That Will Cost You!

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Not sure of the fine print? Did you omit the details of the deal? A failure to pay attention can turn out to be expensive.

Overreact and you might pay more than what’s necessary. Misread the conversation and the opportunity may slip right through your fingers. Use the wrong opening line and the lady might dismiss you forever. Mistakes can be costly. Beyond the loss of dollars and cents are the larger questions we have when it comes to making sense in the first place. We are not always rational.

Many people would like to live their lives completely open. An open heart, open mind, and being open to learning and exploring. They want to discover what’s behind door number 3. The vulnerability, of positioning yourself this way, can cost you. When you choose to see the world through innocent and nonthreatening eyes you may have some sharks swimming near you who think it is their right to take a bite out of you. We must decide for ourselves the sincerity and authenticity of the way we live our lives.

The chances we take reflects, to some degree, what matters to us. The more important something is the more we seem willing to risk. We can lose our vibrancy and vitality by one too many things not going our way. When enough things don’t work out optimism can yield to pessimism. Fight or flight remains faithful in offering us the choice for every life encounter. There is a significant monetary, emotional, and sometimes physical cost to consider in all of our decisions. What will this cost if I do and what will this cost if I don’t.

I think we have all been cautioned about, never say never. I find never has been granted an inflated ego. I have some “never again’s” that are permanent. The book has been closed. I learned my lesson concerning that. It’s over, finished, been there – done that. It’s a matter of wisdom, maturity, and experience. We are resolved enough to mentor any student ready to learn, about that. We have determined the cost, for that particular commodity, is too high. It’s just not worth it.


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Then there are the things that may have caused pain, heartache, and discomfort. We say, I’m not going to ever try again. Maybe it’s love, or a dream, or going after a job you really want. You got shut down and it left you unstable, immobilized, or fearful. We artificially inseminate our lives with isolation, disconnection, and cocoon in disappointment. The knock at the door is the same; what will this cost if I choose to never try again? Maybe it is worth it to re-engage in the things I place a high value on. If I stay stunted it could cost me and I might forfeit the very reason I’m alive! Just maybe, in fact, it is worth it. We might need to risk again.

Everything has a price-tag. Whatever you decided will cost you!

Do you think we get what we pay for?



Walk With Me!


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My work is to encourage people to never give up on their dreams. To press through the hard times. To believe in the hope of better days. To celebrate every accomplishment with everyone I can. I have benefited from words of inspiration, the camaraderie of  life-giving thoughts, and living examples. I’ve known the sweet experience of walking with people who only want the best for you. I’ve been on the receiving end of tremendous generosity. Giving back isn’t a sacrifice for me, it’s a labor of love.

Jaden buried in sand

My grandson, Jaden, at the Aquatic Park, beach in San Francisco.

Not everything that I set out to do has worked out the way I wanted. I press on! My companions have changed many times over the years. I walk on! Sometimes I’ve had to walk alone. Sometimes I’ve chosen poorly in deciding who to walk with. I walk on! Disappointment has dominated my psyche. My own failures have sidelined me, at times. Instead of becoming a beggar, I walk on. I’ve known my share of rejection. I’ve learned to walk on quickly.

I would rank abandonment as one of life’s worst experiences. Not only the disappearance of key people in your life, but also, the withholding of affection. Betrayal, professionally or personally, can rock your boat. You might not be able to walk on water but you can, walk on, even if you can barely breathe. If nobody wants to help you, help yourself. When you do, other people and relationships will show up, to advance you and your causes. I know this to be true. Sometimes what looks like rejection is really protection. Some relationships will keep you from becoming a complete you.

Most everyone I know has been invited to quit. On a regular basis. Things can break your heart. Just don’t let it break your spirit. Walk on! There is a divine intention that came with your first breath. No matter what has happened that intention is purposely trying to lead you to abundance. Walk on! You don’t want to give your consent to being disqualified from life. Walk on! Walk on! Walk on! There is nothing powerful enough, to block aligning with providence, except forfeiture. Don’t be a spectator of your life. Please, walk on!

