life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the category “Career”

world changer 

You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.

    – Carol Burnett


So many religions and philosophies, ancient and modern, set forth paths to happiness, fulfillment and the end of suffering. Many of these paths are filled with great wisdom and deep spiritual insights that have helped countless people throughout the ages. I have been inspired by so many of these spiritual traditions; and I have learned so many hard lessons though my own inner struggles and challenges, as we all have. Consistent with so many of the spiritual traditions, I have found that one of the keys to happiness and finding a deep spiritual connection is cultivating a spiritual humility — reaching beyond our egos as best we can by quieting our minds with a bit of wisdom, by opening our hearts to a bit of unconditional loving-kindness, and by expressing a bit of gratitude for the light and wonder that has been given and that touches us even in the dark times.
1. WISDOM AND THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF ALL EXISTENCE. We — and all of life — are interconnected in a vast and boundless divine tapestry. Our belief that we have a separate, “fixed” self is a delusion that cuts us off from the flow of life and the interdependence of all things. We are nothing but a wondrous part of a larger, interwoven whole. To see all this, even a little, leaves us humble, but also touches us with a deep wisdom that we are connected at our core to something so much greater than we can imagine.
2. THE INNER SPIRIT. As a part of that greater whole, we are truly children of God, at one with the divine essence. Yet, when we come into this world at birth, we put on a limited and fragile ego mask that we wear throughout our lives, believing that the mask is our real self and forgetting our true, inner spirit that is a part of the greater divine radiance. So, we struggle to keep this mask-self safe, closing our eyes to the flow of the divine presence through our lives. Seeing all of this, even a little, we begin to see the futility and childishness of so many of our self-important dramas; and, with the resulting humility, we begin to let go of the ego games and begin instead to focus humbly and joyously on our connection to others and to the greater divine reality. 
3. JUDGE NOT. Looking with an open heart at the cosmos, we may begin to see, even if dimly, the presence of a boundless divine power that supports all of existence, guiding the planets in their orbits, causing the flowers to grow, holding all of the law of physics in the palm of a hand, and supporting our very existence. But, when we grasp after our ego-mask self, and forget our own inner spirit and its connection to the greater divine presence, we begin to make judgments, limiting and defining God, ourselves and each other. We think that we know better — indeed, we think we “know” what is really going on — but the mystery and wonder of existence is beyond any knowing. We do not know, for instance, the truth of another person and where he or she is on the spiritual path. Indeed, we do not even know who we are ourselves. How, then, can we presume to judge others and where they stand in God’s plan? How can we truly judge ourselves? And, even more importantly, how can we judge God, the ineffable foundation of all existence and non-existence? Seeing all this, even a little, we can only begin to humbly let go of our limited, ego-based judgments and open our minds and hearts to a gentle faith in the divine, in ourselves, and in each other. 
4. SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. So, how do we come to see all of the above and cultivate a joyous spiritual humility? Each must find their own way. For me, it come from a gentle spiritual practice: 
(a) First, I try to be mindful of the interconnection of all life, as well as of the impermanence and transience of my own ego-mask self. Then, with a little inner quiet and stillness, I try to watch for the presence of ineffable wonder; I listen for the quiet whispers of my own inner spirit; and I open my heart to the rumblings and reflections of the presence of a boundless God beyond all knowing or grasping.
(b) Next, each day I try to practice a little kindness and unconditional love, as best I can and with as much wisdom as I can muster, quietly shining some light in the darkness on myself and those around me. We all can open a window in our hearts to the divine and let the divine presence shine through us, as if through a glass darkly — but we can polish that glass each day to let in more and more light.
(c) I judge God, myself and others so much. So, I practice not judging by being mindful of how much I do judge, and examining how much of that judgment comes from my own arrogance or insecurity. I then think about the the mystery and power of the divine presence — and the preciousness and miracle of all life, including my own — and stop for a moment and acknowledge, as best I can, that the divine presence is boundless in ways I cannot begin to fathom or judge.    
(d) Finally, I try to find reasons to be grateful: for the presence of wonder, wisdom and light, even in the darkness; for the preciousness of my own life and that of others; and for the blessings, sometimes hidden, that grace my life. There are so many opportunities to express that gratitude to those around me through words and deeds; and to God in my prayers and in the songs of my heart. Finally, I try to express gratitude to myself in the words I use in speaking to myself. We all can begin to appreciate more our own inner, luminous spirits. Humility in the face of the overwhelming wonder of the universe may cause us to begin letting go of our ego games, but it also opens our vision up to the magnificence of the cosmos and to the luminous wonder of our place in it.
Simple Inner Truth by Steven Jay

words and eye above by Jen Lemen 

gifts appear  

I give you an emptiness,

I give you a plenitude,

unwrap them carefully. 

