Heart to Heart 512 More Loving Kindness

More Loving Kindness

Lou Ann and I were fortunate to meet with the board of the Sedona Kind organization.  They were open, friendly and of course, kind! They are also so dedicated to their wonderful mission!  There were six passionate women who give so much of their time and energy to make the world a kinder place!  We met with them to exchange some ideas on how we could include their loving work in our television show pilot. Please go to sedonakind.org and get involved!

In the afternoon we went to see the latest rendition of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  It is a delightful animated version that will keep you laughing and sometimes crying.  When I watched it this time I was impressed by the message.  I have seen it so many times in different ways.  The Grinch, of course, hates Christmas.  The reason we are given is his heart is two sizes too small.  We eventually find out that he is lonely.  He takes out his anger on those who he sees are not lonely but connected.  He ends up stealing all of their presents and decorations.

What he does not steal, is their hearts.  He discovers that after his theft, they still sing “Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, welcome all Who’s, far and near” and they are still joyful! Once again, we are thrilled to see Cindy Lou Who, connect with the Grinch and love him unconditionally!

Just like the folks at Sedona Kind, it is Cindy Who’s kindness that allows the Grinch to grow a heart several times larger.  May we all follow the lesson of this timeless story.  It is our kindness and love to each other that makes all the difference. Then perhaps there will be less of us lonely.  Then we will all be one great Who!  From my expanded heart to yours, Thomas

 

Heart to Heart 511 She’s Got a Way About Her!

She’s Got a Way About Her!

I shared this a year ago.  I would like to do that, every year at least.

I love how she crosses her toes as she sits and records her dreams from the night before.  I fall in love all over again when I see her in the kitchen baking a pie.  I love life when I wake up in the morning and see her smiling face and eyes that can light up my darkness.  I love how she gets so excited when she is going to the Sedona Charter school to teach little ones Yoga. I love how she holds my hand when we watch a Christmas movie together and then we both have tears in our eyes.  I love how we both celebrate the Christmas season beginning around Halloween. I love how she encourages me to continue to write this blog every day.  I love how she sees perfect strangers, no matter where we are in the world and says “I think I know that person!”  The truth is, there are hardly any strangers to her.

I love how she sits at the computer and does her Daily Challenge, a Facebook healthy social contact program.  She has been doing it every day for the past 2660 days.  I love how my heart does a flip-flop when I see her; even if it has only been a couple of hours apart.  I love how she arranges her closet in the rainbow color spectrum and wears clothes in that order to match the days of the week.  I love how she reaches out in bed with her feet and touches mine in such a tender way.  I love how she tells me every day that “she loves me so much! I love how she loves all the little people, the Menehune, Leprechauns, and fairies and dolphins.  She has a connection to all of nature.

I love how she is a “bulldog” about important things in life.  She has taught me how to not quit.  When she starts out to do something, she just keeps going until it is complete. I love how much she loves to dance and teach Zumba.  When we are out somewhere and there is music playing in the background, her body is rocking to the rhythm.  I love how she says a protection mantra when we go somewhere in our car and she blesses everyone else who is on the road too. We have been together thirty-five years.  Our thirty-six anniversary is New Year Eve.  I can’t imagine loving anyone more.  I am so blessed to be with my best friend, life partner, loving wife, and my personal guru! The way she lives life has made me a better person.  I am so grateful to have found Lou Ann and I will treasure every moment with her the rest of my life!

I wanted you all to know the Lou Ann I know, and to know why and what keeps me so positive and happy! I am so blessed! From my totally thankful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 510 No One Is Above The Law

No One Is Above The Law

The Woman’s March was at it again!  The theme was “No one is above the law!.” A hundred of us gathered in Sedona in the cold wind and stood tall against tyranny!  Eighty percent were women.  We listened to a few speakers encourage us to not give up!  We said chants together and sang We Shall Overcome! Once again, I was thrilled to be a part of a group of people who care!  They care about all of us! Some of the rhetoric was us against them.  Some were inclusive, and even mentioned the apparent huge hole in Donald Trump’s emotional heart.

We were told that there were some nine thousand rallies going on today about the current events here in the United States!  As soon as I wrote that, I thought ” It doesn’t feel so united, does it?” Well, even in the best of democracies there will be times of struggle. We sure are at a major impasse! It is so important that we continue to send love to everyone and at the same time stand up for everyone as well!

There are those in our country family, that are in such pain that they are attempting to disenfranchise others.  Then we see another mass shooting in California. It is often a challenge to not react to the killing of innocent sisters and brothers.  Not only must cooler heads prevail; warmer hearts must prevail as well!

Once again, we get to speak out and tell how we feel about these crimes against defenseless people.  We also get to speak out about political parties trying to manipulate the voting maps and laws for their personal gain.

In the meantime, let us take time to pray or meditate and find our spiritual center.  Then perhaps, our collective energy will move us all in the direction of love and caring.  It is worth it!  From my marching woman’s heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 509 A Time for Hope!

