Yapping and Whining

Do you notice the way other people in your life act or react? I’m not saying “judge,” I’m saying “notice.” In the past I didn’t used to notice much of anything. But, I sure did my share of judging.

I had a couple of things happen the last week when I was on vacation that moved quickly from judgment to noticing. We spent a couple hours each day at the beach. One morning I watched two couples with kids and dogs in tow plopped themselves down right in front of our carefully-picked-out-spot, blocking our direct view of the waves. crying_beach_baby Within seconds our peaceful, serene morning turned into a scene of yapping, obnoxious dogs and two children screaming, “MOM! Mommie! MOM! Excuse meeeeeeeeeeeeeee! MOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!!!!” You get the picture.

The dogs were annoying, but they just were being dogs. Enough said. But these two moms were unreal. They continued talking to one another as if the children didn’t even exist. They were certainly barking orders to their husbands, but turning to their offspring? Nope.

My mother would have never done that. If she was too busy to give me her full and undivided attention she acknowledged me and asked me to wait patiently. The tone of her voice made it infinitely apparent that I was to respond in the affirmative and occupy myself in some other way until she was ready.

But, instead of fussing and fuming about these two mothers I judged so harshly, that “still small voice” immediately reminded me of how I might be more attentive to those around me. My partner was so into the book he was reading that I doubt he was much aware of the scene before us. He was focused. I was not.

Just as the dogs were being dogs, the kids were being kids. We could spend hours talking about dog whispering and more loving ways to parent, but that’s not the point.

The point is that while we are judging others we are taking the focus off of our own lives to criticize, no matter how justified that judgment might be.

In doing so we get to suspend figuring out how we can be better people. We also put into motion the law of cause and effect that states what we put out returns to us. It’s no surprise that I found myself being judged by someone else shortly after the beach scene.

We can all better our own lives and the lives around us by focusing on our own areas that need work, rather than going about acting as if we have all the answers to the problem of everyone else. How could letting go of judgment in your life free up your time and energy?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Making Mother Smile

I used to frequent a very special beach on the Jersey Shore every year. It's the only place like it in the area. While peaceful during the week, the weekends are full of crowds, many of who are not there for the beauty and uniqueness of this shoreline. A friend of mine taught me to do a garbage run before packing up to leave. We take along extra plastic bags and fill them with as much trash and litter as they can hold and then dispose of them at home.

Many people remarked how nice this was and what a wonderful idea it was. We accepted their kudos, but I also suggested they do the same, either on that visit or their next. But why pick up after others who obvious don't care?

It is because we can care.

If we are constantly concerned with who has done what to whom, or what someone else ought to be doing, we will become increasingly dissatisfied with life and the world. It is much easier to find fault with others, rather than look at our own lives and see where we are lacking. It does have some appealing points, though. People who engage in such a waste of time are rewarded with an attitude of arrogance, superiority and elitism. This might be appealing to some, but far from desirable to anyone concerned with the peace of our planet.

The next time you look at a cigarette butt on the sidewalk and scowl about an inconsiderate smoker, think about using the paper on the ground somewhere nearby (there will be some) and picking up the butt to throw it away. Take a large trash bag through your neighborhood once a week and collect anything that is unsightly. When neighbors notice what you are doing, enroll them to help you. Even if people may think you are crazy, who cares? It does make a difference, at least to the planet. We all seem to enjoy making our mothers happy. Why not take a moment and give Mother Earth a smile?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Why? Just WHY?!?”

Have you ever heard the expression, “Mind your own beeswax,” or used it yourself? I was an inquisitive child. My grandma Esther would use that phrase on me quite liberally when I was being too nosey about things that she thought didn’t concern me.

The phrase is simply a nicer way to tell someone to mind their own business, in spite of all the urban myths about the history of why this saying came to be. But recently I found myself saying it to myself.

What will follow will be a somewhat self-deprecating story about why I was scolding myself. If you are one of the two people in the world that thinks I can do no wrong and never make mistakes, run along and read something else or wait till next week’s blog because I really did a number on myself this week.

