Friday, September 28, 2012

Cooking up a cheerful pot

Good day today.  It rained a lot today causing flooding and the closure of the Milford Post Mall.
I stayed where it was nice and dry. In my room.
I could have left my room but stayed inside instead.

Then I realized I needed to make a recipe to make me feel a little better. Now this did not require 6 bags of groceries to make this recipe.


Now these 4 ingredients qualify for what many cookbooks qualify: How to cook 100 dishes in under 30 minutes with just four ingredients!!!

The first one is music. Often overlooked in my life as I seem to await until I am in the shower with the soap and water running and eyes closed. Then the needle goes to the record and starts playing whatever comes to the surface of the record that has been placed upon the turnstile.

Food. Often sometimes forgotten when one gets in a duldrum of life. Yet, I realize that it is very important to have a good mix of food for one's soul to be extremely happy and contented.

The light which glows from within us is important and also important is the light that shines from outside and from the bulbs that are in our lamp stands and ceiling fixtures.

Laughter is always good and especially with a CD from Bill Cosby can make you laugh at the obvious as it is presented in a whole new light. Especially with 4 year olds learning about the birds and the bees without a formal lesson. You have to listen to the "Wally, Wally" routine to appreciate this humor.

Now crossing over into the spiritual dimension and realm, these four ingredients can apply to our walk in faith.
Our soul appreciates good music and can help us comprehend and carry the important truths that are found in the Scriptures.  It helps sooth any of our hurts and satisfy our longings as we listen to the truths that have had meaning throughout the centuries of time.

Food is what Jesus used often to illustrate his provision and his kingdom.  Jesus fed five thousand with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Now these were tunas that were caught but small fish.  And fish have many bone in them.  So to make two fish minus all those bones feed 5,000 and still have some left over, that is definitely a MIRACLE.
And food is what Jesus used to display and represent himself. He often called himself the bread of life. And at the last supper, he cemented that image as he celebrated with his 12 disciples that meal, even with one that would betray him at the very end.
And Jesus used a cup of wine, from grapes that get squeezed under pressure and are aged.  To be served when the time is right.

Light is so important for it helps us out of our darkness. It shows the path of how one is to live their lives.  It dispels the darkness and for believers, Scripture states that lightness and darkness can not dwell together.

And then there is laughter. Jesus loved to laugh and I am sure as he told his parables, laughter must have happened sometimes.  I will leave that to your imagination.

So I thank God for this simple 4 ingredient recipe that can be done in 30 minutes or less.
Warning: It may take a little longer sometime.  And it may need to be taken repeatedly as well.

Blessings as you live out your lives!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Giving joy to the journey of life!!!

Good evening travelers of the journey!!!
What an interesting day today was.
I had an early morning meeting with men of the Journey reconvening after a summer off. To talk on a life of praise and to be thankful of how God held many of us together during health and employment trials.

A good quote from our speaker, Bill Jolly, was to make sure that we have our buckets full of praise of the events from THAT day. This is especially true since we can only carry gratitude forward for one day!!!  And he challenged us what if  that was the only thing we can carry with us.

I went through the Business Expo and showcase for Fairfield County and got to eat a great Quesadela and had birthday cake to celebrate the Better Business Bureau's 100th year anniversary and had my blood pressure checked and won a small bag of popcorn.

I am thankful for the many seminars I attended from Dale Carnegie to Selling for the non sales professional to a talk on how to give award winning presentations from Debbie Fay whom I have seen several times and always get value from hearing her again and again.

I met several people in my network from a furniture salesman to a graphics printer to a painter friend and an event planner while walking throughout the venue. That same venue where I was 5 days earlier to see Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes rock the place with the best Country music that there is.

I could celebrate at the end by being a pen popping professional for the big helium balloons on display. One woman standing nearby rescued one of those balloons!!  So at least I did some productive work there!!

As I was trying to find my way through the maze to get to one of the talks that I wanted to attend, it dawned on me the two words that are intricately linked to my activities for the past 26 months: Networking. It  can be split into Net and work.  The whole goal for those in transition and those seeking to fill their bucket with work is to think of the fishing analogy.  We are supposed to NET our Work.  Very simple yet very profound.  I have been learning the techniques of how that is done.
Now only to make that happen.  And also part of that is the fact that we are worthy of our work as well.  A definite net worth.

