Tuesday, September 30, 2008
In Japan, I had a friend who I called “Obasan,” which translated into English means “Aunty.” I met her at a church in Japan 15 years ago. She was about the same age as my mom. Her husband and she are two of the nicest people I had ever met in my life.
They were not rich, materially, by conventional way of thinking. They lived on their retirement from the government. She was a licenced cooking instructor of organic foods. Their house is a small wooden structure located not far from the railroad in the small town of Kasamatsu in the Gifu Prefecture.
Their daily philosophy in life is to open their house to whoever is sick, unhappy, lonely or hungry. Anyone who came to their house will always be welcome into it. She will feed them with one of her delicious organic homemade Japanese dishes.
She does not ask for donations, money or gifts in return. Her only wishes were for people to leave her house with a brighter spirit than when he or she entered it. Be happy and healthy and if you wanted to pay her back, do so by doing “good deeds” to other people who need help.
I met this couple when I was very sick at the local Japanese church. They helped me recover without the use of man-made medicine which I really didn’t like. I became healthy with natural food from organic ingredients, a lot of sunshine, meditation, flowers, smiles, prayers and best of all, their love for me.
I cannot describe them in a few short words. But if I could, it would be this. That if there are truly angels, the spirits will be like this old couple . . .
And I just would like to let you know that your messages and the kind thoughts and intentions behind them remind me of this inspiring old couple whom I love dearly.
Peace and happiness to you too . . .
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- Dalai Lama
I thought it was cool that he was giving back to the community that gave him his start in the business. Not only is he giving people the opportunity to showcase their talents. He is also keeping the tradition of his culture and people alive. That's a beautiful thing.
It's always a pleasure to meet a decent human being and recognize them for that and not the celebrity. So I just wanted to share this experience and let you know, he made a difference in my day.
is all it takes.
To make your day bright and feel so right.
No matter what happens,
rain or shine,
light or dark,
There will always be...
One golden ray of sunshine.
If you look for it,
the sunshine will never be far away.
All you need to do is look for that...
One golden ray of sunshine.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Peace Pilgrim
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
A Death Certificate shows that we died
Pictures show that we lived!
Have a seat . . . Relax . . . And read this slowly.
That just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do love each other.
That we don't have to change friends if
we understand that friends change.
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt
you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
That true friendship continues to grow, even over
the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
That you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.
That it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.
That you should always leave loved ones with
loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
That we are responsible for what
we do, no matter how we feel.
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time.
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you
when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them and less to do
with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but, we are responsible for who we become.
That you shouldn't be so eager to find
out a secret. It could change your life Forever.
Two people can look at the exact same
thing and see something totally different.
That your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don't even know you.
That even when you think you have no more to give, when
a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything.'
A dear friend from Guam sent this to me. I thought it was so cool I wanted to share it with you. She has always made a diffence in my life and she continues to do so with her kindness.
I told her I wanted to cash the check. Since, I didn’t have an account with the bank she asked to see my drivers license and another form of I.d. I gave them to her and she went to work. She seemed like she was preoccupied with something, like a bad morning or something going on with her personal life.
I waited patiently as she processed my transaction. During that time, I asked her how her day was going and some other things. Finally, her face broke into a smile and she warmed. I told her she looked best when she smiled. I can't tell you how bright her smile got. She glowed with sunshine.
From that point on I was known to her as Sunshine, a person with a positive attitude, high on life and a powerful energy.
The name of my blog came from that Bank Teller. Although I haven’t seen her in years, I wanted her to know she made as much of impression on me as I made on her. I hope she’s always Stepping into Sunshine.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Beverly Flanigan
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
- Theodore Roosevelt
Sometimes all it takes to turn around someone’s day is a simple act of unconditional kindness. A smile is all it takes to make a difference in someone’s day.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
- St. Augustine, 354 430
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
when you're fast asleep.
Don't be afraid
to open up your
eyes so you
can see tomorrow.
You don't stop laughing because
you grow old,
you grow old
because you stop laughing.....
The world is like mirror,
if you face it smiling,
it smiles right back.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The more you like yourself, the more others will like and accept you.
People sometimes have experiences in their past that leave them filled with regret.
That is all over. It is in the past. The reality is that you're an expressive, sensitive, beautiful person if only you'll accept your uniqueness.