Who hasn’t been stuck, paralyzed, or disheartened at some time or another? Even if you feel buried under layers and layers of  setbacks, kerfuffles, and blow-outs; walk on! I have dug myself out of some deep pits. I’ve been in some places so dry my mouth was scorched. I’ve seen the mountaintop crumble into the sea. I have stood alone in the darkest of nights. I walk on because I still see the pinnacle.


Walking with Jaden at Lands End in San Francisco.

The universe isn’t dangling the proverbial carrot in front of you. The possibilities of what can happen aren’t teasers to make a fool out of you. That pull toward higher ground is not an illusion. Your imagination isn’t playing tricks on you. Believe! Believe that the spark residing inside you will lead to a three-alarm fire. You have an incomplete assignment with success. You have a rendezvous with destiny, if you will just walk on!!!!

In spite of past achievements and failures, I’m walking on. In your own way and in your own life, will you, walk with me?






Big Business!


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The value of anything is determined by its exchange rate. The price the seller will accept and the price the buyer will pay is a basis for establishing value. But an exceptional bargain might negate the theory. Out of desperation the seller might sell something below its worth. The buyer may know this and scoop it up. Bargain hunters are aplenty!


With a family to support, and in a pinch, I sold a Gibson 335 guitar with a Roland Jazz 120 amp. I deeply discounted the pair for a quick sale. Sold them for less than half of what they were worth. They were prized possessions. I wasn’t that good of a guitar player but I had hope that I would be someday. We got through the tough time we were in. My kids were glad to have food on the table. I still miss the stuff. Wish I had them back. I didn’t pursue learning the instrument after that.

Possessions are different from our lives. Manufactured items and experiences have a shelf life. They won’t last forever. I doubt they were ever meant too. Junkyards are full of what used to be exciting. Very few things we acquire appreciate. Many things lose value at the point of sale. Even a lifetime of savings can be gone in a day. Manipulated markets crash. People get laid off. Life can change quick.


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It’s easy to take temporal things as a template for what is priceless. Our lives are different from possessions. They never go down in value. The most ravaged among us, the most addicted, even those who seem too far gone to ever come back are as valuable as the day they were born. Maybe not to you. It’s quite possible you can’t see their worth. But love can!


I had a new car. I was up at Big Bear to speak at a youth camp. I was on my way to pick up a few things from the convenience store. Coming toward me, down the hill, on a two lane road was a car completely out of control. I had nowhere to go. I brought my car to a stop. The other car was all over the road, skidding from side to side. I was frozen in place as this car fishtailed, finally broadsided into the driver side of my car. He was drunk and got away with it. $16,000 dollars damage to my vehicle.

My car was never the same. I ended up trading it just to be free from the disappointment. Somethings can’t ever be made right. The loss is permanent. But that’s not true of your life. Some opportunities have passed. Some relationships are no longer possible. Some choices are final. Some decisions can’t be undone. But your life is just as valuable as the day you took your first breath.


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Accidents of omission and commission are equally repairable. We live down to expectations when we feel an agreement with untruths. Even self-sabotage is dismiss-able. Broken and dysfunctional people prey on the wounded. Too many make a business out of exploiting others. Reveling in the revealing of secrets. Leeches living on those struggling to breathe. They will always be small businesses. Bankrupt of virtue before they ever open shop.

When you rise from the ashes. Claim the life you were meant to have. Separate truth from fiction. Live up to the inherent worthiness that waits for you. That’s Big Business. It’s never too late. Start today!

Are you getting what you’re worth?


On Purpose!

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We will do these three things today.


We will be deciding all day long what we will devour. Not just how we nourish our body, but, how we feed our spirit. Some will experience the pain of gain while others will deal with the pain of loss. For whatever time we are not sleeping, conscious and unconscious vibrations, energy, and patterns will be hard at work. Our reactions to everything will determine if we are eating healthy.



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We will feel things today. All day! Things we don’t want to feel and things we do. Some will be familiar to us, having interacted, on so many occasions. Other feelings might seem strange and distant. There will no doubt be, some mystery and romance, toying with our affections. How we feel about our selves dominates how we feel about every thing. The treacherous feeling of hate could make an appearance. But, will he be invited to stay? Opportunities to give and receive love and kindness will be all over the landscape, will we feel each one? Nothing is more inaccurate, than to think you have no control, over what you feel.


