Heart to Heart 279

Let The Light Shine Through

Lou Ann and I went to see A Wrinkle in Time today.  A huge movie with a stellar cast and a wonderful story about all of us.  There was a line in the movie that said “wounds are where the light shines through”.  All of us have wounds and we patch them up both physically and emotionally. Many of us try to hide them or forget them when they carry too much trauma.  This movie line was perhaps a paraphrase of the remarkable Persian poet Rumi. He said ” The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

This is what some of the greatest thinkers in existence knew, and what every person who wants to be at peace should: your suffering is not punishment. It is a tool, like anything else, to deepen your awareness and expand your consciousness. In other words: to make you more present, and more capable of feeling the joy and light and gift of that present moment. That probably sounds deliriously, annoyingly optimistic, especially when you’re in the thick of it, but remember that anger is recognition, and the inability to accept.

The paragraph above was written by Brianna Wiest.  Here are some other quotes:  “I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Kahlil Gibran

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Perhaps we can be thankful for the pain and suffering we have experienced in our life.  They have honed and designed us into the magnificent beings that we are.  When we finally surrender and allow the light to shine through all our life experiences we do indeed get to be a shining star!   From my shining heart to yours, Thomas



Heart to Heart 278

I Set Myself Free

Today’s just like any day but it’s not any day.  Today’s the day I finally found the courage to give myself a lift.  Everything’s much clearer since I gave myself this gift.  I set myself free, I set myself free, free to be the best me I can be. I set myself free, I set myself free, since I stepped out of my way, there’s no stopping me.  I’m diving into life from an exhilarating height and refusing to be held back by a little thing called fright.  Growing stronger branching out like the strongest tree, I set myself free.

Watch me grow, watch me grow, truth is all I ever want to know.  As I go forward one thing is clear, the only thing that matters is right here. And all the stumbling blocks that held me back came tumbling down, I’m lighter than I’ve ever been and two feet off the ground.  I’m filling up with love and I let it overflow, watch me grow.

Just breathing in and breathing out, got me on the track, I found myself again and it’s good to have me back. And I will conquer any obstacle some how, and the most important time is happening now.  And giving up the fight was an incredible release and for the first time in my life I feel a total inner peace.  Growing stronger, getting better, making changes, loving more, I will open any door, getting closer every minute to the person that is me, I set myself free, Oh I am free, yes I am free!

These are the lyrics to a fantastic song, Lou Ann and I learned some thirty years ago. I am writing them from memory so I am sure they are not exact, but close enough. It was performed and recorded by Michael Byers a fabulous singer/actor/dancer.  These lyrics should be copied and put up on all of our bulletin boards, mirrors, refrigerators or any place that you can see them daily. I hope you adopt them as your life mantra or personal declaration of total independence.  From my “free”  heart to yours, Thomas


Heart to Heart 276

Making a Difference

Lou Ann and I have been working on sourcing, finding, screening and reviewing movies for the past four months.  Our team is near the end of the process.  Six of us spent the day going over about eighty films we thought worthy of being in the Illuminate Film Festival.  It was exciting to be a part of this event.  We look at films in several possible ways.  Do they inspire?  Do they transform?  Are they well made?  Will they make a difference?  Are they marketable from a distributor’s point of view?  Categories such as healthy food, life purpose, personal healing, climate change, overcoming poverty, saving animals, the environment, spiritual wisdom and many more.

We have a lot a fun being together and we also take our task seriously.  We know that cinema is a powerful medium to make a profound affect on our planet.  We fall in love with some films because we see the passion filmmakers have about their subject.  We watch people save elephants, giraffes, wolves, whales, dolphins, gorillas and apes.  All of these wonderful creatures have no voice except for the brave committed filmmakers who tell their stories.  We worked ten hours and finally came up with the final twenty two, plus a couple of alternates, that will be in the festival this coming June.  Now we get to invite the amazing folks who made these films to be a part of our fifth year.

It will be exciting letting them know that their hard work, has been noticed and rewarded.  In the next few weeks we will let all of you know what will be on the agenda.  If you have a chance, go to illuminatefilmfestival.com and purchase a pass or become a member.  It will help make our world a better place “for you and for me and the whole wide human race”.  Just sayin…. From my illuminated heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 275

The Shadow of Your Smile

Lou Ann and I just watched another excellent film about how we all perceive life.  Each of us has developed a story about what has happened to us.  This story is a combination of our life experiences and our understanding and reaction to them.  It often replaces what is really going on.  We believe in it so much, that it keeps us stuck and prevents us from fulfilling our magnificence.  In the movie several attendees went through four weekend workshops. They got in touch with their shadow side, that part of our unconscious that records everything. They also found out how wonderful they are from the other participants. They went through deep processes so that they could live their lives in the present, not in their story.  It is something that would be of value to almost everyone.

