emotional, etheric, and physical planes. They were schooled in the Power of sound and how words spoken with a controlled mind could literally change the force field around any form, including the belief system of the personality, and free the imprisoned spiritual consciousness."

As Price continues to write in ANGELS, he began to use the old Oriental standard to gauge the value of speech: Is it true? It is kind? It is needful? The result of this brief survey, Price discovered, was that only a few of his remarks passed the three tests. And that he admitted that when monitoring his own words, he missed the mark several times, even though he was consciously trying to measure the quality of what he was saying. "We are all walking around with a loaded gun between our teeth," he revealed, "and our tongues seem to love to pull the trigger."

"Remember," he concluded, "we are either healing or harming" with our words, spoken or written. "There is no in-between, so even in our humor we should practice harmlessness. Let's be builders of the new world through constructive words and creators of harmony with loving words."

What We Should Have All Been Taught As Children...

...And What We Should All Teach Our Children Today:

Do your best in whatever you attempt, and in every attempt you will succeed. Always have forgiveness and Love in your heart, and your needs - whatever they may be - will never go unfulfilled. Be a beacon of Light to everyone who chooses or refuses to see you. In doing so, your carefree spirit will glow, you will become a magnet of peace, and the world - and everyone in it - will become your graceful and protective shelter. Know that you are Loved - and that you are a beautiful child - in a world filled with other beautiful children. More than anything, realize that you are no less or more perfect than any other child - and that we are all equal in the eyes of Love.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kindness Trumps Talent

Years ago, I directed a musical for the Rochester Association of Performing Artists (a.k.a. RAPA), and spent weeks auditioning many actors, singers and dancers of all ages.

A diverse amount of extremely talented performers gave it their all during the auditions, but of course I could only narrow it down to a chosen few who would win the various lead and supporting roles.

But it soon became clear who would round out the cast.

I was impressed with the excessive talent of some, but more impressed with the extreme kindness of others. Some of those with the most talent, unfortunately, did not have the best personalities - nor the kindest of demeanors. And some of those with less talent - and in some cases, no talent at all, appeared to be less egotistical and potentially the easiest with whom to work.

So, I was faced with a dilemma:

Hire the most talented who were also the most egostical and difficult personalities?


Cast the least talented who were the gentlest of souls?

Ultimately, it ended up being a good mix. I cast those who were talented AND kind, and I also cast some who were not talented, but yet kind. Either way, I did not cast any of egotistical and somewhat mean-spirited - but extremely talented performers. They would have to at some point try again later for another production of mine, or somewhere else in town.

Years after that, when I started teaching acting at Rochester, New York's Historic German House, I came across a similar experience. There were many fine actors who enrolled for my classes, and in doing so, they had to audition. I was a tough teacher, and expected a great deal from each of them. However, many who attended those classes went on to great things, in and out of the entertainment field.

In any case, there was this one particular student who stood out. But not for the reasons that one might expect.

He was an awkward sort. He was very tall and very thin, and not very coordinataed or particularly talented. But this actor had heart - and passion - and determination. And he was one of the kindest souls I had ever met. I knew that when he auditioned for my class, and I experienced that throught the entire semester.

And once the course began, and each time he stepped in front of the class to work on a scene, either by himself or with another student, his talent did not shine, but his kind heart and determination to do his best lit up the room. What's more, I was so proud of my other students whenever he did one of this scenes.

Not one of them snickered or laughed at his performance. They supported him 100% - which not only was one of the rules in my class, but it was something that each of them CHOSE to do on their own.

I could never bring myself to tell this particular student that he might not have "what it takes" to make a success of acting, becuse acting was just too important to him. He loved it so much. He loved to perform. "I don't want to do anything else," he would tell me again and again.

So, I kept him in my class - but not because I wanted his money - but because I enjoyed his good heart. He was an inspiration to my students - and he was an inspiration to me.

And I never charged him a dime. His passion and determination for acting - and his kind heart and gentle spirit - trumped his lack of theatrical talent. And he taught me more about life - than I could have ever taught him about acting.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Your True Independence Begins With Self-Love

I used to BEG people to love me, not always with my words, but with my actions, and sometimes...even with my thoughts:

I mean it:  the battle cry was, if not verbal but in silence, "PLEASE...LOVE me!"

Be it business, personal or pleasure.

All of which is really kind of crazy, in the big scheme of things.