You can expect somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 thousand thoughts today. About 35 to 48 every minute. The courtship of thoughts and feelings meet at the designated spot. The hiding place of secret lovers where the head and the heart fall into one another’s arms. The relationship will help or hurt. Support or abuse. Like the items on a smorgasbord we have to choose wisely. Thoughts are like birds. We can’t stop them from flying over our heads but we can stop them from making a nest in our hair. Whether on purpose or by default what we think about we bring about. Thoughts take us in one of two directions.

What will you dine on today?


May I Help?


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My goals for writing are simple. I write to make the world a better place. To help someone feel better. To empower others. To share what I have learned. To create conversation. And to question the way we think

The Spice

I’ve come to understand that beyond our differences we’re mostly the same.  Our differences do matter. Not everyone wants to change the world. Some people want to simply enjoy the world they live in. We have spotlight seekers and we have those who prefer to be behind the scenes. There are those who use others to feel good and those who spend their life bringing joy to someone else.

A favorite color to one is disliked by another. Difference is part of uniqueness. How bland would the world be with only one color in it? Taste in sports, style, entertainment speak to a persons individuality. Our gene pool, culture, and exposure will be factors in our choices. Judgement isn’t always rational and fact driven. Sometimes, its reactionary, based on personal pain or disappointment. Two of us can see an event or hear a story and report two separate versions.

Our perceptions of ourselves affect how we see other people. We can be uncomfortable with what we know and also with the unknown. Fear can be a friend or an enemy. We will be constantly reminded of our differences. Authenticity isn’t about standing in a crowd it’s about finding the courage to stand alone. Whether there’s a crowd or not. To be real it might take facing the crowd in opposition.

Negative points of view are much different from positive points of view. But they each draw conclusions. Passion comes in two dominate flavors; love and hate. Much of the driving force behind creative endeavors is traced to these dictators. They inspire the pictures we paint of our lives. Love and hate show up in our movies, music, and in our motives. And, in writings.


Shock jocks might think they’re teaching us all a lesson but, if they didn’t get attention, they wouldn’t do it. You will find many doing what they receive praise for doing. Others only get involved if they can remain anonymous. I think there are people genuinely embarrassed to be publicly acknowledged. And there are people who are wrecked if they don’t get their due.

Our achievements allow us to taste possibility. Our failures can and should alert us to things we’ve been ignoring. These are two of our best instructors. They can show us the abundance in moderation. War-mongers and conquest thinkers get a lot of publicity. But peacemakers are needed to keep things in balance. Often people think their opinion reigns supreme while tragically discarding difference.


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Those of us who understand equity, the value of a dollar, and how to protect an investment will make repairs before trashing anything. Our most prized assets will always be our relationships. We can each stomp our feet, throw temper tantrums, and threaten one another with excommunication from our social world order. But, I ask the question, can’t we do better? Is destroying other human beings the best we can do? It just seems a bit too much like Hitler, Stalin, and McCarthy. An attitude of, if you disagree with me, you have no right to exist! Really? I mean, really?

Solid Ground

The internal battles we lose have a way of showing up in the public square. To wage a successful campaign it’s best not to confuse fighting within ourselves with fighting among ourselves. The human experience is best savored when no one has to be eaten, devastated, or destroyed. I’m doubtful being unreasonable will ever become virtuous. I will defend my loved ones when needed. It’s just that, I’ve never met a paper tiger, with any actual teeth.

How can we improve on civility?


Rhyme Or Reason!

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Thought I would do something different for this post. Hope you have a fantabulous weekend!



