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A Second Chance for Kindness

29 Mar

One of my favorite expressions is “Kindness doesn’t cost…and you never know whom it might save.”

Well, today “kindness” cost $3.14 – but the lesson was priceless.  I share this because we seldom get a second chance to do something good, or “right.”

I stopped into a fast food restaurant to grab a coffee before going over to the dentist’s office to get 2 teeth extracted. A woman walked in and asked the Manager if she had an extra roll of toilet paper. The Manager looked confused and asked if it was needed in the restroom – and the woman told her, no, she was just wondering if they could afford to give her a roll of toilet paper.  The Manager, of course, said no, and then she and the other counter staff laughed after the woman left.

I watched the woman once she got outside.  She seemed confused.  She went up to cars, presumably trying to see if anyone was in there.  I watched to see if she connected with anyone, but she didn’t. I started to go outside, but hesitated and then she left.

I walked over to the dentist office, regretting that I hadn’t gone out to speak with her.  Shortly after I signed in at the front desk, the woman walked in asking the same question.  Again the same scenario repeated itself. The receptionist seemed puzzled at the question and then told her they couldn’t give her any.  The woman turned dejected and walked out. The chatter started amongst the other people waiting as well as the office staff at the front.  I got up and told the receptionist that I would be right back.

There happened to be a drug store next door.  I called out to the woman, and asked her to come over to me.  I asked her name – Dianne. I asked if she had a job, which she didn’t.  She was on SSI. She had kids. I told her to come inside the drugstore with me.  We went back to the paper goods and I bought her a package of toilet paper.  She thanked me.

When we got outside she started to cry. She wanted to tell me about a man who was “breaking her heart” – and apparently took her assistance check the day before.  I gently  told her that I needed to get back to my appointment and then walked away.

Then I turned around and called out to her again. “You deserve better,“ I said to her. “Just remember,  God loves you and you deserve better.”  She smiled tearfully and we both turned around and walked away.

Any time we allow ourselves to invest even a few moments in another person’s life – we walk away a better person – not because of what we do, but because of what/who we allow to touch us.

She came to me twice. We don’t always get a “second chance” – guess Creator knows how guarded I can be! Glad I listened the second time.

It’s been a good day.  (Even if I did get some teeth pulled!)

-Deb Adler

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2012 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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What IS the Meaning of Life?

14 May

What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you. –Oprah Winfrey

Betty White has shared recently in some TV interviews about her mother’s wonderful perspective on death. She says that her mother used to tell her that no one really knows what that moment is like until they go through it – so she used to call it “the Secret.”  When someone they knew died, Betty’s Mother would just say, “Well, now they know ‘the Secret’.”

When we’re in our twenties we think we have all the answers. The adults in our lives are clueless, or so we think. Or maybe they are. It seems the longer I live and the closer I move towards my encounter with “the Secret” – all I have are more and more questions.

Life is a Mystery.

When I contemplate the meaning of life – one single humanoid span of existence on the planet – against a backdrop of Eternity, it can seem pretty insignificant. Yet I know that we are each Unique, we are each Essential and, Everything has Purpose.

I also have come to realize, as my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, often states: Everything is exactly On Time.

One other thing I have come to appreciate is that our existence here is about Service. We are here to interconnect and interact and invest our energies, resources and time in the well being of others. It can be ongoing involvement or it can be a spontaneous act of kindness. It can be volunteering, participating in a “Walk for the Cure” or similar event, or holding a door for someone, or just smiling or taking a moment to listen. It is through such activity that fulfillment can be realized.

Whether or not I know the true meaning of life – I do know that living in service will give meaning to the time we spend living.

“Speak to all gently and with real compliment. See yourself in everyone and thus knowing God Is and Oneness as real. Love, love with the love you really are, fear not and let it flow and touch everyone and all things…” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha*

* © 2011  Pa’Ris’Ha.  All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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Mother’s Day 2011

8 May

I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear. -Oprah

Mothers traditionally represent a nurturing love. Although not everyone experiences that sort of relationship with their mothers, I have been fortunate to have been blessed with several nurturing mother-figures in my life.

I have written numerous posts about my biological Mother, Ethel Irene Kugler.  (see http://silverstreammusic.tripod.com/id57.html)  

Her oldest sister, Grace, was also a mother figure to me, as she was to my Mom. She was a self-proclaimed “simple” woman who never went past the 8th grade because she had to quit school to stay at home and help to raise her sisters, to help her ailing mother.