Although I was raised in humble beginnings, I have also been blessed in so many ways.

And if I mentioned those ways, to some, that would appear to be immodest.  So I will set those facts aside for the moment.

But the bottom-line truth is this:  I, nor anyone else, should never have to "beg" anyone to do anything.  A wise man once said, "Love is not a doormat,"  and he was right.  Your self-respect should never allow people to walk all over you, be it personal or professional relationships.  And even though it may sometimes appear to others, that you are walking all over them, many times that is not the case at all.  it is most likely just your A-type personality in full-swing to those who are simply lacking the self-confidence to live as fully as you do.

And more of the bottom-line truth, at least with regards to myself, is as follows:

Usually, not all the time, but usually I've come to realize that the people who don't like me are not nice people in the first place, or they're intimadated by my A-type personality, or somehow feel unworthy of my attention, or they lack confidence or worse, they lack self-love.

Again, not all the time....but this is usually the case.

I recall my Internship as a Page at NBC in the "big '80s" (which is fully addressed in my book, NBC & ME: My Life As A Page In A Book (BearManor Media, 2008).

My personality has always been "big," and my hair used to be big, too, particularly in the "big '80s," when everyone's hair was big.

And allthough my hair has now calmed down, my personality is still big - and I'm proud of it.

But that pride has always been confronted by a certain prejudice, especially when I was a Page.

Duriung that time, certain individuals thought I was too "cocky," and that I wasn't respectful.

And I was like, "Uh?!  Uhm...did you ever meet my Mom?  You think such a beautiful soul would allow her child to be anything but loving-kind?"

But still, my loving-kind nature was misperceived, because of my "big personality."

Then, came the Los Angeles Times article about NBC Pages.  Essentially, my "voice" was the only positive "voice" in the article.  I was the only page interviewed that praised the program and the essentially, the network.

As such, the day that article was published, all the nay-sayers who "attacked" me, now praised me.

After the article appeared, apparently, there wasn't anything wrong with my personality now.  Now, I was just fine. 

But we once again return to the bottom line truth, which is:  I wasn't acting any different than before the article was published.  It was merely the perception of OTHERS that had changed.

So, really the moral of this "big" and "small" story is this:

There are always going to be people in this world who don't like or appreciate you; people you have hurt, who can and never will find it in their hearts to forgive you for whatever slight or severe wrong you have or they believe you have done upon them.

And that's okay.  We all have "contracts" with one another before we come into this world.  Our relationships are planned, for better or for worse, before we are born, and we can't control any of that.

But what you CAN control is how you respond to others, and the best way to do is the best way to do anything, is with Love.

Don't beg for anyone's love and respect, but just share your joy.  Don't crave anyone's love and acceptance, just be great where you are.  Love YOURSELF enough to know that you should always do the right thing.

If you're the one reaching out to your community, making every attempt to unite people, be it in the office or the home, in your family or at some global summit....if YOU are the one who is making every attempt to make peace and reconciliation, and still, you do not receive any response from your intendent, then just let it go.  Just remember: you're the good person who is trying to do the "good" thbing.  And "No response" is most probably part of the plan that came into this world with you in regard to that particular individual or group who you are trying to please, and who is not responding in any positive way to what you bring to the table. 

But you can't force the issue, and again and ultimately, you should never force ANY issue.  That's just not how the universe works.

Love and self-love have nothing to do with force.  Respect and self-respect have nothing to do with force.  Acceptance and self-acceptance have nothing to do with force.

So, may only the FORCE - of self-reliance - be with you.

In doing so, you seek nothing from no one, and you discover tranquality.

Confucius once said, "Lose expectation, gain everything," and I couldn't have said it better.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Early Endorsements for TWITCH UPON A STAR

"Heavily researched, expertly executed, and handled with reverence, Twitch Upon A Star is a magical revelation about one of the most popular and endearing performers of all time. It's clear that Herbie J Pilato not only knows what he's talking about, but that he also cares very deeply about his subject, from a personal, yet objective perspective...No two ways about it, this book is a class act about a classic actress."

-          Danny Gold, film and television producer

"I encourage everyone to read Pilato's astounding, loving, riveting, eye-opening book."

-          Lydia Cornell, star of classic TV's Too Close For Comfort,

comedienne, and women and child's advocate

"The way Herbie J Pilato tells it, Elizabeth Montgomery just didn't have guts, she had balls. She was kind to those she felt deserved it but had no qualms about setting others straight. Who'd'a thunk that sweet little Samantha had such chutzpah?"

