Tag Archive | success


How will you build tomorrow,
Knowing what you do today?
How will you find new direction
That sends you more happily on your way?


How will you forgive the past,
Setting you free to move on?
How do you let go of old hurts
So that you’re able to sing a new song?


How do you befriend yourself,
Accepting all that you are?
How can you push beyond limits,
Until you’re reaching for the farthest star?


Such a riddle and puzzle,
Needing the very best clue;
Its answer is simple yet deep:
Such full living begins and ends with you.



We become whatever we imagine, which is fed by the “food and water” we ingest:  All that we listen to, people we hang out with, books we read, things we watch, past experiences…


What is feeding your imagination?  Do you have a healthy, clean, nourishing diet of love and promise?  Do you feast on peace, hope and joy?  Do you drink the water of forgiveness?  Do you dine with people who comfort and encourage you?  Do you season your food with discipline, correction

and challenges?


One of the most powerful discoveries in recent years has been that our brains are “plastic.”  They build new neuro pathways whenever we are injured or encounter fresh challenges.  This may seem to apply on a physiological basis alone, but the truth is, our hearts and minds are built in exactly the same way.


We have the power to choose the food and drink for our souls.  We can learn truth and develop fresh perceptions or we can rehearse old lies and injuries.


Many things on the dining table” are words and events in our past that have told us who we are.  Some are life giving; some are not.  The antidote for the hurtful ones is forgiveness.  This releases us from the tether of the past and sets a new standard, making a brighter future possible.


Were some of those things said or done by you?  I think the hardest person we ever have to forgive is the one who looks back at us in the mirror.  Then we move on to parents, siblings, teachers and others.


Invite people who are on paths that lead to wholeness and success to join you.  We become like those we hang out with:  Entertain the “I’m nothing but a loser” crowd, you will follow right along; choose the ones who are “going for the gold,” you will be at the finish line with them.  I’m sure this is nothing new to you.  Mothers, fathers, grandparents and teachers tell us to choose our friends carefully from the time we start first grade!


Most important, befriend yourself.  After all, you are the one with whom you live, everywhere, all the time.  It’s hard to treat yourself with love and kindness if you don’t like who you are.  On the other hand, if you become comfortable in your own skin, choosing well becomes a way of



There is a saying:  “People of equal health attract.”  AS you become clearer about yourself, others have less power over you.  You recognize lies, pitfalls and possible injury before you walk into them.
As your vision clears because there are fewer toxins, be sure to feed your soul with truth.  Who are you?  What is good, wholesome and strong?  What do you like?  What are your dreams?  Who do you know that brings out the best in you?


Bon appetite!


There’s a different kind of success.  I don’t know that I have ever heard or read its description, even though it is tremendously important.  IT

is not determined by what you do or how well you beat the competition; it has nothing to do with popularity, fashion or income.

Puzzling, eh!  Success that is not measured by accomplishment.

So how do you know you have this elusive gem?

When you know that you are precious, well and fulfilled, whether you just achieved something great or took a nap.  It is a sense of clarity

about who you are as a person.  IT comes from your heart; from the deepest part of your being.  That is why all of the work and hustle we get

caught up in have nothing to do with it.

Another way to talk about this kind of success is to call it prosperity, in the true sense of the word:  To be whole, safe and well.  Knowing

yourself, living in peace and holding to all the goodness that is available to you is prosperous indeed!  The good news:  It is yours to keep

for as long as you live, even when you no longer scramble to get ahead.


There are moments in our lives when we make decisions; some are good, some not so great; that impact us for years.
The less helpful kind are ones like,
“I’ll never forgive _______.”
“I’ll never trust people again.”
“I need not try; I’m worthless; I can’t succeed.”

But then, there are those “Ah-ha” points of decision that are strong and powerful.  I am thinking of a couple from my own life:

One day, I was beating my way along a city street in Salem, Oregon with my white cane.  As clear as anyone might say it to me, I heard, “You know, you’ll either overcome this disability or it will overcome you.”  My decision was made in that instant.  I found courage, strength, more determination than I already had; I finished my first college degree.  As the years progressed, I completed my first Masters degree, worked for a while; then completed my second one and worked for a lot of years after that.  I founded a few services and groups and managed to accomplish some other things.  I’m still at it.

Another important “ah-ha” happened in a therapy session when I was in my late 20’s.  I had been working on repressed memories of abuse and messages from my childhood.  My therapist asked me at one point, “So how long would you like to do the same thing to yourself that your parents did?”  “Okay!  Now would be a good time to stop, yeah!”


It took some years, work, learning and healing.  The turning point, however, was in that moment.

I can think of several other times like these two.  I’m grateful for each one.  They have guided my steps so that I have a happy, successful life.

If you want to do something encouraging and uplifting for yourself, sit down with your computer or good, old fashioned paper.  Write about your “Ah-ha” moments that have set you on life-giving paths.  Aren’t they wonderful!


I wrestle with a challenge that I never seem to solve:  My “uniqueness” is obvious.  Before people even know my name, they see it – at least one particular characteristic:  I carry a white cane, which announces that I’m “blind.”  Okay, I don’t call my self that; I simply say that I can’t see..
Blindness does not define me; it is just something with which I live.
I’m also gifted, an adult survivor of abuse, a woman, a musician/composer, a gardener, neighbor, Christian  and at the most basic level, a person.
The sad thing about this is that people make all sorts of assumptions, most of them steeped in prejudice and stereotypes.  The result:  being accepted into groups as the equal, capable adult that I am almost never happens.  That leaves me with a few choices.
One is to put up with the assumptions and allow people to treat me as though I am a perpetual child.  They pass things around me, instead of handing them to me; they ask about me while I’m standing right there.  They marvel because I do the most basic things, such as dressing myself or walking around a room…and so it goes.
Another choice is to stand my ground.  That means I am constantly trying to inform, correct or resist what people do.  this is exhausting and does not accomplish the goal of being a whole member in a group.
There is a third choice, the one I like best.  I used to have a therapist who was a “one liner” kind of guy.  He would say, “Join where you are successful.”
That tends to be what I do.  I need some refresher courses in this from time to time, but when I focus on this, the results are good.
For me, success is when I can be myself, knowing that others and I are appreciating each other’s unique traits and enjoying the ways in which we are alike.  These days, I find such wonderful relationships in my neighborhood and in the musical community.
It is tempting to think that the struggle of being different is limited to those with disabilities, adult survivors, or for that matter gifted people.  In actuality, however, everyone has this challenge.  Assumptions seem to be a constant part of group dynamics; insecurity and pride are frequent barriers to drawing closer.  We either work too hard to belong or end up walking away.
Relationships are messy.  They are never as clear or well defined as we would like them to be.  They require constant learning and work.

Here are three helpful things I have learned along the way:

*Knowing who I am is foundational.  My therapist had a line for this one, too:  “The clearer you are about yourself, the less power others have over you.”
In social work school, we had another one:  “Don’t compare your insides with others’ outsides.”

*Every relationship starts with an invitation.  This means people are free to accept or decline.  If they don’t want to become friends or are not able to regard me as a person, I am free to move on.

*Honoring each person as he or she is has such wonderful power.  In so doing, I refrain from assumptions and celebrate that individual.

Practicing these makes it more likely that we can come together as the precious unique, relational creatures that we are. .