Verda

Rick and Verda 2
Rick and Verda (Brother and Sister)

There can’t be any happiness found in the death of loved ones.

Brian and Verda
Brian and Verda (Brother and Sister)

But I know there are worse things than death. I especially think of seeing those we love suffer, is so hard to cope with and painful for everyone.

Many families, my own included, have experienced so much loss of loved ones to death and to suffering

Having lost my sweet, gentle and kind cousin yesterday, my thoughts and prayers are with her immediate family.

I can’t say I knew my cousin well, but I knew her well enough to know she was very much loved, and a bright shining sweet light. She always was quick to smile and laugh, with a very warm welcoming heart. Verda was the salt of the earth.

Her brother Freddy and I once went on a spontaneous trip to Minto New Brunswick where all my family are from. We visited with her and her husband and were of course invited to spend the night. I’ll never forget the musical fun with songs and playing guitar in the evening, lots of laughter, and the morning a hearty breakfast of deer meat  eggs, potatoes, and toast which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Verda was the kind of spirit that always made you feel like you were home when you were around her. Her arms seemed to wrap around you with her warm heart.

 

Meyers Family
Meyers Family Cousins
Verda
Sweet Verda

She will be very much missed and loved, always.

Verda
Rest In Peace Verda

The Darkness Saved Me

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This time of year always fills me with thoughts about the light and the dark. I think about how we need both in ever aspect of our lives.

The extremes of Winter weather lately are one day like Spring, next day a big Winter storm.. My thoughts are often about Spring in the dead of Winter. I try to embrace Winter, even though I really dislike it’s psychological confinements.

Trying to embrace the short days filled with darkness, makes it a bit easier to accept and to even like whatever I can. I become introspective and solitary in the Winter months.

When I first heard this song, The Darkness by Rose Cousins, it resonated so much with me. It really speaks a truth that we all can identify with I think.

Like my wise and gifted friend Indigene Theresa  said to me,   “The darkness is a major part of who we are and learning to acknowledge all our parts, allow us to be complete.”

I have to say the  darkness saved me from myself.

 

The Darkness Rose Cousins

To take a light into the dark is to know the light

To know the dark

Go into the dark

You can lock the door yeah you know how

You can stay alone, you’re so proud

But you can’t keep the darkness out

Oh you’re probably the strongest one I know

You got to the thickest skin

You got weight to throw

You can’t keep the darkness out

You can’t keep the darkness out

Whatever hurt you, what keeps you mad

Wants you to let it go, let it pass

When memories turn to doubt

You can’t keep the darkness out

Oh the dark is a river

and though it may divide

If you wade into it

With your arms open wide

Let it take you with it

Oh you don’t have to fight

It will provide, it will provide

There’s nothing wrong

with the heart in your chest

It might be heavy but it’s innocent

And it can’t keep the darkness out

You can’t keep the darkness

You can’t keep the darkness

You can’t keep the darkness

To take a light into the darkness is to know the light

To know the dark

Go into the dark

To take a light into the darkness is to know the light

To know the dark

Go into the dark

What I like about you?

Today I received an email. Nothing too exciting about that right?  We get them everyday. This one was different, in that it was really a very practical and affirming kind of message from a friend, Rabbi Brian who sends out a regular newsletter called Wisdom Biscuits, which I always enjoy reading these biscuits of wisdom! This particular email wasn’t one of those feel good sort of chain like posts you see on Facebook. For instance, that states if you re-post this now, your prayer will be answered, or money’s on the way if you re-post this etc.

Oh I felt good after doing what was asked, and when I really gave it more thought I realized just what Robbi Brian was saying. He is talking about how when you actively appreciate another, and  tell them what you like about them, they in turn will  appreciate you.

Appreciation is just like gratitude, it increases the more grateful we are, which in turn is passed on to another and having a ripple affect that expands. This creates blessings of happiness.

If we make appreciation and gratitude a regular practice then it becomes a very positive and beneficial habit, a kind of spiritual exercise. Below I have posted Rabbi Brian’s email he sent. You might want to make it a part of your life. I know I will.

On the 10-year anniversary of the newsletter, in July of 2015, I sent a quick email expressing my gratitude for all of the readers. And in it, I asked people to partake in a little exercise of thankfulness. I want to elaborate on this gratitude process which has greatly blessed my life.


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Simple steps to make people more wonderful.

