When the universe pushes us another direction

Recently, oh say about a month ago, the universe pushed me. It unexpectedly pushed me hard. It hurt. I wasn’t expecting it as I thought things were ok. Well I guess I wasn’t “seeing” everything I should so the power that is, decided to show me in a very direct way.

What do I mean by “push”? It’s when I hit a bump in the road, things are not going my way, things don’t work right or go smoothly or in the case of a month ago I hit a brick wall and was forced another direction.

As many of you know I recently went to see Oprah in person. It was a day and a half seminar with Oprah, Iyanla Vansant, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert & Rob Bell. It was an incredible experience with 6,000 others. Oprah referenced this by the universe starting with pebbles. Pebbles are little signs or hints that you may be on a road that is not for you, or maybe not good for you. She said if you don’t notice the pebbles a rock might come your way, then a brick and eventually a brick wall if you aren’t paying attention. Well I mustn’t have been paying attention.

These brick walls can hurt at first because I obviously thought things were good. Now I’ve had a month and things are much better and becoming clearer. Now that I look back I can see the pebbles, then the rock and even the brick that I ignored. I didn’t want to see them so I didn’t.

What I can learn from this is to listen to the universe and my gut. To be aware of the pebbles, to notice the rock and to listen to the brick. At any point if I am paying attention and being honest with myself I can turn or change my direction before the brick wall … where the universe does it for me.

The good thing is that in these brick walls, or as I put it in that post a month ago “clouds”, is that there is a new direction, a better direction and life once we change course. There is a rainbow in there, a blessing. I can learn, did learn and am still learning. I’m thankful for my push, it’s definitely shown me a better path. Now I will try to learn to notice the pebbles…

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What would you do?

Yesterday I’m driving home and I am half a block from my house about to turn the corner. I see a man walking a large older yellow lab. He’s yanking the lead and yelling at the dog and then kicks it, not hard … but a kick anyway. I have to slow to a stop at the corner so since my windows were down I simply said “looks like you’ve got an old fellow there”. The man turns, obviously surprised, and angrily says to me “He’s just lazy” as he yanks the poor dogs head again with the lead.

I feel the anger growing in me but figure that I should move on and leave this man alone. I turn the corner then park on the street in front of my houses half a block down. As I’m locking my car I see that the man has turned the corner and is heading my way. Then I see the dog stop and take a big crap. The man starts yelling at the dog again and he does pull out a bag and pick it up as he yells. (At least he picked up the poop). I can’t contain myself as my Irish temper is making the hair stand up on the back of my neck as the man jerks the dog and continues to yell. So I pipe up with the comment “you know sir, I have found that kindness goes a long way”. Well you can only imagine the look I got from this man as he yelled back at me to mind my own expletive business.

Ok so this man is coming toward me as I start up my front steps. As he is now in front of my house I can’t help myself as I say something about being nice to the dog would make his walk nicer too and he yanks the dog and yells something back to me. I do remember looking at him and saying “Well sir I bless your dog and hope your day gets better” and he basically told me to go to hell as I opened my door and stepped inside. I was boiling by now.

It took some time and thinking to calm myself down. I had to remember I am not in that poor mans shoes.  I don’t know what had put him in his mood. He wasn’t actually hurting the poor dog, if he had been I would have gone further. I could only pray for the dog at this point and hope that this was not an ongoing thing or worse. I had to let it go for now. Love my dogs. Hope that somehow the man’s day got better, or at least better for the dog. I had to be thankful I was not the man, nor his dog.

Today I write about it and contemplate how I react to people in situations like this. How do I help and not harm or add to it? How do I feel? What is right? …

What would you do?

Fearsome bakes …

Today I baked another cake for my Sunday morning group. I baked a cake that I love to make and everyone who has it loves it too… It’s easy and delicious. It’s a quick one I started making awhile back based from a Betty Crocker mix and modified.

As I’ve said before I love the ritual of baking. It’s an art that gives me so much reward. So here goes…

Fearsome’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 box of Betty Crocker Butter Yellow Cake Mix

Make batter by Using 1 whole stick of melted butter (instead of the oil) and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and then mix as directed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a 13×9 inch glass pan pour another stick of melted butter (not the one you’ve already used for the cake) slosh the melted butter around to coat pan the let rest sit on bottom. Pour one 16 ounce bag of brown sugar into baking pan and pat out evenly into butter. Place rings of canned pineapple from one end of pan to other evenly and tightly. Pour just a little pineapple juice into center of each pineapple ring. Then pour the cake batter on top and even it out.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick placed in center comes out clean. Cool for one – two hours and flip out onto a cookie sheet.

