Tag Archive | courage

The Quiet Roar – original poem


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                       THE QUIET ROAR

Inside every opportunity is the chance to trip and fall

     upon our fears and indecisive groaning.

We begin with hope brimming from the sparkle of that

     which we covet to achieve.

We set our course and brace ourselves for 

     work, wish, and wonder.

Alas the day comes when a mountain appears before our eyes,

     looming ever bigger than we imagined.

It is not our reality but our paradigm of self disbelief

     wanting to cast a daunting shadow upon that fanciful dream.

That is the day we come to know just how deep our desire is planted,

     how well watered and cared for it might be.

We whisper to ourselves the secret question we dare not admit,

     which queries whether we are “enough.”

Indeed, we quake at the thought that we have not enough of

     something vital for the journey.

Have we stepped too far and gone past the brink

     of all that we know we can do, be, and have?

Pause … and stand in the stillness of the fear for but a time and listen

     for that even smaller voice inside our soul.

The one that knows the mighty truth of our unique

     and everlasting spirit.

“I am” I hear in the quietest voice buried

     deep inside my heart.

Again it squeaks, and stronger still until it turns into

     a deep and quiet roar.

“I AM” I speak, with growing confidence, all that

     I imagine that I can be.

And with that spoken declaration comes the brilliant truth

     at long last tumbling through my core.

It is not fear that will determine if I have what

     I need to carry forth.

It is the choice to hear within the ever knowing 

     truth of my existence.

I am all that I shall need to walk the next step of my path,

     the one that I came to dream of and create.

And fear must, as the laws of life command, slip ever sulkily away

     leaving only truth, and trust to stand.

Fear shall not win as long as I listen to that still small roar

    upon which I choose to follow.

                                  ~ Barbara Bernard Miller

 

Comments for a Cause – Mesothelioma Research


It’s that time of the month again when I close out my Comments for a Cause for last month and declare my charity for this month.

Last month I did see a significant increase in comments, leading to me making a healthy donation to St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Cincinnati. It’s the orphanage where I was raised and I’m thrilled, throughout my life, to look for ways to give back to them.

This month, I hope to receive more, and more, and more comments to help me make a difference in the world. Remember – comments are free for you, and donating is fulfilling for me! Invite your family and friends to come, read, comment, joke, nudge, and simply smile in a comment in order for it to count.

heather-bio-photogrunge_tattoo_butterfly_6_1_mesothelioma_sticker-p217721819615573652en7l1_216FEBRUARY’S CAUSE: Mesothelioma Researach

In January I received a touching email from one of my dear readers, Heather Von St. James. She shared with me her story and a link to her blog. Heather is a self proclaimed “poster child for hope after mesothelioma” for those suffering from asbestos disease. Here’s the link to her blog:

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/fear.htm#ixzz2JficdJUf

You know, I never heard of mesothelioma except for an occasional legal commercial. I didn’t personally know anyone who was a sufferer, and like so many of us, the awareness went right past me. I regret that it happens when we are unaware. Now that I know one of my dear readers is affected, I won’t ignore it any more. Why don’t you take a moment to learn more as well by visiting Heather’s blog (above).

Here’s a bit of Heather’s story, in her own words:

“I am 44 and a mother to a quirky little 7 year old, Lily. She is my only child and I couldn’t imagine my world without her. When Lily was just 3 ½ months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which kills 90-95% of those who have it. After intense treatment and a long recovery, almost 7 years later I’m still here and cancer free! My journey through cancer was quite a terrifying one and I’d like to turn my struggles and obstacles into inspiration and hope for others. One of many things that came out of my battle with cancer is a holiday I created called Lungleavin Day. This is the anniversary of my surgery (Feb 2nd) in which my entire left lung was removed. Lungleavin Day is a celebration of life and facing your fears. Each year we celebrate with nearly 100 loved ones. The idea of this day is for everyone to fill a blank plate with their fears and smash it into a bonfire at my Lungleavin day party, symbolizing people throwing their fears to the fire. I also use Lungleavin day as a fundraiser for mesothelioma research.”

Thank you Heather for the courage to share your story! Thank you for turning your fears and suffering into hope for others! You inspired me. You touched my heart. And I wish to shine the light on your cause in return. I say, Happy Lungleavin Day to you as you celebrate tomorrow! I will celebrate in your honor as well!

