Daddy and Me
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"The human soul is God's treasury, out of which he coins unspeakable riches." ~ Henry Ward Beecher


What is that, anyway?

The dictionary defines soul as the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.


As I think about this, I'm drawn to a time many years ago.  Just an ordinary day, and I was out cutting the lawn.  Nothing at all special about this day…and everything special about this day.

And isn't every day like that.  Days filled with the seemingly ordinary (…no matter how truly ordinary or not we see our lives).  A cup of coffee in the morning.  Wearing that favorite pair of shoes.  Conversation with a loved one.  Playing with your kids.  Bedtime rituals.  Sleep.

Don't get me wrong – I am all for new experiences, for living life to its fullest, to feeling fully alive.  And much of these "living life to the fullest" moments might feel anything but ordinary.

Within all of that, though, the ordinary moments of our day.

…I was just out cutting the lawn.  The sun shining, on a typical summer day.

And in a moment, I just felt this deep connection to the Universe, to God, to something beyond.  It was as if everything was brighter, that the sky surrounded me with its presence, that the earth was alive with newness. 

It's a feeling that is hard to fully describe.  In that instant, in those moments…I felt that connection to a deeper part of me…to a deeper part of this world.


This moment, in the seemingly very ordinary of my day….  Not something I was seeing with my eyes, and yet I was.  Not something I was hearing with my ears, and yet I was. 

That connection to something deeper within you, the voice that speaks if you quiet yourself and listen.

Soul.  It's within us all.

I've just finished reading a book – Soul to Soul Parenting, by Annie Burnside

Annie has written about her spiritual journey, and how she continues that journey today with her husband and their three children.  Just like any other family – the Burnside family has moments where kids argue, where parents become stressed, where daily life causes moments that are challenging.


Except that Annie and her family have built opportunities into their days to more fully connect to soul. 

…in the ordinary of their days.

This is a wonderful book, with practical ideas to more fully reach, teach, and love from a soul level. 

…from that place where we truly DO feel connected to a deeper part of our own being…of the world around us.

As I let these words from Annie soak more deeply into my soul, I am drawn to my own family.  Are there ways that I can be more fully connected to my soul?  Are there ways that the ordinary of my day can be more fully infused with a deeper sense of my being?  And, how am I helping my children to more fully connect to the soul of their being?

Annie's book will give you actionable ideas on ways to do this, for YOUR family.  That's what is so great about this – there are a number of easy to do things that will bring that connection more deeply into being. 

If you're looking for ways to more fully connect with your children, or children that are a part of your life in some way – Soul to Soul Parenting is so worth reading.

And as you go forth in your day today, may you know that there is extraordinary in the normal-ness of your day.

Soak it in.  Soak in the beauty of this day, the beauty of being alive, the beauty of getting to do all that this day brings!

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

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"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A W E S O M E !!

Rain hair.

Getting grass stains.

The smell of crayons.

Picking up a q and u at the same time when playing Scrabble.

A W E S O M E !!

Those little things in life that happen and we don't even really think about all that much.  You know what I mean?  Like dangling your feet in the water.  Or maybe…jumping in and doing a perfect cannonball!  In the grand scheme of things, these are really pretty small moments in our life.  Still, are they not what makes this life we are living grand?

I've been reading a book that is filled with all sorts of these examples!!  And what a FUN book to read! 

The Book of Awesome.

And reading this book is all sorts of AWESOME!

It all had its simple beginnings as a website – created by a super great guy, Neil Pasricha.  His website, 1000 Awesome Things, begin as this list of those moments we have in life that really are awesome…and at the same time, they are just simple things that could happen any day. 

Simple things, small moments…that are simply AWESOME!

And today he is releasing a book  that chronicles these and more!

The Book of Awesome.

As I paged through this book, I just couldn't put it down!  Reading it brought up all sorts of great memories, and found me shaking my head in agreement!  AWESOME is all around us!  And there are all sorts of moments we all have that really are all of that – AWESOME!

This book is such a feel-good read!  And even more than that – it's a reminder to me of just how cool those little things are that we sometimes just take for granted…

Like popping bubble wrap!!!!!

A W E S O M E !!

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 “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” ~ Wilma Rudolph

 Greatness.  It’s in all of us.

Have you ever observed someone doing something that truly seems beyond greatness?  Someone who inspires you by their actions. 

What comes to mind here?

  • Rescuing a child from a burning building
  • Freeing someone from a major car accident
  • Going up into the failing World Trade Center on 9/11 to rescue others, knowing it was on the verge of collapse
  • Searching day and night for a lost child in the woods
  • And many, many more

Those big, one time events – the ones that can bring out the best in others.  What is it that compels some people to act in these moments of decision? 

The premise for this post today is related to a book I’ve recently read:

"Something Beyond Greatness" ~ by Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine


In this book the authors dig much deeper into what it is that leads some down these paths of greatness and beyond.  And what that means for us, each one of us, in our daily lives.  What is it, that draws someone to act?  And is that something we all have?  The book explores this topic in depth, with a focus on what it is that leads some to "be the hero".  There were three elements identified: 

  • Seeing with love
  • Acting from the heart
  • Being in the right place at the right time

Much is discussed on really what this means, with examples of those who have acted in just such a way.

So – these three elements – they can lead us to great things.

Where does this put us, though, in our daily lives?

Love and Greatness

The conclusion arrived at in this book is that love is what leads to something beyond greatness.  And love is there, within all of us. That love does get buried, though, sometimes.  Buried to our own agendas.  And with that, our greatness gets buried also. 

The good news is that even if this true and selfless love has become buried, it is possible to find that love in all of us, and to let our greatness shine.  Time spent connecting deeply with self, time to reflect on what our heart is saying – this is what leads us to that inner connection with our soul.  This is what leads us to seeing the world through a lens of love.

This whole thought is such a powerful one!  And it is there in all of us.  Love is part of our being.  And with love, comes greatness.  Maybe not greatness in the sense of saving someone’s life in a split second decision (although it could be).  Greatness, though, through living our daily lives in sync with our deep being.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought! 

"Love is the greatest refreshment in life." ~ Pablo Picasso

Go Forth In Love

Every one of us has love within us.  We just have to allow that love to shine.  And in doing this, we let a deep caring and respect develop.  With love as its base, greatness is also within each of us.  And that shines through, not just in big one-time moments to do something great.  It really shines through in our daily lives, in how we live with a loving heart to those all around us. 

Getting to this point is really getting in touch with our soul.  Just think about that.  If we are connecting deeply with our soul, we are reaching a spot within each of us that has love as the foundation.  If we are truly there, then love becomes the language we speak.  And our greatness shines – the greatness that resides in each and every one of us!  All through the daily acts of love we display. 

How can you connect more deeply with your soul?  How can you let your greatness shine – through daily acts of selfless love?


Think And Grow Rich

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: gutter “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich History has provided us with many great resources upon which we can use to improve ourselves and our lives.  One such resource is a book written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 – Think and […]

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I’m a Winner

by Lance Ekum

Thanks to a contest going on recently over at the Clever Dude Blog , I am now the proud owner of a new book on America’s healthcare system.  The book is Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely , By Davis Liu, MD.  I’ll be reading it soon, and then get a review of the book […]

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