Claustrofobia / Claustrophobia
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"Smile. Life is beautiful, and so are you." ~ Unknown

What is beautiful, anyway?

Really.  What is it?

Think about that.  How would you describe the word beautiful?  (hint: I believe it's personal)


Now, how about YOU?  Look in the mirror.  (I'll wait)  And while you are there…tell yourself that you ARE beautiful!

Because YOU ARE!

We all shine beauty out into this world…in our own unique ways.  Do you see that when you look into the mirror?  Do you?  Or do you see something else?

Because it's easy to have some distorted view of what beautiful really is…

Have you seen it?  Images that define beauty.  Images…that are not you.

Images in magazines.  Comparisons with others…leading to images in your head.  Words that remind you…you are not good enough, not beautiful enough…not enough.


You ARE beautiful, amazing, spectacular, and filled with your own wonderful wisdom!

You really are!

I AM BEAUTIFUL!  <– say that…right now…to YOU.

Each one of us has, within us, our very own beautiful gift of love and light. 

You are beautiful.

Note: This post was inspired, after reading the book "Operation Beautiful", by Caitlin Boyle.  Caitlin, who also runs the website Operation Beautiful, writes about how she began a movement that started by simply writing the words "You are beautiful" on a piece of scrap paper in a public bathroom, and then hanging that note on the mirror.  In doing this, two things happened.  She left a wonderful message for someone else to read (an anonymous act of caring), and she herself felt uplifted just in doing this.

Three words.

You are beautiful.

Three words that touched two lives (at least) that day…and countless others as this movement has gained momentum (and caring love) since then!

Three words.


Feel that.  Feel that…deep within you.

What are your three words?  Your five words?  Your sentence?  What words can you share – words that will touch both the person receiving them…and you?

Go forth!

Be sneaky.  Be obvious.  Have fun.  Laugh.  Shed a few tears. Touch an emotion within you….

My words to you (and to me):


"When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life." ~ Unknown

Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on August 29, 2010

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Alexi Murdoch: All My Days

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Lead The Way

by Lance Ekum on August 23, 2010 · 54 comments

Today, I have a special guest here, sharing his thoughts on how we can all lead our lives with love.  Please welcome Keith Smith, from Straight Up Living

I've known Keith for some time, and always find that he speaks very much from a place of deep personal meaning and care.  Today is no exception, as he takes a look at the ways each of us can lead…lead from a place of love.

Please read along, as Keith shares some very wonderful thoughts on how we can each make a difference, how we can each shine our own amazing light out into the world, how we can each be love in action…

Lead the Way


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“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~ Mother Teresa

We can look anywhere in the world – from our front door step to across the oceans, and see so much that is wrong, so much that needs to change, and so many people who live in disharmony.  There are bright spots out there too, many in fact, and we see them and think “I wish there were people around here who would do good things like that!”   I believe there are people like that everywhere, and all they need is to see someone actually doing good things, then they will happily imitate those actions.  If you see work that needs to be done, and love that needs to be shown, I encourage you to be that person who takes the first step.  Lead the way.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

Imagine, for a moment, how our world would be affected if we not only loved others, but showed that love through our actions.  I’m not speaking of our families or other loved ones, but of coworkers, acquaintances and complete strangers.  It is a beautiful moment when we come to realize that we don’t have to wait for someone else to begin, or for some organization to take action.  We can be an activist for love and lead the way!  The world around you needs leaders, and not the sort of leader who is elected by popular vote, nor those who aspire to have power and recognition.  It needs leaders who love, and who are not afraid to show that love.  A true leader is someone who serves others selflessly, and who knows that the path to leadership is through the gate of servanthood.  If we are to see our world changed for the good, we must love and serve others.  Isn’t this what it’s all about?  Doesn’t it all come down to this?

“Everyone can be great, because everybody can serve” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

There aren’t “special” qualifications required to be an activist for love.  One has only to possess a genuine desire for the highest good for another person, and be willing to help them get it.  It may seem like a pipe dream to some, but I imagine a world in which everyone is loving and serving others, everyone being loved and served.  Perhaps the entire world will never realize this, but I want to find out just how much of it can be!

“It is not what we do, it is how much love we put in the doing.” ~ Mother Teresa

The thought of changing the entire world can be overwhelming, and at first glance, may seem a daunting task.  The good news is that we don’t have to change the entire world, at least not by ourselves.  Begin right where you are!  It doesn’t matter if you live in a city teeming with thousands of people, or in a rural community with only a handful of neighbors, start there!  Start with the people nearest you; show them that love is real.  Show them that there is hope and that there are people in this world who care, that offer a helping hand without asking for anything in return.

You may be wondering what it is that you can do to change the world around you.  There is so much to say about this that it would take volumes to even begin an explanation.  Know this, it does not have to be some grand gesture that ends up being reported on CNN.  It has been said that life is made up of “the little things” and that’s very true.  The same can be said about being an activist for love.  The smallest acts of kindness, born out of a loving heart, will echo through eternity.

Here’s an example from my own life.  Living just down the street from me and Jenny (Jenny is my most awesome significant other), is a nice older gentleman who is a widower. Recently, I came home and found Jenny preparing a plate of food.  I asked her what she was up to and she told me of this gentleman, whose wife died a few years ago, and who now lived alone with seemingly few visitors.  While walking the dog one evening she engaged him in brief conversation, during which he commented about never cooking because it was only himself at home.  This strummed Jenny’s heartstrings, and that’s why she was preparing him this plate of home-cooked food.  Jenny, her two boys, and I made the delivery.  The look in this man’s eyes, as he received this act of loving-kindness…well, it nearly makes me cry when I think of it.

That’s just one small example, and I know so many of you who perform such acts on a regular basis.  It is these seemingly small acts that are changing the world around you.  It is these small acts that make you an activist for love, a true leader. Besides, there is nothing small about causing a person to feel cared for, hopeful, important and loved. 

Keep up with Keith by subscribing to his blog, and following him on Twitter.

Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ Comments are closed ~

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The Moment

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: icemomo “To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours is wisdom.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson We traverse through this life we are living.  It is a journey for each of us.  A unique and very personal journey, one […]

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Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Rayani Melo When a child loves you for a long, long time . . . REALLY loves you, then you become Real. Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby, But […]

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Music For The Soul: Down Below

by Lance Ekum

Note:  If you are having trouble viewing this, please click here. Johannes Stankowski:  Down Below   ~ Comments are closed. ~

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On Fields Pond

by Lance Ekum

“ “We carry with us the wonders, we seek  without us.” ~ Sir Thomas Browne To step away, to see with different eyes.  Perhaps that’s it.  To see “you” in a whole new light.  To connect to something deeper, something more meaningful. What is it that really draws us to visit new places, or to […]

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Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum

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