Be healthy, be aware, be gracious, be hopeful … and be blessed!!!!!

Breath of Life


Today at work our women’s network had nationally recognized self-defense speakers Debbie and Mike Gardner. They were excellent and I highly recommend them. She’s a former police officer and I believe he’s still a current officer.  They teach the “really-really” message of how to prevent and/or survive an attack. Excellent stuff but not the same old messages of  fear. This is the gritty stuff that you need to know. But most importantly – it was filled with courage coaching and how to enable yourself to do what you need to do.

The first thing they teach you is why people “freeze”. It’s actually not freezing at all – it’s holding our breath. And when we hold our breath we cannot think, walk, or react because the blood and oxygen aren’t there. There was so much info packed in the 2 hours but it was surprisingly easy to remember.

What really strikes me is, once again, it’s a lesson on not holding our breath as a foundational lesson. It brings another level of awareness that the “breath of life” is indeed not just for stress reduction – it’s for survival. As Debbie says, “The last one breathing wins!”  Here’s a link back to my previous posting/poem related to breathing - Shifting.

There is a repeating message in my life these days. I can shift my life by breathing. I can relax and calm myself by breathing. And now, I can save myself and others by breathing. I’m excited to know that it STARTS with something as simple as this, now the hard part is remembering it and following through with the rest.

And this reminds me of a song … and another “breath” I cannot live without. Take a listen to Amy Grant singing “Breath of Heaven”. 

Breathe my friends! Don’t forget that this simple thing is the key to so many things we need to live and to survive. Breathe and be blessed!

Simplicity – original poem


                                                  SIMPLICITY

Simplicity of living is calling, prodding, and nudging me

Urging examination of the need for the things I see.

Why was it so important to possess just one more?

Could it have been to mask the hole deep inside my core?

The broken heart of my childhood from being sent away

Would not be mended by the woman I am, as I opened my hand to pay.

The rejection I felt from days gone by was the reality I knew inside

But it wasn’t things that was going to fix the wound that was gaping wide.

So I look to clear the clutter of my heart and of my home.

Knowing the space it will open up will allow my spirit to roam.

I won’t trip over object d’art or stash them out of sight.

I’ll release them one by one and then I’ll have room to see the light.

There’s no need to clear it all away for beauty has its place.

But one will do to please my eyes and not steal all my space.

And with the open crevices I’ll find some clear, clean air.

For now there’s room in heart and home for peace if I but dare.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

 

Artwork from:

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/rodney-campbell.html

Inspired Action


I have noticed that my years seem to flow in themes. I started to see this about 3-4 years ago. Since gaining awareness, I also know that these are not themes which I pick, but rather what appears to be the “lesson of the year.” Sometimes the theme reveals itself quite quickly, and other times I see it only in retrospect. They are also wildly variant – from a year of learning (both formal and informal), to spiritual listening, to accepting my personal value, to surrender, etc. This year is shaping up to be the year of inspired action.

Just saying those words, inspired action, makes me both excited and a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, it takes courage to take action when it’s purpose driven. It means I can’t “go with the flow of my emotions” like I desire. It means having a bit of a plan, taking risks, showing my intentions to people. But, in spite of my desire to hesitate, I know that this is the course I’m on.

So what does inspired action look like? Here’s a few examples I’ve come across already:

> Speaking out in support of what’s right in the workplace as it pertains to the gay community at work. Nope, it’s not about religion, but about what’s right from an employee relations and human relations point of view.

> Sharing my spiritual experience and gifting my book to some very influential people in my life.

> Deliberately planting positive messages in the workplace as a way of leaving a legacy.

> Delving into the dark crevices of my heart and soul, really looking at some of the pain points in order to move to forgiveness and emotional healing.

> Purging my home of things I’ve held dear for so long because they no longer serve me.

These are just a few, and they aren’t all easy. But I know that in the end I will gain personal power from the process. This year of inspired action will set me up for what comes next year.

Do you recognize the themes in your life? Awaken your awareness and be blessed!

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary


On my way from home to work each day I pass through several school crossing zones. On most days, other than the reducing of speed, I don’t really notice too much. It’s part of the routine and like most things, becomes part of the background of life. Today, however, for some reason, my mind and focus were caught by a brief exchange on the street.