A Time for Hope!

When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks: at least 123, according to Axios. The halls of the legislature will also boast America’s first Muslim women in Congress, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women.

There will be more scientists, too.

On Tuesday, seven new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one new Senator and six new members of the House. Full results are not yet available in Washington state, where a pediatrician is also likely to be elected to the House.

While a record number of women are projected to win House seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, a local judicial race in Houston, Texas brings even more great news: All 19 black women who ran for various judicial seats in Harris County won their races last night,  marking the single biggest victory for black women in the county’s history.

Congratulations to the people of Florida who just voted to give 1.4 million people their voting rights back! This is a monumental victory not only for voting rights but for criminal justice reform. If we want a criminal justice system that rehabilitates people, we need to make sure formerly incarcerated people can fully participate as citizens. We should not be stripping people who committed a crime of their rights as citizens even after they have paid their price to society and completed their sentence. Passing this amendment is an important step for both voting rights and criminal justice reform and I am very grateful to the voters of Florida for deciding to take that step.

After this election, there are signs of hope!  There are more LGBTQ people in Congress than ever before; more Native Americans; Latinos; Muslims; more young people, more women. This progress means that the House is more reflective of the American people than ever before.  It is a time in our country when all of us are beginning to get the opportunity to let our light shine!  I encourage all of us to continue to get involved at whatever level possible.  When we do, it is a time for hope!  From my hopeful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 508 Do Unto Others

Do Unto Others

Early in my life, I was a Christian by default. I grew up in Hollywood and went to the Fountain Avenue Baptist Church where Roy Rogers and Dale Evans attended.  I once got a free bible by attending ten weeks in a row. I listened to the sermons and felt scared.  They were largely about fear and judgment. I joined in because it was what I was supposed to do. I went with my older brother Bob.  My mom and dad did not attend.

Later in my life, I studied the bible and many other religious teachings.  When I read the new testament of the King James Bible, I loved what I read about the man called Jesus of Nazareth. He mostly espoused love and non-judgment! His companions were often the poor and the needy.  He said to bless those who persecute you and turn the other cheek and to not judge. He asked us to love our enemies and give to the needy.

I don’t believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.  However, whether the stories told about Jesus are true or fable, they are a design on how to live our life.  Right now, a lot of Christianity does not follow these teachings of love.

I mostly follow Buddhist principles; which are: Nothing is lost in the Universe, everything changes, and cause and effect.  They feel much more inclusive.  To me, a religion fails if it does not include everyone.

I mention all this because we are having an election, where these principles are deep into the fabric of it.  Most voters who call themselves Christians are voting for the least Christlike person I have ever witnessed. Ironic.

We get the opportunity now to live the principles of Jesus of Nazareth. No matter how this election turns out, we still get to love others as ourselves in spite of our differences. May we learn to love each other and create a noble democracy! From my hopeful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 507 Love

Love

Love. That’s why I did it. Love as an action is more powerful than words and love in the face of evil, gives others hope. It demonstrates humanity. It reaffirms why we’re all here. The meaning of life is to give meaning to life, and love is the ultimate force that connects all living beings. I could care less what Robert Bowers thinks, but you, the person reading this, love is the only message I wish to instill in you. If my actions mean anything, love means everything.

Ari Mahler, RN The nurse that took care of Robert Bowers.

This paragraph above was the end of a post on Facebook today, that I encourage you to read. I believe you will find it on my Facebook page.  It was written by Ari Mahler.  When we come from love, anything is possible for us.

It is not easy to love when we are in pain.  I would imagine, that most of the violence that occurs, is perpetrated by people who are in severe pain.  It is difficult to know the depth of pain another is experiencing.  That is why it is often a surprise to many folks who find out about the person who committed an atrocity.  They didn’t see any signs that the event would occur.

It is up to us to make a greater effort in helping others who may have withdrawn from life, or others that may have been abused.  We are our brother’s and sister’s, keepers.  We are in this together. As Ari stated: if our actions mean anything, love means everything.  From my heart full of love to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 506 Our Choices

Our Choices

It is still always about choosing love over fear, and hope over despair.  It is easy to get caught up in the energy present here in the United States these days.  It is a challenge to stay centered when we are feeling attacked.  It is a challenge to stay peaceful when people are being killed.  It is only natural to feel anger and want to strike back perhaps.

In history, those that have had the greatest positive impact upon life were people of peace.  They were people who turned the other cheek, like Jesus and Buddha and Gandhi and Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. They were folks who marched into Hell for a Heavenly cause.  As soon as a wrote this I recalled the words of The Man From La Mancha.  Remember these?

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march
Into hell for a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lay peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe
To reach the unreachable star
These are noble lyrics about a fictional character.  The words still inspire those of us who dream the seemingly impossible dream of peace on Earth. While I don’t advocate physically fighting a foe, I do advocate taking a stand for love and joy and compassion and inclusion.  In the end, they are the qualities that will create our souls’ desire.
May we continue to follow our star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far!  From my indefatigable heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 505 In Nature

In Nature

A couple of years ago when Lou Ann and I decided to become vegan, we also desired to reduce our carbon footprint.  We discovered permaculture.