Synchronistically, our good Astrologer friend in Hawaii sent us how the current configuration of the skies my affect us.  Here is what she shared:

New Moon, Sun, etc in Pieces, Depths of emotion, intuition, spiritual existence(to many it is the unknown). Let go of the past that hinders your connection to your true Divine Love. Bridge Heaven & Earth, use your imagination, meditate in your own way, come to unconditional Love & Forgiveness.  Lift the Veil & Transcend.  Release aggression, resolve conflicts. BREATH. MOVE forward without hurting others. Renew your relationship with the invisible; reconnect with your divine truth-UNION. Rest, spiritually replenish. allow silence & let creative energy flow. Deep wounds may surface and it may be an opportunity to practice unconditional Love & acceptance. Open to Love & all Truths.  We all have shadows, we are all Holy. We are preparing to bring our creations and dreams into reality.

It was almost identical to the message of the movie.  Thank you Universe! I would encourage anyone who has not looked at how they hold their life story, to examine it. It will set you free! From my inquiring heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 274

Love In Action

Just saw another wonderful movie about an American documentary filmmaker and a Cambodian lady who are personally saving Elephants.  It is a beautiful story about these amazing giants.  They are being slaughtered like all wild animals across the Earth.  This film was so well done and so full of heart.  The Cambodian woman has rescued forty five Elephants and has them sheltered in a reserve.  It is just a small amount of the hundreds of thousands that have been killed.

It reminds me of the story I first heard by Eve Hogan of Hawaii. She said there was this girl walking the beach and the tide was bringing in thousands of Starfish.  As the waves broke they would get stranded on the shore and die.  She would pick them up and toss them back into the ocean.  A man passing by noticed the girl and asked her what she was doing.  She replied “saving Starfish”!  He said “there are millions of them, you can hardly make a difference”  The girl bent down picked up another Starfish and flung it into the water.  “Made a difference to that one”!

Sometimes, with all that is going on in the world that is harmful, we feel overwhelmed.  However, each of us can make a difference every day by doing the smallest things.  Just the other day I saw someone hold open a door to a retail store for someone who was quite a ways away.  In a couple of moments, the person who had the door held open for them, did exactly the same thing.  This is not Rocket Science.  This is Love Science!  Let us all get involved in whatever way we can, to help each other and especially those that have no voice!  It is time for love in action!  From my activist heart to yours, Thomas


Heart to Heart 273


I was thinking about what I could share with all of you tonight.  We have two visitors from Georgia staying with us for two nights at our vacation rental in our home.  They are about thirty years old.  Josh, the husband is running for office in their home state.  We were chatting about the recent events at Parkland High School.  We shared our admiration for all the young people who are standing up for justice and a safer world.  Of course, our visitors are young as well and we encouraged them about their political adventure.

I remember the biblical passage from Isaiah which says ” And a little child shall lead them.”  The passage was referring to the animals that normally would be enemies such as a wolf and a lamb.  The child was going to lead the animals at a time of peace.  Since the Parkland shooting, thousands of children have risen to lead.  They desire a peaceful world which the adults seem incapable of creating.  It is time for the younger generation to take the lead.  The young folks visiting us will be part of that new paradigm.

And older folks who want a world of peace, can join the younger compassionate generations.  We too can reconnect with that part of us that is still youthful at heart.  We can join the march for peace and prosperity for all.  It is time to give our time and energy to create the world we all desire.  It is a time of hope and action for the good of all.

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES. On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community.  From my hopeful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 272

Daily Wisdom

Lou Ann reads two books every morning and she has been reading them daily for years. One is Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, a daily spiritual sharing for each calendar day of the year. Nepo’s book tells us there is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on earth. So what will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? What will you ask and of whom?. Tomorrow we could die. But today we are precious and rare and awake. It ushers us into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless. Grateful and awake, ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.  Here are things we can do.

