life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

what’s your soundtrack?


Do not push the river – Neale Donald Walsh

Wait. The Right Time is at hand, and resolution of this difficulty is on its way.

– Neale Donald Walsh


Love this thought – do not push the river! ha
Patience is a virtue not easily come by, but oh so important!!!
As the old saying goes, Timing is everything!


4Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will. – Norman Vincent Peale

10 Questions You Should Know the Answers To…
Because the answers to these ten questions will help you discover the very best in yourself…

1. What would make you proud of yourself?

When you follow your heart and intuition, people won’t always agree with you. When you find something that makes you happy, not everyone will be happy for you. When you show unwavering kindness to others, some people will question your motives. When you are honest to the core, some folks will attempt to use your honesty against you. When you look for the best in everyone you meet, a few of them will take advantage of it.

Don’t let any of these people stop you from doing these things. These people don’t matter. In the end, what does matter is how you feel about yourself and the life you have led. You will ask yourself one question: “Am I proud of how I lived?” Make the answer: “Yes!”

2. How can you make a positive difference?

Even when it seems like a hopeless effort, do the right thing. Always live firmly by the forces of love and truth. The bullies and cheats who seem unstoppable in the short term always fall from power in the end. Love and truth always rise to the top.

Keep injecting your goodness into the world, one small act at a time. It’s these small acts of goodness stacked together that eventually change the world. You may never see the full result of your positive actions, but they will be accounted for and realized in time. If you do nothing, there will be no result – no positive change ever.

3. What are you trying to accomplish and why?

Know the answer to this simple question and remind yourself of it every single day. You must identify, without any doubt, the specific reason you do the work you do. Success can only occur when there is a target and a reason to hit it.

When you have a reason to do something, you have a legitimate purpose behind your efforts. When you connect this reason to a desired result, you’re able to summon the discipline and persistence necessary to get the job done. Give yourself a good reason and you will find a way to succeed. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

4. What are the roadblocks standing in your way?

A roadblock is only a roadblock if you don’t know about it. If you know about it, it’s just a challenge. Look around and evaluate the challenges you face; within them lie the opportunities to make lasting progress. You are in the best position to make the most of these opportunities, because you know exactly where you are, where you want to go, and what resources you have at your disposal.

Remember that the roughest roads often lead to the top, and the best way to get over a roadblock is to go through it. Thus, you must run toward your challenges with all your might, because the easiest way through them is to trample them beneath your feet. You have what it takes right now. You know what you must do and you know why. Step confidently into your challenges until you reach the road on the other side.

5. What’s the next step?

Remember, you will never make a bigger mistake than sitting back and doing nothing simply because you can only do a little. So go head and start small. Take a small step, and if you can’t take a small step, take a tiny one. Do what you can with the resources you have right now. Get yourself moving in a positive, productive direction.

The best thing about big success is that it comes one step at a time. A flash of success, no matter how small, creates the momentum necessary to create even more success. Every positive step forward puts you in position to take the next one.

6. What are your flaws and faults?

You will never be flawless. You will never be faultless. Acknowledge your flaws and faults and accept them. Let the difference between your flaws and the flaws of others be that you have accepted their existence and moved past them, while others are hopelessly trying to hide them. Let the difference between your faults and the faults of others be that you have addressed them and learned from them, while others are still living in denial.

Don’t fall victim to fabricated illusions. Don’t hide from reality. Face your deficiencies and use them to bask in the glory of your personal growth.

7. What issues do you need to resolve with yourself?

When you feel lonely you look around for someone to fill the void in your life. You assume that your loneliness stems exclusively from being alone. But once you find company, it doesn’t take long before you realize that there’s still a void in your life. You still feel lonely and unfulfilled, so you blame it on your company and you move on to someone else… and then someone else. This cycle perpetuates for months, or even years, until you are eventually ready to face the truth.

The truth is, a partner, or even just a friend, can add lots of beauty to your life, but they can’t fill a void that exists within you. You alone are responsible for you own fulfillment. If you feel desperately lonely when you’re alone, it means you’re in bad company. It means you need to work on your relationship with yourself first. To believe otherwise is to delude your mind and perpetuate your loneliness as you
hop from one failed relationship to the next.

