Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘service to others’

Caring is the Key!

Every once in awhile we read a word or sentence that takes our breath away. That’s exactly what happened when Vice President Joe Biden commented at the funeral of his 46 year old son Joseph ‘Beau’ Biden that “a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.” Humility and recognition of something greater than self were so eloquently spoken by a grieving father and leader in our country. These words in context cause us to exhale slowly as we think about the powerful image that comes to mind.

The Biden family experience with loss started early. The tragic death of Beau’s mother and one year old sister in a car accident that seriously injured both Beau and his brother ‘Hunter’ was the beginning. He served two terms (2006-2015) as Delaware’s Attorney General. Beau’s life ended after a two year battle with brain cancer. Yet, through it all his father said he witnessed “the same integrity, courage and strength that he demonstrated every day of his life.”

We know that through all of the life challenges and losses we experience and all the ‘whys’ left unanswered we are ultimately left with a simple truth, ‘life is as it’s supposed to be.’ It doesn’t ease the pain or soothe the open wound of loss yet we know deep down that this simple truth somehow rings true. Some complete their journey sooner than we would have chosen.

Vice President Biden helped us all to remember our jobs, our calling and purpose in life. As parents we know our greatest success is felt in our hearts when we see the type of children we have been fortunate enough to raise. Our other achievements pale by comparison to the feelings we experience when we see them succeed.

Our legacy, what we have ultimately done to make this world a better place, comes in many forms. For Beau Biden it was dedicating his life to the service of others. For others it may be discovering a cutting edge idea, teaching a child or lending a hand to a fellow traveller. Caring is the key as Biden exemplified.

When we demonstrate love and caring to our children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews we give them immeasurable strength to face the challenges that will naturally surface in their own lives. It’s as if we give them an invisible shot of confidence. Everyone needs to feel valued and to know that their life is important to someone other than themselves. When we believe in someone we give them the emotional support that is needed as they try out their life wings. We stand by eager to encourage them to fly higher than we have ever experienced. We listen to them with our head AND heart as they talk about their hopes and dreams. We are in a privileged position, at just the right angle, to see into their souls as we cheer them on. The Universe then smiles and says back to us, ‘Well done.’

Have a great few days!

A Perfect Example of Synchronicity!

Sometimes sharing a story does more for understanding than pages of detailed explanations. The following is a perfect example of synchronicity. A term that is complex in definition but simple in understanding through example.

As I drove up to my mailbox (one of those newly designed mail deliveries with 53 small locked boxes) I waited for two people ahead of me to pick up their mail. As I waited one person, whom I had never met before, introduced herself and began talking about her purpose for being there on this day. It seems her best friend’s son had committed suicide and she came to her winter home to support her as she goes through the grueling and gut wrenching process of burying her son on Saturday. We discovered in our short conversation many similar connections – geographical locations including states and even continents, deaths of a son, ways to support a parent who goes through such a shocking experience…just to name a few. It felt like the Universe just placed the two of us on a perfectly aligned course to meet. She said she had shivers on her arms as we were talking. I thought to myself, yes there certainly was a purpose – an unplanned event – that was designed to happen.

I mentioned to her that I had published a book on the loss of a child and it also included a section on suicide for people who experience such a traumatic event. As she looked at me with absolute surprise I knew, once again, this unintended meeting was set up by a force greater than myself. The force that Jung called Pure Consciousness or the quantum level of existence. One thing led to another and she came directly to my house and picked up three copies of my book.

What were the chances of being at the exact place at the exact time to be able to offer help to another human being who was wrestling with a profound life changing event? Remember the saying, when the student is ready the teacher comes along? We all fall into both categories of being either student or teacher throughout our life experiences.

Carl Jung, the noted Swiss psychiatrist, became fascinated with this phenomena he termed synchronicity in the early 1920’s. He defined it as the ‘appearance of seemingly random acts which have a significant meaning personally.’ Jaworski and Senge in the 80’s and 90’s also referred to this phenomenon in reference to leadership of organizations.