Aunt Grace had a wisdom that far transcended “book-learning.” She had a good heart and always thought the best of others. Her life had some challenges but her sense of humor and love of family and God kept her on an even keel. She had five children and the grandchildren and great-grand children and great-great grand children, etc, has yielded quite the Clan. In this digital age, many of us are tracking each other through emails and FaceBook, which is a fitting tribute to a woman whose house saw the likes of 30 or more people and several generations passing through every Christmas Day.

My Aunt Gladys was also older than my Mom. She shared my mother’s love of animals and her backyard was a haven for the squirrels and birds. I got a chance to know her much better and learn some things about my Mom’s childhood one year when I stayed with Gladys for several days. She was also a gentle person. They were all three from another era. I miss them.

A huge blessing and gift in my life has been one whom I have known as spiritual mentor and Elder for over 25 years, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha. She also is known to refer to herself as a simple woman. She is by her own description “a Wife, Mother, Grandmother and an incurable people watcher. I am Creator’s Child, Loving, Serving, Living and Learning in this world.”

Through my association with Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha I have been blessed to travel to many wonderful places, experience an entire extended global family and take part in humanitarian projects. Mostly I’ve had the opportunity to grow professionally, physically, spiritually. Perhaps the best insight I can offer others is through one of her writings, Grandmother’s Legacy.   (alt location at parishataylor.com)

from Woman is Mother and Like No Other by Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha:

“To come into the Earth as Woman is a calling to replenish the Earth and be her vessel of unconditional Love, to nurture and be steadfast in faith. Throughout the storms of life, to be constant in trust that The One is present and all is as it is needed to be.  As a woman moves to maturity, all she can hope for is see that her works are good. Then a Mother can rest.” 

* © 1996 Pa’Ris’Ha.   © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Mother’s Day All! – Deborah Adler


DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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The Easter Hat

23 Apr

“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches” –Dalai Lama

When I was in kindergarten I made an Easter Hat for my Mom. Of course, it was one of those wonderful paper-plate and crepe paper specials the likes of which can only come from a 5 or 6 year old. The materials may be simple, but in the eyes of the child, it is a beautiful creation made with love!

I rode the bus home, but on this particular day I happened to forget to tell the Driver to stop in front of my house. So at the corner of Dartmouth and Coolidge, he stopped and looked back at me. Reluctantly I got out, even though the corner where he opened the door to  was still not planted with any grass seed, so it was all mud.

The crepe paper ties slid down off the top of the hat and got muddied as I cried and walked my way back to my house in the middle of the block. As my Mom opened the door I was totally in tears because her beautiful Easter Hat Surprise was ruined.

She made a big fuss over it anyway, and tried to comfort me. I was as much upset over having missed my stop as having the walk in the mud, etc. Her soothing, loving voice caressed me and she took the Easter Hat into the kitchen.

With the kind of care that only a Mother can manage, she took a paper towel and wet it and squeezed the excess moisture out of it and then gently brushed the mud away from the crepe paper, leaving it intact. Considering how fragile crepe paper is – that was quite a fete!

With one of those “There – that’s all better now” proclamations only a Mother can pull off in spite of any diversity, she showed me the Easter Hat sparkling once again. She placed it on the dining room table to dry off and assured me it would be fine.

We didn’t really celebrate Easter in my house – at least not the Holy Day. Due to a mixed religious marriage and issues from my Dad’s side of the family, we didn’t really have religious observances. But Christmas was an annual journey to my Mom’s relatives in Easton, PA, where we spent the week celebrating with them, and Easter was a special day in our house where I got the traditional Easter Basket laden with candy and Mom, Dad and I all gave presents to each other.  We also ate off the “special dishes” at the dining room table, complete with linen tablecloth, with NO TV on. Beside each of our plates was a small “special occasion” wine glass with Manischewitz in it. This was the sole occasion of the year where wine was served. It was sort of our Springtime Christmas.

One Easter, much to my Dad’s chagrin, I got a live baby chick from our favorite pet store! (A surprise engineered by my Mom and me). Since my Mother had raised Bantam chickens as a girl, she helped me raise him – but that’s another story!

Happy Easter to all who celebrate it.

May the Holiday be a reminder to us of a Holy Observance of One who came to deliver a message of Love. My spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha has often shared that Jesus is to the Heart what Buddha is to the Mind. Christhood and Buddha-hood together represent wholeness. May we all strive to be whole!  -Deborah Adler

Have a wonder-filled day and allow there to be much to be thankful for in your day. Touch others lives today in a service that will reward you and them in a good and helpful way. Harm no one and let truth be your solid ground. Create blessings in your life, live as God is!” –Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha (A Seasonal Wonder!)*

© Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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3 Weeks and Counting

2 Apr

“I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.” Oprah Winfrey

Three weeks ago I attended a Women’s Expo. I was there as an exhibitor helping to staff a booth. We had a fairly good turn out both days and I managed to talk with a lot of people. I came away with ten solid leads, three of which have already led to sales.