It doesn't matter what someone has said about you. It doesn't matter what limitations you have previously experienced. That is all history.
What matters is what you do from this day forward. You can choose your future. Realize that you are worthwhile and valuable with an enormous contribution to make.
Find the best within yourself and feel good about the person you are.
There is no one else just like you to be found anywhere. God thinks you are very special, and I think so too!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well, I waited and waited in the lobby for my contact person. It felt like it was taking forever.
Just when my contact person showed up I noticed my friend had gotten out of their car and was met by a Meter Maid. I told my contact person I needed to step out for a moment, then ran outside.
I pleaded my case to Meter Mail with no avail. He pointed to the sign that read “No Parking Anytime,” and preceded to write me a citation. I asked him “How his day was going?” He just glared at me and handed me the citation. I wished him a good day and told him “thanks, I was wrong and I deserved the citation. I hope he had a good day.” He just stared at me. I said it again “I hope you have a good day and I do mean it.”
He walked back to his vehicle and waited for us to drive away. As I pulled forward the Meter Maid stuck out his hand out motioning for me to stop. I did and rolled down my window. He said “give me back the citation.” I don’t know what I said or what I did, but whatever it was it made enough of a difference that he chose to give me a break. No one knows how unconditional kindness can make a difference.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
1. Pick an area or a task in your life where you feel challenged.
2. Write about this challenge in detail. What are the various components? Who is involved? What makes this area of your life seem challenging? Invest some time getting in touch with your thoughts and feelings, and describe them in detail. Can you identify your beliefs that make your situation seem so challenging?
3. Form an intention to connect with your mind and your mental reasoning. This is the part of you that is logical, likes to analyze, and is rational. Spend some time writing the various solutions and possibilities that come to mind. Notice the amount of mental energy you are using. Notice if your solutions attempt to control your environment, the people, or the circumstances in your life.
4. Put down your notebook and move your body, as you are able. Listen to some music and dance. You could even do a short exercise workout. The idea here is to clear your head and get energy moving through your body for at least ten to fifteen minutes. This will help you let go of the energetic nature of "effort."
5. After you invigorate your body, sit back down with your pen and paper. Invest some time imagining what it would be like if you had incredible amounts of support in your life. Allow your imagination room to fantasize. The support can can come from willing family, friends, angels, guides--even helpful strangers. Imagine ways you could interact with those who help you. Imagine yourself thinking big and sharing your ideas and possible solutions with whoever wants to be a helpful facilitator. Write out as many possible uncensored scenarios as your heart and imagination can dream up. Most importantly, have as much fun imagining as you can.
6. After you complete the dreaming stage of this exercise, place your writings in a place that is sacred to you. You might want to put them under your pillow or put them in a special "dream box." After you find a sacred place for them, allow yourself to let go of trying to figure everything out. Feel yourself aligning with your heart and with trust. Perhaps in the days to come a flash of intuition will enter your mind and present you with a new solution. Maybe "helpers" will mysteriously appear in your life to give you a hand. The possibilities for how you can create support for your challenges are infinite!
- Kirk VandenBerghe
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.
- Reinhold Niebuhr
Friday, September 5, 2008
About an hour later he calls and tells me he’s on his way. He should be at my place in an hour or so. He asked if “I had any more Christmas decorations to sell?” I told him no. He said “he’s on a mission to recreate Christmas.”
So, I waited for him in the alley. A few moments later, this big black roared toward me and parked. This guy pops out of the driver’s side and heads over to me. He barks “You the guy selling the tree?” I nodded and gave him the box.
He took it and said “I told you I was going to recreate Christmas?” I responded “Yeah.” So he goes on to tell me this story. He met this girl a year ago and they became friends. Up to that point he was doing the bar scene and dating a lot of different girls. But this girl came along and made a difference in his life.
Then one day it came to an end when she told him she was leaving for Europe to work. He knew he would miss her, but as the days passed he realized he had deep feelings for her. They continued to stay in touch by phone and racked up some heavy bills.
It had been six month since she left for Europe. She was coming back to see him for the weekend. They had never made love, their love had grown from the friendship between them and now they knew it was true. When this guy first met this girl, it was during Christmas, which is why he wanted the Christmas tree. He wanted to recreate Christmas in his living room, so when she stepped into his house she would be taken back to that day and there, he would ask for her hand in marriage.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
- Don Marquis
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
- Sherman Finesilver.