It seems to boil down to one’s willingness to be of service to others when the situation is presented. To choose, in effect, to momentarily set aside our personal agendas and schedules and take the time to truly listen with our hearts to someone. To do something to help another is a selfless experience of the Divine. By doing so we create a higher awareness and deeper understanding of reality and our place as servant in this incredible Universe.

Taking time to care about others in need creates the moments in life that change who we are and what our mission in this lifetime is all about. We begin to see more clearly the bigger picture of service. I want to be thoroughly used up before I leave this earth and am thankful every time I am able to add a word, ask a question or offer a word – a perspective even – that can help a fellow traveller along the way.

You might want to watch for these moments of synchronicity in your life. They will present themselves because we all have the power to make the world – one individual at a time – a little stronger in the process. We just need to be open and willing to set aside our personal agendas and adjust our time frames to offer support.

Have a great few days!

Virtues and Reasons for Life Challenges

The 27 Divine Virtues that Robert Schwartz talked about in his lecture, is to help us to determine what particular areas we are working on in this lifetime. Usually 3-5 seem to pop out as areas that are the most difficult for us to accept, believe in or practice. Going more deeply into the why we may have chosen particular virtues to work on, he has discovered 4 main reasons. They are explained in greater depth in his book, Your Soul’s Gift.

He first talks about KARMA. He defines karma differently. He feels it is not a ‘cosmic debt’ that we are trying to repay but rather as something our soul needs to experience to more fully understand the emotional lessons involved in fully learning the virtue. He further explains that karma can be for 1 of 2 reasons. Balancing or releasing. Balancing our karma is when we have purposely designed life lessons to help us experience all emotional sides or an issue for deeper understanding. The result then, is a 360 degree view of the virtue. You really, really get it at that point. Releasing, on the other hand, is achieved when we finally understand the underlying root cause of the imbalance and can release it. For instance, if a person looks at life as if the cup is half empty, scarcity or the fear of not having enough of something, may be at the root cause. FEAR of … (you fill in the word) is usually the cause of our imbalances in life. Once we truly internalize that anything (including fear) that we give emotional energy to, we are actually drawing more of it to us, we will stop. If you don’t want scarcity in your life stop dwelling on it. Think abundance and believe that there is more than enough in this Universe for everyone. Refuse to be crippled by fear of anything!

The second reason Schwartz feels that we may have planned certain challenges in our life is for HEALING. He explains that when we have unresolved negative energy from a previous lifetime (such as anger, guilt, blame, judgment of self and/or others) we may plan specific life issues to live through that involve these exact feelings so that we can heal ourselves from inside out and achieve greater understanding and peace.

Schwartz believes the third reason we may have chosen our life challenges is for SERVICE TO OTHERS. The phrase is self explanatory. We know that what we give, we receive and what we teach, we learn. He says that this area, service to others is an ‘accelerated path’ of spiritual growth. Remember the phrase, pay it forward? It applies here, for sure. When we remember that we are all part of God/Universal energy and when we help others we are also helping ourselves, the impact becomes that much greater.

He feels a fourth reason for our challenges on this earth is for CONTRAST. My understanding is that on earth we experience an intensity of emotional experiences. No kidding! We are in a classroom of nonstop learning! So our opportunity for growth (to become a better person) is greater. It makes me think of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, The Princess and the Pea. Even under 20 mattresses she was able to feel the pea. Her physical/emotional awareness was so heightened from her experience as a princess. On earth, since our challenges are so vast and difficult, our own physical and emotional growth is heightened which allows us to develop a higher level of functioning and understanding.

Have you found anything from his work that seems to speak to you? I hope so.

STAY TUNED – ON MY NEXT BLOG ON WEDNESDAY, I WILL SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT MY BOOK. IT IS NOW AVAILABLE!