Here a little and there a little

I slowly made the move

Exchanging wrong for right

Figuring out my groove

My feet were always dancing

Even when I had no shoes

A real act of balancing

To discover my personal truth

Tiny nuggets of liberty

On the menu of life events

Just beside the fallacies

Painful pleasures never make any sense

-Rick Amitin


The Past

I understand your desire

To stay with me forever

Every night and day together

Makes this difficult, however

It has come to my attention

You don’t have my best interests at heart

Devastation is your intention

Keeping me and completion apart

As a friend you’re an imposter

Caught with your hand in my cookie jar

In a time for soaring heights

You’re the reason I can’t get far

So I’ve made the tough decision

I must bid you a final farewell

If you try to follow me

You’ll be defeated by my liberated swell

Believe me when I tell you, I’m just as surprised as you

Becoming totally clear, of what it is I have to do

I’ve never even considered, what we had would fail to last

Until I realized, all you have to offer, is the past

-Rick Amitin



A smile can’t be found, trying hard not to drown

Uncontrollable emotions, multiply and abound

Driven to the bone, from this dictator’s throne

Thoughts refuse direction, acting out on their own

In a very specific way, in my life you have a place

Keeping from physical harm, is a definite gift of grace

Assuming to always be welcome, you really cross the line

Causing worry and trembling, tormenting in the mind


It’s an obvious battle, since you ignore demand for eviction

When it comes right down to it, the final word is conviction

With knots in the pit of my stomach, I rise to stand my ground

You’re just a phony counterfeit, no real power to keep me bound

I will continue to see you, as a fierce competitor indeed

Occasionally plucking your root, like any other weed

Life is ever so fragile, should always be handled with care

I have learned to never dismiss, the whisper of beware


To prevent my life from being, a tragic cautionary tale

I will have to face you squarely, letting the wind fill my sail

The call of a dream is relenting, keeping one up through the night

The worst thing that can happen is, to miss your life for fright

What we don’t know can be scary, play silly games in the head

Solve the many mysteries, take charge of your life instead

Even on the best days, this coward finds the means to appear

It matters very little, it’s just deceptive fear

-Rick Amitin


I would appreciate your thoughts, critiques, or anything you might want to share.

The Legato Effect!


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Advantage of Defining!

Some people like variety while others resist all change. Perhaps we would do ourselves a favor by switching things up a bit. At the risk of utilizing a worn out statement, I offer the familiar definition of insanity; “Do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” To get something you don’t have you will have to do something you’re not doing.

In one of my life-changing exercises I identified my seven most defining moments. It wasn’t an easy task. My biggest complaints, as it turned out, weren’t all that defining. My complaints only provide an in-depth explanation of my response to defining moments, not the moments themselves. I discovered that in the absence of celebration I complain.

I learned that my attitude often caused me to dig my heels in. Which, of course, kept my feet from dancing. Some of those less than desirable life events, you know the kind I speak of, should never have happened. It took me a long time, too long by my own admission, to learn how to handle betrayal and being violated. Especially from sources that are supposed to be above such activity. You guessed it. I found myself doing things I hated. I did some things to others I didn’t want done to me.

What I focus on I become!

The Law of Attraction, what you think about you bring about, are principles that open us up to understanding the impact we have on ourselves. The American grand piano has three-foot pedals. The sustain pedal has the result of continuing the sound after the keys have been lifted. Constant pressure on the pedal resonates the sounds long after the strings were struck (legato). I have literally become a part of a perceived injustice by keeping the pain and disappointment alive with mental and emotional energy.


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Without knowing it, I created a legato effect. Keeping myself tied to the very experience I want to get over. Hence: moving on becomes difficult. In an enlightened way, it is completely pellucid to me now. My antipodal thinking wasn’t fertile enough to spawn transformation, let alone, miracles. In my case, my commitment to righting every wrong led me astray. Preoccupation with wrong made me wrong-headed.

Catch and Release!

Disbelief can be as paralyzing as faith can be mobilizing. Between the cradle and the grave, it’s reasonable to assume, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for chaos, incertitude, and perplexity. I’ve been on both ends of less than excellent human interactions. There are powerful and effective ways to shorten the lifespan of baggage that wants to stay alive.

Take your foot off the sustain pedal; you don’t want to hold that note. Release the stranglehold on your perpetrator; you’re cutting off your own oxygen. Dust yourself off; everyone hits the dirt sometime. Forgive yourself; your loved ones will thank you. Always remember, don’t let experiences define you. No matter how devastating! If you deserve better, and you do, prove it. Give yourself the rest of you life.

How do you get over things?

Daily Prompt: Recharge

via Daily Prompt: Recharge


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What a day! I have nothing left. This is the way I like it. Pouring out the last drop of oomph I have left in me. Everyone has their own version of fun. I have mine. I enjoy the sweat dripping from my brow. My muscles burning as I tax their limits. Deep, life saving breaths, keep me feeling alive.