-          Larry Brody, TV writer and producer

(Baretta, Diagnosis: Murder, The Fall Guy, and more)

“Intricately revealing, well written and hard to put down, Herbie J Pilato’s Twitch Upon a Star captures the essence and life of Elizabeth Montgomery. He leads readers on an intriguing journey into the loves, politics and performances of this multi-talented actor - a very magical journey, yet based in the real emotion of love.  I heartily recommend this well rounded read for fans, friends and all who value the life of a gifted, complex and bewitching woman.

-          Kathy Garver, film, TV and stage star (Cissy on the classic Family Affair TV series);

author, The Family Affair Cookbook and Surviving Cissy; speaker.

“Not only has Bewitched’s Samantha Stephens influenced hundreds of female TV characters and the actresses who portrayed them, but Elizabeth Montgomery’s lasting influence on Hollywood and society has been far greater than the TV series that made her a legend. Herbie J Pilato, one of the great students of classic TV, spins a compelling narrative that brings to life a magical TV series and it’s even more magical star.  It’s a true Hollywood story, and more than any book I’ve read Twitch Upon a Star goes behind-the-scenes to capture a fascinating period in history when television was coming of age.”

-          Jack Myers, media ecologist, author and producer

"Much more than just a celebrity biography Twitch Upon A Star relays a spiritual quest that can speak to anyone.  Retelling the story and work of a life can activate an awareness of the beauty and purpose in our own unfoldment.  Pilato accomplishes this masterfully and magically, uncovering such depth and absorbing reflection with authenticity and vigorous charm to reveal Elizabeth Montgomery's journey as a true cultural treasure.  This book is magnificent!"

-          Thomas Warfield, performing artist, founder of PeaceArt International

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Place That Christmas Tree In Your Window

We’ve all lost loved ones.

Certainly, anyone who knows me or who has read my blogs over these last few years, knows that I have lost my parents, first my Dad, in 1995, and then my Mom, in 2008.  I was devastated in each case, mostly because they became more than my mother and father.  They became my best friends and, in essence, my children.  Somehow, the roles were reversed:  I was no longer their son, but I was their parent.  They became my whole world and, in looking back, I would not have done anything differently.

But today, my Mom and Dad are in Heaven, living fully, in the glorious Light of Love’s embrace.  And I am on Earth, living fully the life God gave me through my parents.  To live any other way would be a disservice to God, to my parents, and to myself.

Excessive grief in the loss of any loved one serves no purpose.  We may think it does, and some may even hope it does, in order to shield them from living, and to use it as an excuse not to go on living, fully or otherwise.  

But assuredly, no loved one who has left this world would want any of those they have left behind to grieve.

First and foremost, those in Heaven, know nothing of grief on Earth.  The mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, friends or co-workers who have left this world for a higher plain of existence knows nothing but joy, happiness, grace and Love….every good thing.  And grief does not fall into that category.

But if your loved one was indeed aware of any excessive grief on your part, and they are not, they would be disappointed. 

Here are a few instances to help with this understanding:

In the mid-1980s, I knew of a middle aged woman who lost her son when he was only seven years old.  It has been said that no parent should have to bury their child, and losing such a young child takes that point even further.  In any case, there is no question this woman misses her beautiful son every day.  But she did not and has not stop living.

She had a portrait painted of him, and placed it in her living room, above the sofa, for her and all to see whenever they passed by it.  She blesses his image, she sends Love to his heart and soul and Heaven, but she no longer grieves his spiritual passing to the point of denying her own human life on earth.

I know of another woman who lost a loved one, this time – her middle aged husband, to a heart attack.  It was her husband’s dream to move to from their hometown of El Paso, Texas to a small town in Virginia.  So when he died, the woman decided to live out her dead husband’s dream, and leave everyone she loved in El Paso, uproot her own three children from all they loved, and moved to Virginia…to live out her dead husband’s dream.

Meanwhile, her dead husband was now alive, living fully in Heaven…dancing with the angels, singing with the choir of Love beings…embracing the growth of his beautiful soul, no longer tainted by the trappings of an earthly existence.

But his earthly wife was still living his long-lost and forgotten dream of moving to Virginia, while she was missing everyone and everything she knew in El Paso.  What’s more, her children were devastated, if ever so silently, of making the move.   And decade after decade, they sequestered themselves in Virginia, made no real friends and, all the while, spent thousands of dollars in telephone bills talking to their remaining loved ones on Earth, who were still in El Paso.