- George Washington Carver
Taare Zameen Par tells the story of eight year old Ishaan who suffers greatly until a teacher identifies him as dyslexic. What an amazing story! Enjoy this clip.
This is "the first time an international studio has bought the video rights of an Indian film."
- Edward Teller
The place I was going to was in a run-downed section of Hollywood. The houses were unkept with bars over the windows. Definitely, not a safe place to be day or night.
When I got to the shelter I checked in with guard and he opened the gate to the underground parking for me. I was glad I didn’t have to park out on the street.
In the kitchen I found three people; two were other volunteers and one was the person who I needed to see, Sally. I was told we were preparing a dinner to feed 65 people and most of the meal was being prepared from scratch.
So I helped placing chicken breasts on a tray, made ice tea and lemonade. Then, Sally asked me to go to the dining room and set the tables for dinner.
I stepped into the living quarters and saw so many bunk beds. There were people sleeping, reading, listening to music or talking with friends. I saw young and old, people from all races, so healthy and some crippled.
This was a 90-day transitional shelter. This was a place for people down on their luck, who were trying to get back on their feet to have a home. When I looked around, I couldn’t believe that some of the people looked like me. I wondered how this could be and what their story was.
I asked Sally how she got involved doing this. She told me it was one of the few shelters that didn’t have an organization come in and provide a dinner. So she started to do it once a month and has been doing it for three years now. If that isn’t impressive enough, she pays for all of this out of her pocket, everything from the food to the paper plates. Wow! What a touching story.
Sally isn’t rich nor is she poor, she is just a single woman trying to get by in life, but she is doing it by making a difference. I must say I’ve never met anyone like her, which is why I want to tell this story. People like her in this world are a rare breed.
By the way, she doesn’t just feed all these people. She brings each meal to them at the table. Her idea is to give them respect and dignity and not feel like they’re getting a handout.
When it was all over and done with, Sally, along with all the volunteers got a big “thank you” from the Diners. I can't tell you how gratifying that moment was to me.
Everyone has a purpose in life... a unique gift or special talent to give to others.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
This was another phenomenal film I saw at “Doc Week.” It got a lot of press and I’m sure it will be picked up at some point. A true story of the human will to survive! This story will give you a new appreciation for life.
I caught this documentary at the International Documentary Association's "Doc Week," last week here in Los Angeles. The buzz word was “you have to see this film.” So I checked it out and sat on the edge of my seat as this heart wrenching story unfolded before my very eyes. I saw two people find the courage to go on and live another day, through love and compassion.
Susie, who was stuck in this traffic on her way home, found herself behind one of these guys’ that just drove you crazy. She started blasting her horn and screaming at the top of her lungs. Suddenly, a thought hit her like a ton of bricks as her eyes focused in on the license plate in front of her.
A few blocks from her home she decided to stop off and get something cool to drink. As she was paying for it, the numbers of the license plate flashed in her mind. She saw a lottery ticket and decided to use the numbers.
The next day she decided to see how her luck held up and checked the winning numbers. Low and behold, to her amazement her numbers came up winners. She didn’t win big money but she did walk away a winner in another.
Susie opened her eyes and removed the blinders covering them and recognized the sign before her. Good things await all of us, we only have to see them.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I hadn’t seen her for a couple of months, so some time had passed between us. In fact, I wanted to see her because I needed to give her something I had of hers. It was one of those moments I consider to be pure, because it happened for a reason.
She said she would walk back with me to the car. On our way, she told me she had began her day by saying "There will be a miracle coming into my life and I will accept it." I thought this was a great way to start the day. Little did I know what she was going to tell me next.
I knew she was working hard to pay her bills and she made so many sacrifices just to survive. So, when she told me she was the grand prize sweepstake’s winner from a local grocery store I couldn’t believe it, but was so happy for her. When I found out, she won a brand-new car, I was ecstatic. In all my life I had never heard of someone winning something of this magnitude.
She looked at me and said "I didn’t know by saying this each morning it would work so fast." I wanted to share this story because she is one of us – someone out there working to survive and have a better life. Her story is one that should be heard to give people hope to believe, where hope has fallen to despair.
Believe that anything can happen to you and be thankful for all that you have. No matter where you are in life it could always be worse.