Category Archives: Spirituality

It’s 5773, but the Message of Passover 2013 Is Still as Strong as Ever

(Here’s a re-post of a past Passover message, up again by request.  The year is now 5773.  Please enjoy, and to all my Jewish readers, have a happy, healthy Passover!)

Happy Passover to our Jewish readers.

It’s Passover 2011, or, in the Jewish calendar, I think it’s Passover 5771.

This is the time of year when Jews around the world celebrate their freedom from bondage in Egypt with the commemorative Seder and Passover meal.

Think about Moses all those years ago, trying to convince the Egyptian Pharaoh to “let my people go.”  Then all those plagues such as blood, frogs, vermin, slaying of the first born…

It took a lot for Pharaoh to finally let the Hebrews go, and even then, he still chased after them, necessitating the parting of the Red Sea so that the Hebrews could cross to safety.

There were wanderings, new beginnings, divisions, and some heartache, but in the end, the destination was reached.

There is one part of the meal that really stands out to me.  It is during the recounting of the plagues — when Jews count down the Ten Plagues during the Seder.  A drop of wine is spilled with each recitation in memory of those who suffered in Egypt…not the Jews, but the Egyptians.

I guess it’s a solemn reminder that when blood of any kind is spilled, we all lose a little something.  Then, it is important to remember that when there are those in bondage around the world, we ourselves (no matter our religion) are in some way in bondage.

Jewish or not, matzah-lover (matzo-lover) or not, remember Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.  Work toward justice, strive for freedom, and remember those who may not be so lucky or fortunate.

Passover isn’t just about a meal.  It’s about the whole human race.

Happy Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.

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Happy New Year 2013…Let’s Hope 1/1/13 Brings 13 More Blessings Than Superstitions!

Lucky number 13.

At least, that’s what this year brings, right?  1/1/13.  I know, I know…technically it’s TWO-ZERO-13, but still…seeing that “13” hanging off the end there is enough to make even the least superstitious a little nervous.

So, will this be a year of broken mirrors, opening umbrellas in the house, black cats, and walking under ladders?  Or, will it be a time of truly wonderful omens and special opportunity?

I laid in bed for a few extra minutes today and stared at the ceiling.  I thought about 2012 and all of its past glory and really had to smile.  It was quite a year for me, and I’m sure for you, too…whether or not you know it.  Not that much “exciting” really happened to me, but it certainly was a time of near misses, false starts, new beginnings that turned into false starts, and…well…let’s just say I still have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes and am counting my blessings for it.

I’m not really a resolution man by nature, so I won’t engage in too much of that here.  But if you know me, you know I’m counting the ol’ blessings every second I can, just in case.  So, since we’ve narrowly avoided a fiscal cliff and a Mayan Apocalypse, let’s take some time to count some before the cliff drops off…13’s a nice number, don’t you think?  Some of these may be a bit obtuse, but again, if you know me, well…then that’s no surprise!

1.  Near miss in hospital avoided for one whom I love.  Heard the phrase “just in time” one time too many for my liking, but so far have not heard it again.  All’s well going into 2013.  There was good spirits, laughter, and positivity the WHOLE time it was going on, and there continue to be, and yes…that made all the difference.

2.  Conversations about new ventures are ongoing with some really cool people.  Why count this?  Because instead of being stuck in a rut bemoaning the state of things, it’s actually nice to be able to think about fresh adventures and see them unfold.  I’m open to that.  I have that opportunity.  It takes work, but I’m happy for it.

3.  Chicken parm.  That’s right.  I know it’s not a hospital near-miss or the promise of a new business venture, but it’s delicious, right?  Right.  Enough said.

4.  The new playlist in my car.  Yup.  I listen to certain things in the morning to get me spiritually motivated, but in the afternoon?  Well, in goes a playlist of songs that I love to rewind:

Speed of Sound by Coldplay

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

Afternoons & Coffeespoons by Crash Test Dummies

April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel

Bitter Tears by INXS

The Broad Majestic Shannon by The Pogues

This Cowboy Song by Sting

Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

Hannah Jane by Hootie and the Blowfish

Lonely Girls by Ian & Sylvia

Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel

Talk by Coldplay

Wisemen by James Blunt

Time to Move On by Tom Petty

Tiny Daggers by INXS

Trip Through Your Wires by U2

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?  by REM

Why Should I Cry for You? by Sting

Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by  Coldplay

Yes…thank goodness for that playlist.  Doesn’t get too too much better than that, my friends.  Go ahead.  Take your shots at it.  I’m immune.