And I finally was able to get a call beamed down to me, Scotty, from my job coach. He was in the booth in between the ├ůmerican and Canadian flags supervising one of his cleaning crew.  We chatted for 8 minutes and I was reminded to ask for opportunities to net some work and he wanted a close up view of what was going on the ground.

So I challenge those who read this to be thankful for a few things and wake up in the morning with that thankfulness to kick start our day and then add to that thankful list even more things. To keep carrying it forward through our lives.  To set up a memorial for us!!

So I close in being thankful for my time at the concert on Saturday that released a little more creativity and passion to my work and to my Toastmasters club that allows me to lead and speak. For those nuggets that get planted and now nourished and sculpted into a work of beauty.

And now to find some work in this famine .  To bring into a feast. Yet, I am thankful for the bounty that surrounds my plate.
Of those faces and lives that I get to interact with each in every day.  Wherever I wander and go.
In times of tornado warning winds to times of searching for that next lecture and to those times when I run into the table and cause a minor tear to the jacket arm.  Times of trouble maybe but times to trust and know that all is going to work out in the end.

So I thank Todd and others who place value on my work and my renewed passion to get it back out into the world to make a difference no matter what or to where I go!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the value of fear

Fear is the fuel of success.  And it also has a role in how creative we can become. In the past four talks on this theme of creativity, I have examined four elements.  The first was how education is the cauldron of creativity.  The second element that I focused on was the importance of play in our lives. We saw that demonstrated in the olympics. Remember that smellovision of what it would be like to actually smell what was going on from the perspective of the TV.  The third element that I focused on was the importance of having a system when one sells something.  The last element that was focused on was the development of the creative spark within us.  This time we are embarking on the role that fear can play to move us forward and out of our comfort zone to make some truly amazing discoveries.
We all start out fearing something in our lives.  

A great panacea for fear is to just get out there and take the first few steps of a journey.
Especially when you have absolutely no idea of what is in front of you.
This has happened a few times to me in my life.  Let me tell you about a few of them.
One evening, I ventured out on my own by the bus to get off at Trumbull Mall and then walk a block or two to a pot luck dinner for several small churches.
I got off the bus that evening and started walking and approached a bridge.  I had only 880 house numbers to go until I reached my destination.   I thought that by crossing over the bridge I could easily collect 300 of those numbers as a bonus.  But no. I only knocked off 30 of the numbers. Only 850 to go.
About 30 minutes into my endless walk I raised my hand in the air and a blue van approached. It slowed down and I crossed the street and  said I need 5000 Road but I am only at 4400.  Fred of Black Rock agreed and I hopped  in for the 9 minute drive to the house I needed to be at.  Fred's wife, Nancy, was surprised that he picked up a hitchhiker but Fred said, "I know that guy, he has been to our bible study and retreat before!"
Then there is the time when I went off to Washington DC on a bus for a rally for Pro life one year. I went with the local catholic organization.  When I got there, I recognized one of the individuals who went to my church.  I asked if I could hang out with him for the day; he said sure.
I ended up getting lost for part of the afternoon when I headed over to the Minnesota booth and had trouble finding the opening where I was. So I wandered for a bit while I listened to the various speakers that afternoon. After about an hour, I got brought back into the fold.

Yesterday. I headed out to the Barnum Museum for a presentation on mummies and the preservation of them and the significance to their cultures. What an excellent presentation.  What I found out from it was unique and how they are preserved to help the living communicate with them face to face.
But the significance of my venturing out was going out in a time with pending severe weather warnings.  It seemed fine for a while but as I approached the plaza where the Barnum was, a HUGE wind swept near me. I was near the big pink column of the square that I could cling to. I knelt down on my knees and hug that thing for all it was worth.  I motioned over to two cleaning crew of the bank and they brought me to the bank's lobby so I could wait out the storm.  Then I walked into the Barnum Museum which two years ago got  hit by the big bad 2010 tornado.  I was not going to let it get caught again!!!
Maybe these ventures can be called fool's errands.  But what they do teach about fear is sometimes going out in uncertain times will lead us to a greater appreciation of ourselves.  And when there is no calendar of planned events for the getting there, it involves some sense of trust.  And the need to realize a calculated effort.  But the greatest discoveries have come when there is no clear end in sight. Just a goal to reach. Whether that goal was to reach the moon by the end of 1969 per President Kennedy, or Rev. Martin Luther King's desire to end the civil unrest.

