Something was missing.
I’ve made my Turkey Chili & Beans for years. After countless tweaks and adjustments, the recipe has evolved into a family favorite. Always yummy all the time.
But this time it was off. It just didn’t have the flavor it was supposed to have.
That’s what happens when you forget to add the spices.
I had pre-portioned out the blend of cumin, cilantro, chili powder, and turmeric and set them aside, waiting for the right time to add them to the simmering pot. Apparently I forgot to add them in, and the result was rather bland.
The spices made up such a small percentage of all the ingredients, yet their absence made such a huge impact on the entire dish.
Little things certainly do make a big difference.
And in life.
Things like love, compassion, and kindness, three of life’s most important spices. Their absence will also make a huge impact. Yet their presence has the power to change the world.
Your world. My world. The entire world.
When life feels a bit bland, when it feels like something is missing, maybe that’s the time to add a bit of love, kindness, and Continue reading “A Teaspoon Of Love, Compassion, and Kindness?” →
The local shops were packed. An important holiday shopping day, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was rebranded as Small Business Saturday a few years back. The goal was to encourage people to do some of their holiday shopping at the small, family-owned businesses in their communities. And on this day, business was quite good.
Supporting locally-owned businesses has a huge impact on the local economy. It provides jobs and incomes for many families, and much of that income stays within the local community, which perpetuates even more economic activity.
Shopping local makes a big impact in a community.
It works the same way with love.
Draw a one mile radius around where you are. How much love can you give locally this holiday season? How much impact can you make on the lives of others right around you?
There are opportunities everywhere.
Maybe it’s checking in on someone who is alone this season…just to remind them that they aren’t really alone. Maybe it’s cooking a meal for a family going through a rough stretch right now. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Or donating a toy to a child who may go without one unless you do. Maybe it’s just being kind and patient during what can be a very stressful time of year for some. Maybe it’s holding a door for someone. Or maybe it’s just offering a smile.
We can give away a smile, can’t we?
Love is the one gift which is always needed, always the right size, and the giver is always happy when it gets returned. There is no greater gift than love, and there is no limit on how much love we can share with the world.
Or in our neighborhood.
Make your impact felt this holiday season.
It’s a great day to be you!
It sounds rather simple.
And it should be quite easy.
But in reality it’s often a very difficult thing to do.
After all, how could you love you? You know everything about you, the good and the bad. Especially the bad. There are no secrets in your relationship with yourself. And that little voice in your head is always quite good at reminding you of your mistakes, regrets, and shortcomings. How could you possibly love such a person?
Maybe love is too big of a first step.
Good relationships take time, especially if that relationship is between you and you. My Continue reading “Perhaps You’re Just Not Ready To Love Yourself?” →
Hate needs a makeover.
I’m not a big fan of hate. Or of hateful people. But out of fairness, as a society we haven’t done a great job teaching people the proper way to hate others, have we?
None of us are born haters. Hate is something we learn rather informally, often influenced by those who guide us though our formative years. The people who teach us how to hate have no course syllabus or Powerpoint presentations to ensure we are doing it the “right” way. Rather, we become unsuspecting apprentices, watching and listening to the actions and words of those who we look up to and someday hope to make proud. Hate can be passed from one generation to the next just as easily as the color of someone’s eyes. Continue reading “The Modern Guide for Hating Other Humans” →
Walking into the auditorium I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The event was billed as an evening with a musician who had been physically healed, in part, by music and has since helped others to heal through the sharing of his gift of music.
I didn’t know Andrew, but I soon became intrigued by his story. A tumor, initially thought to be cancerous was actually benign. However, the celebration quickly subsided as Andrew’s body began to shut down from an allergic anaphylactic shock while recovering from his surgery. For several days he vacillated between life and death, comatose in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at New York’s Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. Sensing Andrew had perhaps lost his desire to live, out of fear and desperation his wife Continue reading “Are You Willing To Share The Healing Power of You?” →
Until you understand their pain, you will never understand the person. Without such understanding, the truth is inevitably distorted, and our expectations of others are flawed from the very beginning.
Understanding another’s pain is itself a flawed concept. To truly know pain you must own it. No matter their best intentions, no one else will ever know exactly how you feel. But what needs to be understood is that there is pain in all of us, the emotional dents and dings collected on life’s journey.
We judge others by what we see in front of us. Actions and attitudes not meeting our expectations are often met with harshness and disdain. A logical response in the mind of many. But what if we Continue reading “Random Acts of Blindness” →
The road to finding peace and happiness is never straight. At least it wasn’t for me and those I’ve known who’ve spent years of their own meandering on a similar journey.
None of us are born angry, miserable, weak, unworthy, afraid, anxious, or insecure. Those are things we can become. Sometimes you can define the catastrophic moment when the world rose up and took away the peace and happiness you entered this world with. Sometimes, though, we look back and can find no specific reason why the peace and happiness we are looking for ever went away in the first place.
It’s surreal walking through your empty life surrounded by everyone else who have their lives all figured out and are moving forward. That’s what I assumed…everyone else Continue reading “The Two Gifts Only You Can Give To Yourself” →
It’s become standard operating procedure of late. The passing of a music icon disrupts the preprogrammed corporate music playlist of radio stations of the same genre. Now when I hear three songs by the same band or artist played back-to-back-to-back on the radio I assume someone has died.
That was the case recently with the loss of David Bowie. His passing filled the airwaves with his songs, his life celebrated through a lifetime of the music he created and shared with the world.
Sometimes hearing songs for the first time in a long while allows you to appreciate their artistry and message. Time changes us all and often with it our perspective of songs we’ve heard most of our adult lives.
“Insanity laughs…under pressure we’re cracking.”
Back in 1981 when it was recorded by Bowie and Queen, “Under Pressure” was lyrically insignificant to me. It was a great song driven by an infectious bass line. But I couldn’t relate to any meaning the words may have contained. The only pressure I had at that Continue reading “The Benefits of Kissing Your Own Ass” →