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. We have an acre of ground surrounding our house.  It is all natural desert land, no landscaping.  It is red dirt and it is covered with over a hundred pine trees.  We discovered a few garden plots that had been left unattended for years.  They were overgrown with lots of different kinds of local vegetation. In the desert, many plants grow thorns to protect themselves from being eaten by thirsty predators.

A couple of days ago, a young woman named Ashley, posted on Facebook that she is a farmer and wanted to get involved with local folks.  We connected and she and her husband Austin, came over to our home and we worked those old garden plots.  We discovered a lot of rich brown soil beneath the shrubbery.  It was exciting to be digging and raking and building mulch piles.  It felt like home to me.

I grew up in Hollywood California.  It was a delightful Mediterranean climate.  Warm sunny days throughout the year.  Hardly ever got cold.  I spent most of my childhood out there in the flora and fauna of Southern California.  We boys would play a lot of outdoor games of chasing each other.  When we got hungry or thirsty, we would stop at a tree or bush and eat the produce.  There were ample amounts of citrus, plums, peaches, apples, figs, nuts, and berries to consume to our tummies delight! It was our Garden of Eden.  It felt so safe and nurturing to be in nature for all those years!

Now some seven decades later, I was again out on the land.  This time with Lou Ann and our new friends, preparing the soil for our new Garden of Eden. It feels like I have returned home to that wonderful childhood feeling of connecting with nature and feeling complete!  I wish for all of you to return to your roots of pleasure and connection with goodness. From my natural heart to yours, Thomas

 

Heart to Heart 504 Our Life Depends On It!

Our Life Depends On It!

Tough time for me right now in writing this blog.  I am committed to finding the good in everything.  Now, we in the United States, are facing an event which will be among the most important in our history.  I know that sometimes I get excited and am given to hyperbole.  However, it is difficult to understate the depth of the challenge, that faces all caring people.

We are in the fight of our lives.  We are confronting a menace of our own making.  Only we can create a solution.  On next Tuesday, more people will go to their voting booths or have already voted, in what may be the largest mid-term election ever.  We literally have no choice.  We the people, chose two years ago, what we thought was the lesser of two evils and look what we created! We were so brainwashed by others or uninformed and chose horribly, or perhaps we didn’t even choose to vote!  Whatever the reason, we did this to ourselves!

On November 6th, we can choose another course.  We can decide that we love each other and our planet so much, that we will vote for candidates that support those values.  We have a planet that is being threatened more than ever by this administration in Washington.  In their ignorance, they have chosen a path that will harm their very loved ones.  They are still asleep.  We are semi-awake.  We are the ones who can stand up for all the beings on the Earth.  We can make choices for all those who have no voices.

I often say life is simple.  It may be challenging and difficult and ever-changing, but it is easy on Tuesday next week.  VOTE!  Whatever you have to do to get there or vote early, or mail it in. Please do it!  Next, take someone with you or call someone or encourage someone to vote. We can not have any excuses this time.  We cannot say we did not know.  Our choices have never been more clear. We are choosing light over darkness!

If you stand for love, caring, compassion and inclusion, find a way to make your voice heard by voting.  Our lives depend on it!  From my concerned and committed heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 503 Our Planet

Our Planet

Lou Ann and I went to the Inspiration of Sedona meeting tonight. It was wonderful, nearly a hundred people showed up!  They showed the movie Planetary.  It is a very important film that everyone would benefit from watching.  It is about our planetary connection to everyone and everything.  It begins with the lift-off of a Saturn V rocket going out into space.  It seems that almost every astronaut that gets the opportunity to see our planet from that perspective is changed forever. They are shifted by the immense size of the Universe.  They get to look out at the Milky Way from an expanded view. They can see the enormity of the heavens and the tiny spec of creation that is the Earth.

When we see our Earth from space, there are no borders, no walls, no races, no artificial divisions.  There is a gorgeous blue-green planet teeming with life. Most of us will never have this experience.  However, it would be helpful if we could see the oneness of all living things on Earth.  We are not separate from anything. Each species, each minute subatomic particle is connected to every other one. On a human level, each of us is connected to each other.

We are once again, standing on a threshold of the possibility of creating a peaceful loving world or destroying it.  There are factions present which are in so much fear and pain that they are creating an energy that is truly harmful.  Those who are not in such a fearful place, have the opportunity of holding a space for unconditional love.  At the same time, we get to take action that will create the loving world that so many desire. I believe it is vital for us to do both; come from love and take action that will heal our Earth.

Let us find ways to nurture each other and all the living things on our planet.  Let’s not wait for others to do it!  Let’s get involved right now.  For, after all, it is our only home!  From my active heart to yours, Thomas