I also received a gift on the second and final day of the Expo. One of the other exhibitors had carnations that she has been giving out to the attendees. As the event was drawing to a close and fellow exhibitors began taking our displays down, she came around to give away the remaining carnations she had.

I got a beautiful white carnation. I carefully protected it amongst the several things I had to carry out with me and when I arrived back at my place I cut the long stem down and placed her in a tall jar I had for just such an occasion. Then I placed her in on my desk in front of my computer keyboard (where I spend most of my time!).

I am amazed to say that she is still vibrant, still fresh standing upright in her glass. I’ve freshened the water twice and even wiped off a little slim that looked like it was forming at her base.

I feel like I have a new friend. I have spoken my appreciation for her beauty and gifting to me from day one. She seems remarkably resilient. She evens smells like a carnation. One thing I have noticed to my disappointment is that so man flowers now-a-days don’t smell any more – which is sad.

My Father used to gift my Mother and I with gardenia corsages for special occasions. They were so fragrant and beautiful. Their fragrance graced the house for many days afterward.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of fuss over one flower. But I feel a connection to this Being. It was, after all, taken from its connection to the Earth, thus cut off from its nourishment and life support. Still, she has survived and gifted me not only its beauty and strength but a sense of companionship. Every time I look at her, I get the sense that I’m looking at a special Messenger.

So I celebrate my Friend, the Carnation, today. I will enjoy however many more days we have together because I have come to appreciate that there are no coincidences; Life is a Gift and comes in many different forms, and Appreciation is the key to a rich and joyous experience here. – Deborah Adler

“The Old One said, ‘All life resonates from our existence. The universe is our outer body. All is connected.’ This has been an echo that has been at the heart of a life time of seeking and exploring being Human. How and what does it mean to be human? Like the subatomic level of atoms and electrons that are the base of all matter and form, Man is such in the Cosmos.” –Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha,  from The Body as an Altar*

*© Copyright 2005 POL; © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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A Good Day

5 Feb

I’ve had an extraordinary adventure this evening. It started with a casual meeting in a second-hand store a few weeks back. An older gentleman approached me and asked about a sweater he had tried on, if I thought he looked good in it. We got to talking and as one thing let to another I shared with him about our retreat and conference center in southeastern Ohio. He was interested in learning more, and he had also shared a pet project he was working on to start a jobs program for ex-cons to help them with re-entry into the work world. I gave him my business card and he gave me his number and we promised to get together to learn more about each other’s projects.

After a subsequent phone conversation in which it became apparent that we might be able to help each other out, we decided to meet. When the time came this evening, I found myself feeling a bit nervous.

So I called a man whom I call my Brother from my extended spiritual family who resides in town here and asked if he would be available to pick me up in case I needed to jump out of the car or run out of a building. My loving and supportive brother made no fun of my question but simply and emphatically said he would be available if needed. Then I promised to call him once I got back. Just knowing that someone knew where I was going and that I had back-up took away my edginess. And I felt loved!

I then called a woman back home at our retreat and conference center, one whom I call Sister as part of my extended spiritual family. She assisted me as we worked together through a formula we have to map out our intentions for an event. This helped to crystallize the outcome I had in mind when I agreed to the meeting.

I was ready.

My get-together with this gentleman went very well. He had agreed to stop at an office store where I had emailed some documents to be copied – information I wanted to give him to pass along to some others of influence. While waiting to pick up my copies from the desk I noticed a young man of Asian descent with a man who wore the garments of a Buddhist Lama.

I overheard as they presented en envelope to the clerk and asked about getting the address scanned and reproduced as labels. Knowing that this would be fairly expensive if done by the copy center, I offered my business card to the young man and told them to email what they wanted on the labels and I would make a template for them and email it to them. I told them it would be my service to them.

They were very pleased. I felt my spiritual mentor and Elder Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha smiling over my shoulder, as she so often demonstrates to us the value of a life of service.

As always, I stood in awe and wonder of the synchronicity of the moment – of all the elements to come together in Time and Space that I would walk into that store at the precise moment those two gentlemen would step up to the counter with their question.

“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.” – Oprah Winfrey

We then proceeded to drive over to the near west side of the city to deliver some cakes that the gentleman had in his car. We arrived at a faith-based street mission. It was somewhat ironic since the gentleman is very “Old World Jewish.” But when we proceeded into the modest building, it was obvious the man was well-known there – through his service. We were both greeted warmly.