I remember the first time I witnessed camaraderie. Sports introduced me to shared goals. I took notice of how connection formed around a hoop, a home plate, or a goal post. Funny how so many things begin in an end zone. Even individual sports like tennis required a team of coaches, trainers, and practice partners.

I caught the distinctions among players. It was like a dividing line. A mark of demarcation. Some participants were only there to have fun. Pushing themselves to discover their limits, to explore potential, or to become great was not of interest to them. The minute it becomes too competitive they look for the exit.

The warrior mentality is evident in the other group. Win at all cost. Take no prisoners. Besting an opponent, for them, is like blood to a mosquito. They crave the adrenaline rush of high-octane challenges. They want to know. They have to know if they’re good enough to become great. When they walk off the battlefield, of competitive play, they ask themselves one question; is that the best I have in me?

I was good, but, not good enough. I made it to the minor leagues and that is where my aspirations ended. I would not play professional baseball. I had made my decision. Many thought I was wrong. I was an accomplished tight end receiver. Fast, agile, with good hands. I liked football, just not as much as I liked baseball. Could I have made it in football? We’ll never know.

Accepting, my fate in life, I moved into the workforce. I had taken the summer to settle my disappointment. I knew I would still have to deal with all the comments meant to encourage me. Some would share their thoughts about my choice of sports. People who believed in me have a right to their own disappoint. I knew it would pass, for each of us, in time.

I will follow my dad and two older brothers into the oil fields. It’s hard work, but, it pays well. There’s a future in it. Possibilities for promotion are there for the taking. I will ask my girl to marry me. We’ve known each other our whole lives. Dated since the ninth grade. Everyone expects us to wed. I’ve never considered another girl. Sally Jane is the only woman I’ve ever wanted.

I can see us with a beautiful home. At least three kids. Maybe a couple of dogs. I know we’ll be happy together. We’ll find our bliss. Raise our family. Reach our goals. We’ll find a way to live the dream. I’m determined to not let my failure, to turn pro, make me a loser. It’s over. The faster I move on the better my life will be.

I didn’t see it coming. It was my first day on the job. Nobody warned me until it was too late. The last thing I remember, before I woke up in the hospital, were the voices screaming, watch out! When a pipe is about to burst there’s a sound that regulars recognize. They know to run. There was a loud explosion that sent a piece of steel straight at me. The force was incredible. I lost both of my legs.

Sally Jane takes me to see the boys play football on Friday nights. She has never left my side. Our twin sons are great athletes. As my wife wheels me to my favorite spot on the sideline, I go to work. I can’t get out of this chair but I don’t let that stop me. I don’t even let it hinder me.

I yell and scream. Flay my arms around. Jump up and down inside. I give myself a thorough workout cheering for my sons. I’m so proud of them. Sometimes our side wins and sometime we don’t. They leave it all on the field and I leave it all in the stands.

We arrive back home. I recharge, so I can do it all again!



Who’s The Most Qualified?


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Here’s the question; what kind of sandwich is not too fattening? The answer; half a sandwich. See how easy that was? Man by nature is a problem solver. Try to imagine life without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. Things such as X-Ray, DNA, and MRI are solutions to dilemmas. Don’t forget about planes, trains, and automobiles. If there is a problem there is an answer. From the Theory of Relativity to the Periodic Table we are known for figuring things out.

We Don’t Always Like Answers!

According to Crime Clock, one person is murdered every 31 minutes. One person is raped every 1.9 minutes. One home is burglarized every 18 seconds. Every 4.2 minutes, an elderly person, is the victim of violent crime. One child is reported abused or neglected every 34.9 seconds. What happens to our problem-solving skills? Does wisdom run away from home? 

  “If you don’t work you don’t eat. Keep your hands to yourself. If you can’t afford to buy it you don’t get it.”  

  Is common sense really that distasteful? Is it so bitter we can’t drink it? Is it so tough we just can’t chew it? 

First Do No Harm!

Whether the oath is actual or implicit we’re right to expect more from ourselves. Our prisons house not only the down and out but, the up and out too. Many positions that were once held in high esteem have seen better days. Men and women have broken public trust. Turned service to others into a dirty word. Greed is the root of unrest. Yes, you can find entitlement thinking on our welfare rolls but, if you want to see our worst cases, go to the Halls where Justice is Suppose to Be! I challenge you to find greater selfishness than the people sitting behind desks of power. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. - Lord Acton

Harsh Remedies Not Harsh Blame!