I can promise that if you do the following exercise, the people you know will become more wonderful and you will feel great.

These are two “almost too good to be true” propositions. And, yet, they are true.​

  • People you know will become more wonderful.
  • You will feel great.

I guarantee it.

But you have to be willing to do two things.

  • You must be willing to push through what might be an initial, slight sense of discomfort.
  • You must commit to a 90-second written or oral exercise.

There is one possible side effect to this exercise: there exists a good chance you will wind up with the song What I Like About You stuck in your head.

Please do not proceed unless you have a few minutes.

If you read past this sentence, you are hereby committed to doing the exercises.

The exercise

You have a choice. Please decide if you would rather do this exercise by typing or speaking.

  • Typing can be done by text, IM, or email.
  • Speaking can be done by phone or in person.

 

(1) Typing (2) Speaking
  1. Click to open an e-mail that will automatically generate a subject line and part of the message. Otherwise, open up an IM message to a friend.
  2. Enter the e-mail address of a friend with whom you feel fairly comfortable.
  3. For the next 90 seconds, type in as many responses as possible to the prompt “What I like about you is….”
  4. Do not stop. If you feel yourself at a standstill, just type, “What I like about you is everything. What I like about you is everything. What I like about you is everything” until you figure out another way to end the sentence.
  5. Click for a countdown clock.
  1. Phone or find someone nearby with whom you feel fairly comfortable.
  2. Say, “I am taking part in a spiritual-religious exercise. Rabbi Brian asked me to commit to doing this. I need you to just listen to me for the next 90 seconds. I will be completing the sentence, ‘what I like about you is’ over and over again. Please do not interject or interrupt.”For the next 90 seconds, type in as many responses as possible to the prompt “What I like about you is….”
  3. Do not stop. If you feel yourself at a standstill, just type, “What I like about you is everything. What I like about you is everything. What I like about you is everything” until you figure out another way to end the sentence.
  4. Click for a countdown clock.

 

 

Notes

  • Congratulations; you did it! That’s great! About 40% of people reading this didn’t try the exercise. OK, I made up the percentage, but the point is, if you did this, great job. If you didn’t, please, please go back and do it. Thinking about playing (or practicing) the violin is not as good as actually doing it. If you want personal congratulations for doing the exercise, please click here. If you did not do it, would you please send me an email letting me know why? (I’m simply curious; no shame. I promise.)
  • I have found that people are almost starved spiritually; hearing what you like about them nourishes their souls.
  • I have made a commitment to doing this exercise at least three times a week. Usually I do it on Friday nights and tell my better half and our children what I like about them. (They often reciprocate.) Sometimes I do it on people’s Facebook pages in honor of their birthdays. And then there are some random times in the week when I might call and let someone know what they mean to me.
  • I’ve done this with people I’ve just met. Once. It was with a whole group of people who tried it. It worked! I would recommend this only to the very spiritually adventurous. I prefer doing it with people with whom I have a preexisting relationship.
  • I ask wedding couples do this exercise with each other. I encourage them to continue doing it weekly. And some report to me years later that they still do!
  • Sometimes the person who receives the 90 seconds of attention wants to return the favor and tell you what you mean to them. This is perfectly acceptable. Switch roles!

 

Feedback

How did it go?

Did you enjoy it?

Did it make you want to do it again?

Did you and the other person react as you might have predicted?

(Please post to the ROTB FB page or e-mail me and let me know.)

 

Opposite

Don’t you find yourself feeling closer to the person with whom you did the exercise?

Imagine that I had asked you to do an opposite exercise. Imagine I had asked you to list the things you don’t like about someone. Chances are, at the end of that exercise, you wouldn’t want to hang out with them so much.

By bringing awareness to what we like about others, we foster gratitude, warmth, and love.

Lynne Twist, the wise author of The Soul of Money, says, “What we appreciate, appreciates.”41Sq8d+1HCL._SL110_

In other words, if we take time to notice and appreciate a friend’s good qualities, it’s a win-win situation: we feel better and the friend feels better, too.

 

Practice

I have made it a policy in my life that I do this exercise 3x weekly.

I’m going to ask you to do it twice more (typing or speaking) in the next 24 hours.

Or tell the people with whom you have dinner on Friday night what you like about them.

You are an adult; feel free to adapt.

#wisdom_biscuit: Tell the people in your life what you like about them.

With love,