Then, one by one, this woman’s family left this world, first, a sister and brother in law who had followed her to Virginia (by way of her dead husband’s dream), then her own daughter, who never fully lived the life she was born to live in this world.

And today, that woman’s son is in his 70s, living nowhere near the full life his father  or his mother (now both in Heaven) would have assuredly wished him to live on Earth.

I know of yet another woman, this one back in Rochester, who lost her husband to a deathly disease.  She could not recover from her grief.  Every day, since he has died, in 2008, she visits the cemetery, and places flowers on his grave.  Every day…without fail; and whenever she talks about him, she grieves.  She cries.  She even sometimes wails. 

But meanwhile, her husband is living fully in Heaven, knowing nothing of his earthly wife’s grief, as she continues to live so sadly on a daily basis – now, nearly five years after his mortal demise.

Into this mix, I know of a man, who lost his father.  This man lives in Portland, in a big apartment complex, with a courtyard setting.  And every Christmas, this man used to place a beautifully decorated tree in the window, for all the other residents to savor and enjoy upon each glance to this man’s front window.

But every Christmas since this man’s father died there has been no Christmas tree, and all the joy that was experienced by all those residents in that apartment complex has been lost, because the man has refused to place a Christmas tree in the window every December, falsely thinking this is some kind of honor to his dead father’s memory.  When, again, his dead father, now in Heaven, has no memory of any sad thing on Earth.

Meanwhile, this man’s grief is only increased by the loss of joy his neighbors and their children now feel by not seeing a tree in his window at the start of ever winter season.

In short, extended grieving serves no purpose to any being on earth or in Heaven.

But living fully, on Earth and in Heaven, serves EVERY purpose.

So let your loved ones go, embrace those who are still living, and shine the beautiful Light that lives inside you.  And you can do that by living your life to the fullest, by placing portraits of your sofas, and Christmas trees in your windows, so you - and everyone else in your world - can bask in the great bonding-glow you still share with immortal loved ones now singing in Heaven, as the rest of us wait patiently to reap the benefits of your glorious dance of life on Earth.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"The Forgiveness Formula" by Catherine Ponder

"It is easier to forgive those you are inclined to condemn, resent, even hate, when you remember this:
"They have not really failed nor disappointed you. They have not even let you down. They may have stumbled while crossing your pathway. But in reality, they are sons of God who temporarily lost their way.
"If they crossed your pathway, it was because they needed and wanted your blessing. They were unconsciously looking to you to be steadied and set right. Your progress has not been hindered, no matter what they did. They cannot keep your good from you.
"They crossed your pathway by divine appointment, even though they seemed to hurt you for a while.
"When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing. Give them that, and they will no longer bother you, as they fade out of your life and find their good elsewhere.
"Meanwhile, divine restoration will occur in your own affairs."
- author Catherine Ponder, The Dynamic Laws of Healing (page 53)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Listen to Steve Jobs: Don't waste time living someone else's life.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma,
which is living with the results of other people's thinking. And most important, have the courage
to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you want to  become. Everything else is secondary."
- Steve Jobs

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chipper Jones retired from baseball exactly how he "scripted it."

Chipper Jones retired from baseball exactly how he "scripted it."

And we each live our lives in exactly that way.

We choose who we are to be in this life before we are born.  We have our "A," "B," "C," "D," "E," plan, etc.  And whether or not we reach our "A-Life" or our "Z-Life," as long as we make every attempt to try, we'll be okay.  No matter the successes or the failure, "life happens" in this life exactly how we "planned it."

The key is to remain strong and steady through it all, to be as cheerful as possible, to laugh in the face of the bullies of life (be they people or events), to not only remain calm in the midst of the storm, but to "be the calm" in the midst of the storm.  Or as we "scripted it" in the '70s, just "keep on truckin', baby."

(Chipper Jones link)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

None of us have to wait to die to live like this....

None of us have to wait to die to live generously.
We can be generous now...with those we know and love...or strangers we never met...
And that generosity doesn't always have to be with money. Money is always good...but other joyful things work just as well...a kind word of support...a recommendation...helping someone find a job...doing something for someone when there's nothing in it for you...calling someone just to say hi without asking for any favors (how many of us do that?!)...these are the true gifts of the spirit...that keep on giving...
In either case, the domino effect of love trickles out into the this.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Regarding the "Nun" Controversy...