5.  My agent.  Have to thank her again.  Why?  Just ’cause.  Y’know.  Just ’cause.

6.  Fresh faces and friends in 2012.  New spaces to fill with those new people in 2013.

7.  When I saw darkness in 2012, I was able to reframe it to see the message instead of trying to yell at it to become light.  Thank you 2012 for that.  Thank you thank you a million times thank you.

8.  That I continue to be able to forge ahead.  Thank you, 2012 for allowing that, too.

9.  I’m blessed for the ability to count blessings.  Yes.  Gotta list that one.  Thank you, Universe, for even allowing a count to happen.

10.  Thank you for dreams and reality.  Why?  Because when the line blurs, we know we’re on to something.  If you haven’t reached this state in life at least once, try it.  See that your world is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  It’s interesting!

11.  Thank you for teachers, students, and the ability to connect with both.  You need to talk to people who think like you once in a while.  They’re your feel goods.  But, yes, you need to learn from the ones who yell at you for what you think.  Sorry.  That’s life.  But look for the people who believe what they believe out of conviction, and not because they’re told to believe or or believe it because of some lame news station.  Be a true teacher and a true student.  Nice.

12.  Thank you for the spice of life.  It ain’t always sugar.  It ain’t always lemons.  Sometimes…well…sometimes it’s just right.

13.  And lastly?  Thank you for allowing me to be Nobody in particular.  I love my Nobody brothers and sisters.  And, the more I watch reality TV, commercials, and sports (the NBA), the more glad I become for this one.  Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you a million times thank you to whatever is running this Universe that the world is not really about (at least I HOPE it’s not about…) the most money, taking talents elsewhere, or being “in”famous.  Thank you for quiet rooms, conversation over coffee at the local wherever, a special playlist, an honest day’s work, and knowing that when we point to heaven after something special, we know that everyone else is just as loved….Universe, we know you don’t only care about three pointers, touchdowns, winning a voice contest, and sunken putts.  These are special things, yes.  These are karmic things, I know.  But at the end o’ the day, you present glory to see how we handle it.  I have to believe you just want us to simply be grateful for what we have (except for the occasional blog post…sorry!), and we know you love that pitcher whether he gives up the homer or not.  I’m grateful for knowing that, even though I’m not a pitcher.

So, I know I said I wouldn’t make a resolution.  But I will.  As January 1, 2013 comes and goes I will vow only to do my best to keep on moving ahead.  To be open to new opportunity.  To let the past be the past.  To let the future be the future.  And…well…to keep on being the best Nobody I can be.

From this Nobody to you, whomever you are, have a safe, happy, and blessed 2013.

May This Christmas 2012, Hanukah-Past 2012, and All Your Post-Mayan Apocalypse Holidays Be Filled With…Burl Ives?

The 2012 Mayan Calendar date has come and gone and we’re still here.  We still work, eat, meet, greet, and do our thing.

So, here’s a favorite post from last December.  Hope your lives are full of “holly jolly” each and every day, and may the season bring you a smile.

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Hanukkah 2011 and Christmas 2011.

Welcome, holiday season!

Wait, why am I saying welcome?  The holiday season has been here for a while now, hasn’t it?  At least, Christmas has.  Heck, the commercials have been here since October.  And, I’ve been eating other peoples’ holiday cookies and goodies since just after Thanksgiving.

But yes, ’tis the season of getting and the season of giving.  I’m never sure which is more important to the masses this month.  I know so many people right now who are getting some nice things for themselves.  Let’s see…there’s two new TVs, a new car, 3 new phones.

And a partridge in a pear tree….

I know a few people who have a new lease on life, some making new starts, some closing old business some opening up something new.  All kinds!  All walks of life!

There’s new jobs out there, and I think there’s a new pet in the mix somewhere, but I could be wrong.

Yup.  The holiday season is in full swing!

What’s new with you this December?

The other day, I had an interesting episode in the building where I work.  I got in the elevator — just moi, nobody in particular.  And in stepped another guy.  Nobody in particular.  There we were.  Just two guys in an elevator going down 10 floors.  No clue the other existed until that moment, and probably only about to share 20 seconds of life…two seconds per floor.

In the peopled solitude of the elevator, drifting out of the speakers in the elevator, was Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

I’m telling you, it was weird.  The guy was looking one way.  I was looking the other.  Life was life.  Work was work.  We both had that awkward elevator-busy going on.