Human beings make mistakes. The humanitarian in us forgives. The god in us restores! You just can’t find Jesus to escape the consequences of your actions. Being sorry you got caught has never been the same as being sorry for what you did. When you see the energy employed to beat the system you realize there is enough creative juice to stay above the fray. It comes down to choice!

It’s a popular misconception that the phrase “First do no harm” is part of the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors. While it is implied, the actual statement, is not formed in the pledge. What if we made it a part of our commitment to ourselves and to each other? What if the rule formed the basis for all human interaction. What if I never had to question if you are cheating me. What if you knew, deep down, the person you’re doing business with would never defraud you. What if you could trust that every one of your relationships would always put you first? Would that change the world. Would it change your world?

Cynicism Is Too Expensive! 

Skepticism is a currency that will surely bankrupt us all. I mean, really. If we can’t change the world why bother to change ourselves? C’mon man! It starts with us, always! How did so many of us become addicted to the kool-aid? And how did we get such an abundant supply? Every flavor imaginable designed to numb us from reality. The water of life is found by me genuinely caring about you! And your well-being.


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Awake! Come Alive! Get in the Game. Show up for yourself. You will make a difference for you and for me! Lying is for people who don’t think they’re good enough. Denial is when people think the truth is too terrible for human consumption. You’ve never been that bad – or – that good, for that matter! Decide what you really want. What’s really important to you. Then, hire yourself to get the job done. You’re the only one qualified to build the life of your dreams!!!

How are you putting yourself to work?





Where you start

Sometimes the details take over the story. When reality gets buried you’ll have to dig. You become the diamond in the rough. The circumstances that wilted innocence, tried to stomp the life out of you, and filled your mouth with self chastisement has never affected your value. They only disguise it.

Carbon Buildup Means Nothing To A Diamond

Not everyone has the same path. But, we all do have the same destination. In between the cradle and the grave is the potential to shine. Diamonds are formed, in the area called the Mantle, between the earth’s crust and its superheated core. A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well. When the temperature reaches about 2700 degrees fahrenheit and, pressure is equivalent to 400 grown men standing on your foot, carbon becomes diamond.

Diamonds are formed in a depth where no human can survive. Heat and pressure explode the jewels to the surface where they can be discovered. They begin as larger stones. The goal is to cut the biggest diamond possible while removing imperfections that lessen its value. If the diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, light will leak out of the bottom, making the center dark and dull. All the stuff we humans do to ourselves, and each other, are the imperfections to be cut away. We are just underneath the errors. When confusion is extracted, priceless is revealed.

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” – Rumi

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We can talk about, magnify, even embrace the carbon that hides the gem. Those terrible, disgusting, violations that camouflage our virtue. If all we ever elevate are the layers that need to be removed we’re likely to miss our lives. If the theme of your life is what went wrong, it’s time to get a life. If your community only talks about what you did wrong, it’s time to find your people. Perfection is not what you let in it’s what you let out!

Light only leaks from human cuts. Light isn’t trying to come or go. Its desire is to be, remain, and sustain.  Our attraction to bright, shiny, glitter is simply a desire to find a match for our internal longing. can’t touch this. A perfect mate is a life giver. A lifter, supporter, and fulfiller. Light gives and we give what we receive. We are healed when what we give away leaves us satisfied. Takers upset the apple cart. Two halves can only create a ouchiemama! (used literary license)

mary oliver

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We just aren’t suited to court devastation, date hollow-grams, and romance pain. Nor to find our pleasure in brokenness, darkness, and separation. The only way I know for a whiner to become a winner is to change the water into wine. From the pink and colorless Sparklers to the deep blue of Hope Diamonds, the world’s premier stones vary in size, color, and origin. The Oppenheimer Blue is the most expensive diamond to ever be auctioned. Selling for 57.5 million dollars. Hard to believe it was once a charcoal lump buried too deep to be visible.

The worst that can happen is to die a buried diamond. Hidden in the carnage of imitation. Mine the precious stone that is you, and Shine!