Now, let us take a few moments to discuss amongst each other some of the times in our lives where the circumstances of not knowing the outcome has led us to go on a path which has taught us something about ourselves.

Fear can be described using an acronym FEAR.  Frightened Eager Awareness Reaction
A solution can be termed: Facing each action realistically.
IT is all about how we react to what we are facing.  As I mentioned earlier, it involves a coping mechanism whether it is raising one's hand on a long walk, or looking for our friends on a journey or just kneeling down on the floor until help arrives.

Many in the sporting world have to overcome fear.  Take baseball players for example.  Each time that they get up to bat, they have to be aware of when that small ball approaches them at the plate. They could land on the base in the wrong way or bump into another player or could be hit in the face by the ball. Yet players take on an attitude of facing any of their fears face on and don't let anything get in their way.

And then there are the times when we go out all prepared with life jackets and oars, and an oar lock can break and once has to find his way home with some Yankee ingenuity.

When I was younger, I had many anxieties that caused me to act out in class and take up valuable teacher's time.    I took the time of this fear to constantly learn.  It took a long time to loosen that mantle of fear around my neck.  And sometimes I still carry it around my neck.

I even had fear of how I would react leaving my high school years and approach the larger collegiate world. I had counseling of what fears I faced and how I would handle them. Not much happened then from the counseling.
Now I face a fear of when I am going to get a job and be successful full time again. But I have gained markers along the way where others have granted me the chance to succeed. This happened when Tom Auray as President of Greater Bridgeport Toastmasters saw within me a potential to lead as I was appointed Seargant at Arms to get the room set up and torn down.
Throughout the year, I encouraged the club and advanced through the ranks of speaking and leadership. Then Tom asked me to take on the mantle of the Presidency for the year. I accepted.
This is a time to constantly learn, especially of how to govern a club that is often unpredictable of what to expect at each meeting. But I have been recognized with the ToastStar award at some of our meetings for leadership and motivation.

Fear has been described in the Scriptures as the beginning of wisdom.  Now how can you describe the beginning of wisdom. That sure is something.

Then President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt quoted, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."  This sure teaches us not to fear. It seems kind of silly to fear.  It brings up an interesting riddle that we can discuss amongst ourselves now and that is: Why do we fear at all in the first place?  And how can that fear bring us further along in our paths of personal growth?


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Let our imagination Soar.

Looking at that word, there are many ways that one can walk and approach that path.  At the end of the word is the word NATION.  For a nation to function, one needs a lot of images and brainstorms of people.
I just came from a Carrie Underwood/Hunter Hayes Concert in downtown Bridgeport that was packed with about 8,000 screaming fans of all ages.
On the screen there were constant videos flashing around a three dimensional cut-out and screen.  The images were of storms, of butterflies, of fights and of cherished moments with children.  Sort of how life is.

Today I had a small fight.  When my alarm fell on the ground, the morning greeting still went off, it went off louder. I saw my second hand needle was stuck and did not move.
I banged the alarm several times and it did not complain.
Then I decided to try placing three new double a batteries in her after setting up three other alarms. And that second hand started up again.
A little lesson from my small battle: always replace the energy supply when one of the hands slows down or stops.
Especially when it comes to loved ones. Alarm clocks can take a beating but people can not.

The beauty of original music is it transcends time and when combined with the depth of images, it is a thing of absolute beauty.  Think to those basketball games and the listening of the cheerleaders.

Now more tomorrow on the aspect of the role of imagination as I close off on my series of talks on creativity this Wednesday as I earn my Advanced communicator Bronze from Toastmasters International!!!!