And there was Mr. Burl Ives and “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Ever see Twin Peaks?

So, in the spirit of the season, I reached out and say to the guy, “Boy, this is kinda surreal, isn’t it?”

He smiled.  I smiled.  The song played on.

In the lobby, we exchanged pleasantries and another smile.  I wished him a good day, he wished me a good day.

Nothing came of it.  I haven’t seen him again.  It’s a big building, after all.

But you know?  Something nice happened there.  Two guys shared a holiday season exchange.  No one witnessed it.  Heck, I didn’t even really think about it again until now.  But you know?  It was nice.  And it cost nothing.

I’m not really sure why I’m sharing all of this with you.  You probably could care less.  In fact, I’m not really sure what it has to do with Christmas and Hanukkah 2011.  All I know is that thinking about it now makes me smile.

TVs, cars, phones, and pets are great.  They are!

But this holiday season?  Well, it’s the connection with the stranger that has really brought a smile to my face.

So, from me (a nobody stranger) and Burl Ives (a somebody who always has a Holly Jolly time), have a Holly Jolly Christmas and a Happy Healthy Hanukkah.

And whatever you do, smile!

So the “Mayan” December 21, 2012 Date Is Here and the World Woke Up to Count Down Again…

Today is December 21, 2012.  The infamous Mayan December 21, 2012.

More prophesies of the world’s end did not come true, and December 22, 2012 is waiting in the wings.

I’ve been telling people for years that this is not an “end”…but just the end of a cycle of over 5,000 years that will start itself anew.  Others have said this is also the end of two different Hindu age cycles a grand cycle, and a shorter cycle (the Kali Yuga?).  I’ve listened to many commentators on this subject and find it very interesting.  The most interesting are the ones that say the earth is moving on its path as it always has and that indeed, new “ages” are here, but, well…they’re spiritual in nature.  Or expose us to more light from the center of the galaxy.  Some may feel a little different today.  More tingly.  Some may not.  But we’re all still going to be here.

And we are.

What are your thoughts?  What were your beliefs around this day?  Did you take the day off work?  Did you Google December 21, 2012 or Mayan Calendar this morning as you watched the news or read the paper, or got ready to face day one of the “new” Mayan countdown?

Forget what you “thought” would happen today.  Instead, take 12/21/12 it as an opportunity for a new beginning.  Heck, if you read this, take a moment to take a deep breath and say, “The world is still here, ‘same’ as it ever was.  What can I do to take a new direction?”

Here at Nobody’s View we believe that we are all nobody, and that makes us somebody special.  So, in that spirit, remember that you’re not the special Mayan priest.  You’re not the oracle.  You’re just a person who hit snooze once this morning, got out of bed, and are going into the office or getting the kids off to school here on December 21, 2012, the end of a Mayan cycle and the start of another.

Take the days as they come.  Count the days to Christmas.  Count down to the new year.  Make a new dish to eat.  Make it a date night.  Leave your phone on silent.  Watch a good foreign film.  Practice Ho’oponopono like you really mean it.  If that’s not for you, try yoga, tennis, or golf.  Take up the guitar.  Remember the good times and make a strong commitment to the future.  Read a good book.  Read a bad book.  Read a book that you’ve heard is both (50 Shades of Grey?).  If you love the ocean, hike in the mountains.  If you’re a mountain person, take a dip.  Read about the Mayans, or book a trip to Mexico and see the ruins for yourself.

The point is, the sun rose today.  Some have said the earth is now cresting and more light and energy are bombarding us.  Good stuff.  Believe it?  Great.  Don’t believe it?  Well, you can still make a new start.  You can still shine a little light in your own world.

Folks, we’re all nobody.  We’re all somebody.  We’re what makes the world go ’round in our little corners of the vast universe.

This December 21, 2012, make the most of it.  Oh, and here’s the secret.  Do the same thing on December 22, 2012.

“Calm” Is the New “Fun” in the Busy Life!

I know, I know.  It’s been a while.

I say that a lot, don’t I?  Well, I always have a good excuse.  Really!  I swear!

Actually, I’ve been working a lot lately.  A lot a lot.  I have two jobs and I think I put in around 75 hours this week.  Yeah, it’s a lot, but it’s okay.  It’s not every week, you see.  Just sometimes.

But it really got me thinking about how I spend my time.  Today, after I submitted a project to one of my bosses, he told me to “do something fun.”  I said, “I will!” and then hung up the phone with a smile.