It’s simple and easy. All that butter and brown sugar…who couldn’t resist?

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Faults? Me?

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”   …Marcus Aurelius

It’s so easy in this mind of mine to find fault in others. My mind just chatters at times. Hopefully it just chatters and doesn’t say things out loud. So this quote reminds me to stop, especially before I speak, and ask myself that question. I can usually find I have a very similar or even the same fault. I must then have empathy and reserve my judgment. I have that fault or a very similar one and thus I should have patience with that person.

This gives me good insight into myself as I need to be aware of my own faults. I need to remember we all have faults. I am human. I am not perfect and the best I can do is work on my own faults to get better and to be better. I’m not trying to be perfect, I just need to strive to be good. As long as I’m working to better myself, I am doing well and making progress.

I must be aware and not judge others. We are all human.  It reminds me of a phrase I heard as a child and love to this day: “Glass Houses”

The ABCs of Life

My nephew, knowing my life outlook, saw a plaque he thought I’d like and gave it to me as a gift (thank you Josh). It’s the ABCs of life. I think it’s a good thought to share.

Accept differences

Be kind

Count your blessings

Dream

Express thanks

Forgive

Give freely

Harm no one

Imagine more

Jettison anger

Keep confidences

Love truly

Master something

Nurture hope

Open your mind

Pack lightly

Quell rumors

Reciprocate

Seek wisdom

Touch hearts

Understand

Value truth

Win graciously

Xeriscape

Yearn for peace

Zealously support a worthy cause

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Last home game of the season

It’s a beautiful evening in San Diego. A great night for baseball. I love baseball. It’s the last night here in my seats until opening day 2015. Last home game of the season. Sitting here with my seat mate two nieces and nephews girlfriend. The Padres just hit a three run home run. Woo hoo!!!

In baseball every at bat is a new beginning. Every play is a new adventure. It is a place where a beautiful stadium is filled with wonderful scents of cooking food and fresh air breezes blow. Young kids and those who are young at heart relax, laugh, cheer and share. We sing the national anthem and dance in the stands to the latest hits and classic rock. We honor our veterans and hope our team wins.

I’ll  miss coming here but will be back in 6 months for a whole new season filled with new hopes, dreams and fun. Goodbye baseball 2014, thank you for the fun, friendship, memories and friends.

Petco Park 9/24/14 Padres vs Colorado Rockies

Petco Park 9/24/14 Padres vs Colorado Rockies

Quality issues

I have an issue:

I have choices.

At times I feel confused. I am feeling a need to grow, to go deeper and to understand myself, my purpose, better. I am grateful I have such a quality issue. But where do I go? What do I do? What is it I really want? What will fulfill me? What will be my highest potential? What would make a difference? How will I know it is the right choice?

These questions can go on and on. I feel at times we all feel this way and have this issue.

In my quest I started this blog. I already feel a deeper connection with myself because I write it down. Score! It’s a start and it feels right. I am reading books, meditating, watching appropriate positive television, challenging my beliefs and have been to a couple of seminars. The latest one was in Washington DC this past weekend with Oprah. It’s all resonating and feeling good. Score!

So what one thing can I do today to move me toward my goal of a more meaningful life and a life that positively impacts those close to me and those that I encounter throughout the day?

With the rising sun I will ask myself “What will I make of this New Day?” And I will ask myself that every morning as I feel gratitude for each new day as it arrives. Each morning is a new beginning and I can make something good out of it, as long as I choose to.

I believe that as long as I make a good choice and do good things, I will move toward a better and better life. I feel that issues will diminish and that the choices will become clear. Maya Angelou simply stated it in her words “Do Good”.

Below are memorials to two good men who did good things and left a great legacy, may they inspire me as well as you. May your day be blessed.

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial

A closer view of the inspirational man, who with good choices kept a country united.

A closer view of the inspirational man, who with good choices kept a country united.

On the side of the Martin Luther King Memorial

On the side of the Martin Luther King Memorial

Martin Luther King as large as his inspiration

Martin Luther King as large as his inspiration