There's been some debate in the press about the Vatican's Roman Catholic traditional views in opposition to those views from certain, dare I say, "renegade nuns."

First of all, Catholicism is one of the most beautiful religions in the world.

The truth is, ALL religion/spirituality stemmed from Asia. And there is only ONE God of Heaven (who, by the way, never, I repeat...NEVER condones war).

That said, each of us comes to know God as we believe God to be. Through Jesus, Moses, Buddah, whoever, etc.

With regard to Catholic nuns, priests and sexuality...sexual energy may be properly channeled and expressed by way of creativity, to bring new life into the world...or to share pleasure between two individuals who truly love one another.

"Giving oneself to God," as Catholic nuns - and priests - do, is a sacred thing. It is most probably the highest form of controlling one's sexual energy or "chi." In treasuring their abstinance, their sexual energy is rechanneled for more reverent purposes of the highest order.

However, Catholic priests and nuns should be granted the OPTION to marry if they so deem select, while those who choose not to marry should have their choices revered as well.

In short, EVERYONE should be able to do whatever they want to do within the loving-kind laws of humanity, as long as no harm or trauma is caused to any one soul, mind, body or heart.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't Be Like "Larry Tate" On "Bewitched"

Think of the most important business contact that you have...and think about how much money that person will bring you and/or your company in the coming year, if all negotiations go as you plan. Think about how you nearly trip over yourself to talk with that make sure you say everything right...and how happy and "smiley face" you are with that person, whether you're talking to them in person or on the phone.

Now do you have that picture in your head?

Okay...well... that's how you should talk with EVERYONE in your life.  You should be THAT enthused...THAT happy...THAT excited...THAT willing to not only share your joy...but to appreciate whatever great and good thing ANYONE can bring into your life...especially if there is ultimately nothing in it for you except pure joy.

No financial contracts.  No monetary gain.  No "networking."  Just pure joy.

Are you capable of that?  Being nice to someone when there is absoutely nothing in it for you?

How nice?

Well, I remember a friend who was repelled by dogs.  At least I thought he was. 

One day someone brought a dog over to his home.  In retrospect, however, he was not pleased with the person.  He didn't like the person.  The person was likable.  But there was nothing in it for the dog-disliker to like this person...or this person's dog.

But when another individual visited with their individual of position...who could do great things for the was a different story.  The dog-disliker fell down on his knees and started playing with the dog on the floor.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

The dog-disliker apparently all of a sudden liked dogs.

But in reality, the dog-disliker was insincere...kind of like ad man Larry Tate, Darrin's boss on the TV show Bewitched.

Larry never really respects anyone unless there's something in it for him.

Is that really how you want to be?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Commentary from Brian Feinblum's Blog

Hopefully, books and the publishing landscape of 2016 will be pretty much as it is today, only better...with a more evenly balanced presentation of all formats of publishing, be they hardcover, softcover or electronic editions. 
Ideally, the "one or the other" scenario will be replaced with the realization that all formats can happily exist simultaneously.  And that, in some way, publishing by then will not only be able to properly represent the very best of what humanity has to write, but that the industry itself will serve metaphorically for the human race in general.
By 2016, maybe all people, of every "format," i.e., race, creed, spiritual belief or religion, will be able to co-exist happily beyond the "one or the other"/"us or them" mentality that unfortunately haunts humanity today. 
Books, like human beings, possess the great power to communicate; they parallel one another in so many ways. 
So, as long as our words, our minds and our thoughts can be printed in hardcopy or electronic format, our words and our thoughts can also being imprinted in the hearts, minds and souls of our brothers and sisters from every walk of life. 
There is room in the great library of humanity for every good human being, as there is room for every good book, no matter what the “format”…literally. 
Please see original link below.

Friday, April 13, 2012

HBO, Vulgarity & Character Development

So, swearing if funny, eh? I thought it was just vulgar. Just because something's on HBO (or cable in general) doesn't automatically mean it has to include vulgarity...certainly not just for the sake of it. To be added to a periodic scene because it makes sense within the story? Ok. To allow certain vulgar words to be said by or about a character to help define or add to character development? Ok. But to just constantly have characters swear and use vulgarity just because it's HBO or cable? Nay. What does swearing have to do with "for mature audiences only," anyway?