There was a really little guy, maybe 6 years old, who was heavy laden with this backpack. His walking route included crossing the street at the base of a pretty steep hill across 6 lanes of traffic. I was the front car in my lane at the red light of this intersection and he caught my attention. From my mother’s heart I looked at him with a bit of worry because he was so small and all alone. When he came to the cross walk he looked up at the traffic with wide eyes as there were several big cars, some of which didn’t look like they were preparing to stop, but they did. I could visibly see him mustering up his courage as this was probably the hardest few yards of his entire walk. He was approached by a school crossing guard and with wide and trusting eyes he nodded. With that he reached his tiny hand up to meet the hand of the older gentleman who was to be his sentry and guard across the street. There, in an ordinary moment I saw the utter trust and courage of that little boy. I saw a tender exchange between the two as they, side-by-side and hand-in-hand, started their walk together.

And, then I watched the crossing guard. He knew exactly how precious his ward was and he deliberately, with confidence and authority, caught the eye of each and every driver before he crossed in front of their car. He took his job of protection very seriously and he was not going to let chance or distraction deter him from safely depositing this little boy across 6 lanes of traffic.

Yes, it was an ordinary sight on any ordinary Tuesday. But in that moment I was fully aware of the connection we have to each other as humans – strangers or not, as we carry on our day. We hold life in our hands and we often do not think to notice. Of course, the little boy was safely back on his trek to school in but a moment. The crossing guard kept his watchful eye on the little boy, even beyond his post. I was thankful in that moment for the dedication of this man. Clearly he was in the age of retirement and he could have chosen to sleep in these mornings. But instead, he cared about his community and he cared for “his” kids – enough to be a momentary guardian. What a precious extraordinary, very ordinary moment.

What ordinary moments have you noticed in an extraordinary way today? Be blessed!

Do you see the sparkle?


“When you are strong … you sparkle.”

I don’t know who said that quote but I know it makes me smile. It speaks of the truth. Our inner strength is electric and produces a lightness or shine. Indeed, a sparkle.  Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, that is where the sparkle shows. Do you see the sparkle in eyes or the faces of these people here:

In the face of a hero risking it all

In the performer sharing their gift for the first time

In the eyes of a wounded dreamer unwilling to give up or the father who supported him

In the eyes of a champion who overcame obstacles.

The the face of a child with a new-found accomplishment

In your face when you recognize your own strength

Let us look for the sparkles … and be blessed!

11:59 God


Have you ever noticed that God works on an “11th hour, 59th minute” time frame? It’s been my experience that during those times when things are at crisis mode and I’m about to give up or give in, that’s when He shows his hand.

I cannot tell you how often I’ve found myself with $1 left and a bill due the next day when a refund check I wasn’t expecting surprisingly shows up in the mail. Or another time when my son was a child and he had a mystery fever for 21 day. No doctor or hospital staff in the small town we lived in could find the cause or cure. We were driving the 2 hours back to the big city hospital for invasive tests when the fever broke and was gone before we arrived. No procedures, no painful tests were necessary.

I invite you to look for your own examples – has God been swooping in at the last moment for you as well? I have a theory as to why that is. I don’t know about you but I’m a “fixer”. That means when there’s a problem I will move heaven and earth to figure it out and find the solution. I will do research. I will pray and call on others to pray. I will call in favors or make critical calls to try to influence the people or the circumstances. I truly believe that God helps those who help themselves.

And I also believe that sometimes we have to come to the end of our physical solutions in order to fully and completely leave our problems at his feet. We have to exhaust our ego and our knowledge in order to move into a stance of faith and trust. It is from that position that we can fully appreciate that God is the only resort left. Time after time I have found myself in that postion of knowing that nothing else I can do will make a difference. And that’s when I pray at a deeper level. That’s when I muster the strength to do nothing more than believe and watch for God to move. And oh how deliciously glorious it is when He does indeed move!

So, while I hope that I have gone around this bush enough times to know I’ve learned my lesson, I am still humbly aknowledging that it is in the 11th hour and 59th minute that I see the full and glorious power of God in my life. He has never abandoned me and I believe He never will. His answers are not always what I wish for but they are each and every time, exactly what I need.

I pray that you see the glory of an 11th hour, 59th minute God in your life. Be blessed!

Does your dream take your breath away?


“If you don’t have a dream that takes your breath away or gives you goosebumps – then what are you waiting for? Real living involves adventure, risk, faith and action. Be blessed!” ~ Barbara Bernard Miller