There was food and coffee and cookies and cakes. People sat at tables and in chairs near the entrance. The front of the room had a makeshift stage.

We stayed for a man to deliver the message of the evening – a minister who had recently lost his pastoral assignment and was obviously coming back on his own road of new beginnings. His message was sincere and simple. Basically, it was about Service. How may I serve as opposed to what can I get? I just smiled and kept feeling my Grandmother’s presence.

I looked into the faces of those sitting at the tables. Young, old, black, white. Many of them were undoubtedly homeless, others looked burdened. But they seemed to brighten with this humble man’s message. And for the moment, they were inside, away from the cold and getting a decent meal.

After the message, my friend and I went into the back where there were pool tables and children’s play things, but the room was deserted for the moment. We talked about the retreat center and as I had hoped, I was successful in conveying my passion for what we have achieved thus far and what the vast potential for it remains to be fulfilled. He caught the fire!

We went back out into the main room and I talked with the older woman who is the organizer of the place before we left. She was talking with a man who looked like he had been out in the cold for a while, and possibly had been drinking. She went down into the basement and brought up a bundle of clothes for him, and a small backpack, while in the background people continued to visit, play card games and eat around the various tables.

We said our goodbyes and went back out into the cold, but I felt a warmth inside that transcended the external temperature.

What a gift this evening has been! What an adventure! All because I dared to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

When I arrived back at my building I called my brother and shared with him a little about my experience. I’m sure I’ll be going back again to that little Street Mission with my friend – probably take my guitar next time.

It’s been a good day and my basket is filled to overflowing with blessings!

“Want success? Just count the good things of each day and give grateful acknowledgment that you have allowed it to be part of your day!” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

To the Giver That Gives All I give deep appreciation!  -Deborah Adler/Great Doe

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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The Race Called Life

3 Feb

Jack LaLanne, referred to by some as the “Godfather of Fitness” died January 23rd at the age of 97. My mother and I used to exercise with Jack in front of our Black&White TV (yes, we’re talking back in the 50’s) every morning! LaLanne spawned countless other gurus, but continued to be a leading figure in fitness and nutrition until his death.

What I find notable is how he chose to celebrate his milestone birthdays. Here are some of the highlights (as noted on his website):

1954 (age 40): swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 mi) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record.

1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km)

1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.

1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.

1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76”, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.

1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.

1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.

1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.

Clearly, this was a man who was not limited by society’s expectations of “old age.”

The relating to your Being in the sense of being energy begins to bring you to realization and evolution in what is real about this world and life. Energy does not die or cease to be, it just shifts and changes… -Pa’Ris’Ha  (from To Live Fully in Joy)

It occurs to me that moving through life is indeed like moving through a long distance race. Although most of us don’t know the exact time of our exit from this plane of existence, many begin to slow down at a perceived point – often years before it’s “our time.”

Some people, like LaLanne, run full tilt to the finish line. That’s what we all need to be doing.

“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. …But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.” — Deepak Chopra

When you want to score a basket in basketball, you aim at the backboard. Either you hit the backboard and the ball bounces in or you might just arch the shot in without hitting the backboard. The point is, and what’s known from a practical coaching standpoint, that if you aim at the hoop, chances are you’ll miss. It’s aiming the shot at the backboard (beyond the actual target) that helps it “make the distance.”

Racers running to the finish line don’t slack off in the final lap. If anything, they speed up. Yet, in the race we call “Life” many slow up and become stiff and infirmed – because of an expectation? I am constantly surprising people with my age. I turned 60 last October, but most people guess my age to be in my 50’s.

There is not pre-determined aging process. We’re all dying – life, as Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha reminds us, is a constant journey towards death from the moment we take our first breath, however, we have choices as to the quality of that time and what we achieve with it.

Recently I found myself discouraged regarding some personal goals. I felt something creep into my thinking that I quickly had to isolate and eradicate. I had to get very definite. The timeline for my achieving what I want to achieve with my life is only over when I stop breathing.

So there’s no such thing as “too late” or “not enough time” – because we don’t know how much time we have. The only thing we know is we that have today. And the only question needs to be asked is “What am I doing with my time today?” -Deborah Adler

What really matters to you? Where do you see the need to change? What is the next move you need to make? Remember this is the next moment of the rest of your life. How many times have you heard or said that? Well in this Moment all can change or remain the same, what is your decision…Now? –Pa’Ris’Ha (from Words of Wisdom)

To Live Fully in Joy © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved. ©2008 Pa’Ris’Ha. All Rights Reserved

Words of Wisdom © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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