8. How are you burdening yourself?

If you feel like your back is breaking from the weight your mind is carrying, perhaps it’s time to lighten the load you carry. There are many burdens you can easily let go of if you’re willing.

Start by leaving your worries behind you; worries only fill your mind with negativity. Instead take constructive action – get involved in something worthwhile that takes your mind off of things. Next, drop your grudges. Grudges and resentments simply suck energy and time away from you without any positive return. Once you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to stop pretending like you know everything. Rather than attempting to prove yourself, open your mind, eyes and ears to new and real possibilities. And before you wrap things up, let go of your impatience. Two of the most vital virtues of your personal growth will be your patience to wait for the right moment and your courage to make the best of it.

As you can see, dropping burdensome negativity from your life is fairly easy once you realize how much of it you’re carrying around with you. Do yourself a favor today and lighten your load.

9. How have you celebrated your progress lately?

Focus on the progress you’ve made, on the next positive step, on the silver lining between where you once were, where you are now, and where you’re headed. Do not think of yesterday’s failures, but of the success that is possible today.

Be proud of yourself. The fact that you’re trying is immensely impressive. You have conquered complacency. You are crushing your fears with every new effort you put forth. You aren’t where you want to be yet, but you’re making progress. Step by step will get you there. Even if you feel like you’re running in place, you aren’t. No effort that you make to attain something worthwhile is ever lost. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t give up.

10. What do you love about your life?

Life is a series of highs and lows. There will be times when bad things happen. When these times strike, it’s important to keep things in perspective. How you respond to life’s inevitable difficulties defines the strength and growth of your character, as well as the quality of your life. The false idea that you are a victim of any particular circumstance is simply inaccurate.

The fleeting ups and downs that occur on a daily basis are tiny threads in the overall fabric of your life. Each one adds to your personal growth. The quality of your life is ultimately your choice. You can choose to be immobilized by the gravity of your disappointments, or you can choose to rise from the suffering and treasure the most precious gift you have – life itself.

Marc and Angel Hack Life


Discerning God’s Presence
The Gospels are filled with examples of God’s presence in the word. Personally, I am always touched by the story of Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth. There he read from Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
for he has anointed me
to bring good news to the afflicted.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to
captives, sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord.
(Luke 4:18-19)

After having read these words, Jesus said, “This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.” Suddenly, it becomes clear that the afflicted, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed are not people somewhere outside of the synagogue who, someday, will be liberated; they are the people who are listening. And it is in the listening that God becomes present and heals.
The Word of God is not a word to apply in our daily lives at some later date; it is a word to heal us through, and in, our listening here and now.
The questions therefore are: How does God come to me as I listen to the word? Where do I discern the healing hand of God touching me through the word? How are my sadness, my grief, and my mourning being transformed at this very moment? Do I sense the fire of God’s love purifying my heart and giving me new life? These questions lead me to the sacrament of the word, the sacred place of God’s real presence.

Henri Nouwen
Excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life

what are the chances?



blessings of friendship

a blessing for u this night: Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee; God never changeth! Patient endurance attaineth to all things; who God possesseth in nothing is wanting; alone God sufficeth.” I love u and God loves u most. ox.


I am so very, very blessed to have amazing God-given friends! They give me strength. So grateful ❤

truth about choices


I’m not a fan of pithy capitalized slogans presented as complete and helpful truths instead of mere titles. It’s not that “Live Your BIG Dreams” is an unworthy goal, (although I suspect dreams qualified as BIG in a extroverted consumer culture may not be in alignment with my values) but I always want to ask: What does that mean- look like, feel like, taste like- in one particular human life?

When my sons were small I was ill for many months. Mostly I laid on the living room carpet with these two wonderful beings in my care so I wouldn’t have far to fall and couldn’t drop anyone when I was momentarily dizzy. I didn’t need to Dream BIG. I need a bath and a twelve hour nap. I was overflowing with and soaked in love (and breast milk and spit-up and baby pee.) I needed to find ways to get groceries, do a load of laundry and calm my fears that I’d be incapacitated by illness and exhaustion forever.