— one’s as fragile as the other —

and when you thank me

I’ll pretend not to notice the doubt in your voice

When you say they’re just what you wanted. 
Put them on the table by your bed. 

When you wake in the morning

they’ll have gone through the door of sleep

Into your head. Wherever you go

they’ll go with you and

wherever you are they’ll wonder,

smiling about the fullness 

you can’t add to 

and the emptiness

that you can’t fill.  
When you feel nothingness 

and emptiness gnawing at your life, 

there is no need for despair.

 This is a call from your soul, 

awakening your life to new possibilities. 

Nothingness is the sister of possibility. 


Presents by Norman MacCaig

knowing the way,
learning when to say yes –
when to walk away

how to tell the differences between, 
the people truly wanting to change themselves, thus the world, 

your helpers, 

the light-walkers, 

from the ones with underlying, unsavory, motivations
– discernment,

intuition –

we use them everyday
or we get ourselves into
where we hone our skills
by finally struggling,

 like a fly in the spider web,

finally extricating ourselves 

as we learn our newest lessons

the, God awful,
hard way


corporate memories

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,

Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,

All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,

Desolation in immaculate public places,

Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,

The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,

Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,

Endless duplicaton of lives and objects.

And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,

Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,

Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,

Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,

Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces. 

Dolor by Theodore Roethke

photos found @

make the most of it

Setting priorities is a difficult process…
No, it’s not!

That’s just what I keep saying. 

But, it’s really very simple –

Just this…
What is the most important thing(s) in my life?
How do I reorganize my life around 

the most important thing(s)?
Am I willing to do the work focused on that/those?
Those questions are on me. 

The answers are very clear,

very simple. 
Ok, then…

Get busy

make your music happen 



Do it!

This is it!

Set your sites…







On this day of your life I believe God wants you to know…


…that when we do the best we can, we never know what miracle

is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.


Helen Keller said that, and she was right. There is a situation

in your life right now where you are being asked to do your best,

your very best. Maybe it is in finding forgiveness for another.

Or is understanding something that you just haven’t been able to understand.

Or in accepting what has to this point felt unacceptable.


Whatever that situation (and you know exactly what it is right now)…

are you doing the best that you can? If you are, so be it, and good. Yet if you think you might do better,

allow this little nudge today to be your gift from the soul.

A miracle awaits if you will reach back now

and do your very, very, very best in this.

     – Neale  Donald Walsh






find photos at 

take a breath

In these times when anger

 Is turned into anxiety

 And someone has stolen

 The horizons and mountains,
Our small emperors on parade

 Never expect our indifference

 To disturb their nakedness. 
They keep their heads down

 And their eyes gleam with reflection

 From aluminum economic ground,
The media wraps everything 

 In a cellophane of sound,

 And the ghost surface of the virtual

 Overlays the breathing earth. 
The industry of distraction

 Makes us forget

 That we live in a universe. 
We have become converts

 To the religion of stress

 And its deity of progress;
That we may have courage

 To turn aside from it all

 And come to kneel down before the poor,

 To discover what we must do,

 How to turn anxiety

 Back into anger,

 How to find our way home. 


John O’Donohue 
‘For Citizenship’ from BENEDICTUS


Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.         – Jean-Paul Sartre

photo sources at

now just relax 




prep work







Ready. Set. Go.  


listen to Michael Buble sing Feeling Good

standing tall 


Erik Wahl:

The purpose of art is not to produce a product. The purpose of art is to produce thinking. The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art – but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it. Once you learn to embrace this process, your creative potential is limitless.
Artwork should be an active verb (a lens by which to view the world) not a passive noun (a painting that sits dormant in a museum). Creativity lies NOT in the done but in the doing. Art is active and incomplete. Always shifting, always becoming. Art is a sneak peak into the future of potential, of what could be. Not a past result of what has been already done. Art is a process not a product. 
Art is a human act. Art is Risky. Generous. Courageous. Provocative. You can be perfect, or you can make art. You can keep track of what you will get in return for your effort, or you can make art. You can enjoy the status quo, or you can make art. 
This is the purpose for why art should not be cut from education.


Photo sources found at 


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