I swiveled around in my chair and then stopped.  And thought.  And…well…I realized that I really didn’t know what to do!  It’s 4pm.  I’m done with another huge project.  It’s been a busy week.  I finally have a few free hours and…well…I’m stuck!  What’s fun?

So, I took out my guitar and played some Simon & Garfunkel.  That always makes me smile.  And, in a few minutes, I’m going to do my yoga. That always relaxes me.  Then, I’m going to make dinner and watch some funny TV.  That’s always good, right?

So, I realized I really didn’t have to do anything “fun.”  Really, I just had to do something comfortable.  Familiar.  Relaxing.  Those are the gateways.  The ways in to the places inside that make me feel calm.  And as we all know, “calm” is the new “fun” in this modern age.

About 10-ish, I’ll turn in.  I’ll put my head down on my pillow and drift off into a sleep that will end on Monday around 5:30am when another long week will begin (no real Thanksgiving break here!  Probably will be workin’!).

But as that week begins, I guess the lesson is that I don’t have to search in between the work hours for “fun.”  Really, I just need to search for balance.  For activities that make me feel comfortable in my skin.

There is enough drama in life without making more.  There is enough that pushes us off kilter without ourselves adding more.  Remember that.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Do things that give you a sense of peace.  You don’t owe anyone an explanation.  Just do what you have to do to keep it all good.  As for the rest?  Well, deal with what you have to deal with.  Honk the horn when you have to honk.  Say “yes” to that cranky person at work with a smile and gritted teeth.  Eat what you don’t like so you can be polite.

But at the end of the day?  Well, do what makes you calm.  That’s really something more lasting than “fun.”

Sir David Ramon Hawkins M.D., Ph.D. — An Obituary You Might Not See, but Should….

An obituary crossed my desk today.

You probably didn’t know the man.  But then again, maybe you did.

He didn’t make a big splash like a Kardashian.  He didn’t write a book-a-minute like some of the authors you may know.  No theme parks named after him.  No shock-jocking.  No infamy.

Nothing like that.

He was a psychiatrist.  A physicist.  A man who tried to show that the simple act of pushing on muscle could give an answer to any yes/no question known in the universe.

He was Sir David Ramon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.  Or, as he was more simply known: David Hawkins.

He wrote books that maybe 100 people read (Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Linus Pauling), and books that were controversial and deep (Power vs. Force, Eye of the I).

Revered by some.  Reviled by others.  Always controversial.  Always entertaining.

I had the privilege of seeing Dr. Hawkins speak a few times.  Some of the things he said were quite illuminating.  Some were clear as mud.  Sometimes, he told himself a private joke and laughed alone.  At other times, we laughed with him.

But he always made you think.

I’m not going to launch into a description of his teachings (or findings).  It would be impossible.  It wouldn’t do them justice.  It would just make things more confusing.

Instead, if you feel moved, check out Veritas Publishing or his biography and descriptions at Hay House.

I don’t know why I felt moved to write about him today.  I just saw the obit and decided I wanted to say something.

Remember: whether you agree or disagree with a particular spiritual or philosophical teaching is no really the important thing.  The importance lies in engaging, discussing, and processing.

And David Hawkins gave us that opportunity in more ways than even he may know.

Rest in peace, Doctor.  May you now fully live the truths you believed.

September 25th and 26th Are Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur 5773/2012 — Laundry Time…Again!

Another year.

Rosh Hashanah 5773 has come and gone for our Jewish friends here at Nobody’s View, and now is the time for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur.  What follows is a column from last year, and…well…it’s time to bring it out again.  I’ve changed the dates to this year.

Happy Yom Kippur 5773/2012!

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So, our Jewish friends give us yet another great holiday about which to blog here at Nobody’s View.

This Tuesday, September 25, 2012 marks the start of Yom Kippur.  Or, in terms of the Jewish calendar, it is Yom Kippur 5773.  The holiday is ensconced in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 23:27 where God instructs the Hebrews that on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei), the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is to be observed.  Other readings, including Leviticus 16, provide instructions to the priest according to the day, including the preparation of the scapegoat in order to atone for the sins of the people.  Offerings, abstaining from work, and sincere repentance are the order of the day.  This is the price for release from sins.