Because I’ve been writing a book about choice, I’m particularly aware of how often “Choice” features in many popular slogans: Happiness Is A Choice; Love Is A Choice; Forgiveness Is A Choice; Gratitude Is A Choice. . . . the list is endless. Most often I want to ask: Is it? Is it in this moment for everyone? Is it always?

Now, I get the point of these snappy declarations- they’re trying to encourage us to make choices that result in and come from love and forgiveness and other good stuff. But even that gives them too much credit. They don’t say: “Making Choices That Cultivate Happiness Is (Often) An Option”- they say, “Happiness Is A Choice”- as if you could just give yourself a smack on the forehead and remember that you forgot to turn on the happiness faucet this morning. This is at best misleading and at worst a potential cause for increased suffering as it tempts us to believe that our or another’s unhappiness is actively and consciously “chosen” and therefore deserved.

In my work with individuals I often hear the “should” of inner and outer judgement planted by these sayings. People doing their best to deal with painful illnesses, trauma, and heart-breaking losses tell me again and again that they “should” be able to do better, be happier, to let go of fear, or sorrow and “get over” what is happening “faster.” It makes my heart ache to hear the coals of suffering heaped on top of what is often real pain.

Can we make choices that will cultivate fear or happiness?

Often, yes. And sometimes we’re swept along by pain, or grief, or fear, or unconscious material (which by definition isn’t accessible to choice until it is brought to consciousness.) Of course sometimes we can make choices- to do inner work, to be with those who support us, to ask for help, to take good care of ourselves- that will expand our ability to cultivate happiness, forgiveness and gratitude, make us more available to love. But the assertion that it’s just a matter of choosing to be a certain way can prompt us to shove experiences that don’t align with this assumption (our moments of feeling unhappy, unforgiving or ungrateful) into our unconscious where they shape and limit our choices without us even knowing it is happening.

It can be scary to simply sit with the fact that in any given moment real choices are shaped and sometimes limited by inner and outer conditions. Of course, conditions change- and we can actively choose to change or work toward changing many of them- and this can expand and deepen the real choices we have.

But, in the meantime (which is to say- while we’re still human beings) perhaps we could step away from pretending to know more than we can possibly know about another’s real available choices, can give each other and ourselves a little credit for doing the best we can with what we have to work with in this moment. In the next moment we may offer or be offered or make a choice that will give us or someone else more to work with, and we’ll do the best we can with that.

I’m just sayin’:

Not Pretending We Are In Complete & Conscious Control Of Absolutely EVERYTHING- Is A Choice!

Oriah (c) 2013

friends with benches

The Celtic understanding of friendship finds its inspiration in the sublime notion of the anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul; cara is the word for friend. This friendship is an act of recognition and belonging. When you have an anam cara, your friendship cuts across all convention and category. You are joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend of your soul.
– John O’Donohue


the song comes

“Only he who cries… is permitted to sing…” is what Bonhoeffer said.

Only those authentic enough to lament, are authentic enough to love.

When everything is stripped away and you have nothing left and in all your bare vulnerability, there is communion with God.
– Ann Voskamp

I am bare naked
Down to my bones
Even my comfortable skin is gone
I shiver as the cold blows through me
I have cried many tears
My song has been watered to full growth
Maturity does not come without cost
Yet it comes
as I struggle
in grief to lament
in disappointment to love
in silence to commune
in lessons to learn
in everything to choose
making the difficult choices
which bring integrity
that bring the song
that fills the coming of spring
with joy
and the whole world
With light and love

AL 2/18/13


just breathe & trust

Trust is key. Trust you are where you are meant to be. Be trust filled; trust fully in your source, Divine Love. Know intuitively that this is the way, the only way. – Margaret Rahn


I took a long hike in the desert, following a faint trail. Sometimes the path was not marked, not clear, little more than a six inch wide smudge of a different texture of sand between the rocks. I could not look across the landscape and see where it would take me. It was one step at a time. I had to trust the walking on it of those who had gone before. I really had to pay attention.

The other night I walked in the dark woods, the snow dark gray, the black trees only slightly darker. I couldn’t see the path; only the faint blur of footprints in the snow directly before me. I was not alone.

Sometimes the closest we come to the Word of God is not a voice, but faint footprints before us. Sometimes the closest we come to faith is not knowing or believing, but walking in those footsteps, hearing nothing, following.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light


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