I was surfing through Facebook postings when I could have been using my time more wisely to accomplish writing I really did want to get to (like this blog!), when I found a friend had “Liked” something on his page and decided to click on that link.

The “Liked” page was of a drop-dead gorgeous guy, which admitted caught my interest more than the content of the posting. I was intrigued (read:  nosey) as to why my friend was interested in him. It seemed so out of character.Shocked-man-at-computer

Fifteen minutes later after viewing every legitimate site on the guy – as well as a few illegitimate ones (use your imagination) – I stopped clicking and started channeling Grandma Esther. WHAT was doing? Why, just WHY?!?

Wasting time, for one thing, but it was more than that. What business is it of mine what my friend likes or dislikes? None. Why do I need to know why they are into the activities they are into? I don’t, unless they choose to share it with me. And yet, people around the world are glued to their televisions throughout the week doing just that with reality TV shows of all kinds.

Here’s what one woman in recovery said to her sponsee regarding being more interested in the lives of others instead of our own:

Don’t you have enough character defects of your own to worry about?

Ah, but there ‘tis, isn’t it? If we are busy being up in someone else’s business we don’t have the time to be digging into the lives of others. It does, however, serve a purpose.

That self-imposed “need to know” stops us from doing what we know we need to do in our own lives. It takes precious time away from helping us hone our skills by studying something new, cleaning out the closet we’d like to get to, weed the garden or do the dishes. And, when those things don’t get done we can lament (to anyone who will listen, usually by way of a social media post) that we just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything we want to get done. Poor lamb!

So … you have a choice now. You could write me an email or comment on this blog, analyzing all the ways I could have done things differently and what my psychological need was to “investigate” something.

Or, you could mind your own beeswax and get much more accomplished. You can do whichever you wish, of course, particularly if you have absolutely no character defects of your own with which to content. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a closet to clean and a garden to weed!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,



gossip, nosey, judgment, criticism, responsibility, choice, arrogance

Relentless Positive Action

Have you ever heard the term “relentless positive action.” Positive action I get. I have been practicing living a more forward moving, positively enforced life for over two decades. I just published a book that deals with this, I’ve taught it in classes and congregations and work with clients doing this. But “relentless?”

Our oldest cat, Dillon, is a model of Principle in Action. Dillon loves to drape himself over you and then fall fast asleep. He’s not particular about whether it’s your thigh while you are sitting watching TV, over your head and shoulders while perched above you on a high backed chair, or on your arm as you are trying to use your computer mouse.

Our couch potato

He just needs to be near us. It really doesn’t matter what our agenda is. Having food on your lap or reading a book is of no consequence. He intends to occupy the space he desires. Your sandwich or your book are simply irrelevant; they don’t even fit into the equation. His sweet face and sad eyes will get you every time if you attempt to push him away.

He is relentless, positive action in motion. The needs or desires of other creatures don’t register on his radar. He is being driven by instincts that compel him to fulfill his immediate need regardless of the consequences. As human beings we don’t have that luxury if we are to operate harmoniously in society.

Those who are not relentless in their pursuit of happiness and fulfillment in life are stopped by the smallest inconvenience. What’s keeping me from the gym today? Who’s stopping me from taking more candy off the grocery list? Which project needs so much attention that I can’t find fifteen minutes to do my yoga routine? If we need an excuse to get off course, we’ll find one.

So how do we move forward, relentless in our pursuit of our vision in a positive manner without bulldozing over everything and everyone in our way? Balance and intention hold the key. Spirit doesn’t fulfill our desires at the expense of people around us. We also need to make sure that the company we keep is supportive of our hopes, dreams, goals and vision.

Relentless positive action also means we re-evaluate our course frequently, making the corrections necessary to achieve our goals. We learn to compromise in the process, yet hold fast to our integrity and moral values that make us who we are. We strive to align ourselves with like-minded people who support our life journey and have a vision that we can similarly support.

This week strive to be relentless in the positive forward motion of your life vision and goals!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,