 Sit outside, if possible, or near a window, and note the other life forms around you.
 Breathe slowly and think of the ant and the blade of grass and the bluejay and what these life forms can do that you can’t.
 Think of the pebble and the piece of bark and the stone bench, and center your breathing on the interior things that you can do that they can’t.
 Rise slowly, feeling beautifully human, and enter your day with the conscious intent of doing one thing that only humans can do.
 When the time arises, do this one thing with great reverence and gratitude.

Life is precious in every lifetime whatever form we take.  As a human being on Earth, we get to have a mind and soul and feelings to experience the magic of life.  Don’t take any of it for granted.  Have each day be a sacred connection to All That Is.  From my learning heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 271


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  I would add all people and all sentient beings to this declaration.

We saw a movie about Erin O’Flaherty who is an American beauty pageant titleholder who held the title of Miss Missouri in the Miss America 2017 pageant. She is the first openly lesbian contestant to compete in Miss America.  The movie depicted the challenge that she went through while competing for this beauty opportunity.  There were many who criticized her participation as you can imagine.  The Declaration of Independence says all are equal and are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Let us be the people who make a change on our planet.  Let us create so much love and caring that all feel nurtured.  Let us create a society where no one ever has to “come out”.  Whether we are born a certain way or we decide to do things that doesn’t hurt anyone else, let us be free.  Let us celebrate diversity.  Let us encourage all to express our uniqueness in whatever way we desire.  There is only one human race and it does not need to be categorized as a letter such as LGBTQ.  We are better than that.  In our heart of hearts we know we are One.  And that Oneness is made up of separate and equal parts.  From my egalitarian heart to yours, Thomas


Heart to Heart 270

Ask, Listen, Act

Lou Ann and I watched a short film, five minutes long, it was brilliant.  It was about our intuition.  That part of us that communicates with us, often in a silent whisper or a knowing.  We call it our gut.  It is our connection with why we are here.  Life on Earth today can be overwhelming.  Consider what the human race has created and continues to do so.  Seven and a half billion souls making choices that affect everyone else.  The challenge is, most of us make choices in an unconscious way.  We are products of our environment, heritage, upbringing, education and genetic and reincarnation imprint.

Life comes at us at such a frenetic pace, that we choose quickly, and often it doesn’t serve us.  It is time to slow down.  It is time to stop, listen and then act.  Let us take a few moments each day and ask “Universe, how can I serve you today?”  Then listen for the answer.  It may come as an inner voice, an idea, a hunch or a feeling.  Whatever form it arrives, it is then we get to act.  When we do not, it can have repercussions that keep us from what we desire.  When we trust that inner part of ourselves that is connected to Oneness, magic can happen.  I know for me, some of my greatest accomplishments occurred, when I surrendered to that still small voice.  Once I got out of the way, my life was never the same!  I encourage us all to go within as often as possible and ask, listen and act.  The world will be a better place when we do.  From my intuitive heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 269

Sunday in Paradise

Each day I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings with all of you.  I hope you are nurtured by it in some way.  We just watched a film about a group of young adults, who gathered together on the island of Kauai, in the early seventies.  At first, there were just thirteen of them and they lived on the beach in tents, away from the other folks on the island.  These free spirited folks were eventually arrested for the way they lived.  Then, Elizabeth Taylor’s brother bought several acres and allowed them to live on his property.  Soon, others followed and they built living structures from wood and plastic to shelter themselves.  Some fell in love, had children, raised a family.

Some were veterans of the Vietnam war, others were against that war, most just wanted to live free.  They wore very little clothing and some smoked pot.  They were escaping the harshness of the world at the time.  They called their enclave Camp Taylor and it lasted eight years.  The local Hawaiians were envious of the freedom of these young Americans.  Soon the authorities got the place shutdown and destroyed.  The movie looks back at this idyllic time, in these folks lives, through photos and current interviews of the people.  Almost to a person, they said it was the best time of their life and many said it made their life better because of it.

Lou Ann and I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii from 2009 to 2013.  We felt a kindred connection to these young people.  There is an energy of the islands, the sun, the weather and the beauty that is so attractive.  Both of us were always treated with honor by the island people.  Lou Ann entered a local Hula group and learned the sacredness of the dance and culture.  I played a lot of tennis and walked many miles along beaches and mountain trails and felt so at home.  It is called paradise by many.   I believe that each of us can create our own paradise, by being in our heart and feeling the connection, to the Earth and it’s inhabitants.  It is said that home is where your heart is.  I could paraphrase that and say paradise is where your heart is.  May all of you find your paradise and live in peace and beauty all the days of your lives.  From my island heart to yours, Thomas