It’s a Day of Atonement — “at one-ment.”  In religious terms, the day bridges sinners with the One who does not sin.  The holiday that is just past, Rosh Hashanah 5773, was the start of the Jewish new year.  The Book of Life was opened and the great pen was set to parchment to inscribe names for the coming year.  On September 25, 2012 (5773), Yom Kippur, the book is sealed (actually, it’s sealed on the next day, but the lunar holidays start the night before!).

Let’s go back to that word “atone.”  What does that mean?  Perhaps it is the forgiveness of sins or the act of making amends.  On Yom Kippur 5773, our Jewish readers come before God, admitting the wrongs committed in 5772.  They abstain from work, food, and the delights of the outside world and steadfastly appear before their Creator, seeking forgiveness and a place in the coveted Book of Life.

But now we have a different question on our hands — Where exactly are sins?  To put that another way, where is a ‘wrong’ located?  Does it become part of our body?  Is it jotted down on a Post-It note somewhere?  Is it blogged on some great and holy blog on the Internet?  (I haven’t found a blog like that so far, although there are a few that fancy themselves such a thing.)  I’m sure there are tons of theories on this, but I tend to favor a suggestion that sins do not reside in the soul, per se, but on our human clothing.

A few years ago, I was fortunate to hear a particularly interesting talk concerning sin and atonement.  The scholar compared these times of atonement to doing one’s laundry.  How?  Well, we of the messy eating crew know that stains very often appear on our pristine white clothing.  Come to think of it, that’s always when they appear — when we wear white.  And, it’s usually a colorful food we spill when draped in white — grape jelly and mustard come to mind.  Now, when someone wearing pure white returns to the office from lunch, their stains stand out, you see.  It’s true.  What is the first thing you notice about them upon their return?  The stains!  Admit it — you call it to their attention and rib them about it, don’t you?  “Nice shirt, Frank!  Did you get any in your mouth?”  Poor Frank.  That guy needs to wear more black.

So, in our example of atonement, through repentance, fasting, earnest prayer, or good will, we can, literally, do our laundry and wash ourselves clean.  Holy bleach!  Divine detergent!  Perhaps the memory of the stain is still with us.  Perhaps we regale our co-workers with the tale of the giant meatball sub.  However, the stain itself is gone — erased from memory and no longer a source of terror or embarrassment.

That interpretation (just one of many from only one scholar of many) had a profound impact on me — not as a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, or Atheist, but as a person.  It redefined the nature of sin and repentance, casting it into a much gentler sea.  Sure, we all know that it’s easy to judge other people.  It’s easy to define someone by a casual (or intentional) deed or error.  But think about this — it is quite likely that the people whom you value most are those that look past the faults and see a shining core.  They don’t judge based on the passing acts of a human life.  They forgive us our foibles and earnestly believe in our better natures.  They don’t see only the remnants of pizza sauce on our white shirt.  Instead, they know our clean soul and better nature.

I’ve often used the following as my measure of judgement (I said often, not always!): If my life was in danger, would the person with the stained clothes rush to save me?  The answer is probably yes.  If his life was in danger, would I save him despite my stained clothes?  That answer is probably also a yes.  With those two propositions on the table, do I really have time to judge?  Probably not.  A life, not a deed, is on the line.

Become a multi-tasker: learn to love, assist, and do the laundry all at the same time.

5773 is on its way for our Jewish readers here at Nobody’s View.  For the rest of us in Nobody Nation, this can also be a time to get something good going — something that applies for all of us, whether we are Jewish or not, famous or unknown, exalted or plain, rich or poor.  Imagine that this Tuesday, September 25, 2012 will begin your last day (or, the evening before your last day).  How do you want to be remembered — for the times you judged another or for the times you forgave?  For the damage you inflicted or the fences your mended?  For the fear you harbored or the courage upon which you sailed forth?

The Book of Life is in its last stages of editing.  It’s up to you.  Will you wash away or forgive the stains of the last year or let the stains blemish you?  Will you point out the stains upon others or let them eat in peace?  Don’t be fooled into thinking this post is only about God, sin, religion, or Biblical injunction.  It’s about common humanity.  It’s about all of us — all of us and our clean endings….

All of us and our clean beginnings.

Rosh Hashanah 2012/5773 — Reflect, Renew, Reenergize…and…Remember the Gap?

Happy Rosh Hashanah 5773 to my Jewish readers out there in Nobody Nation.

Or, Rosh Hashanah 2012.

Either way, for our Jewish friends, sundown Sunday marks the start of the new year.  A new beginning.  A time to reflect back on all that transpired in the last year, and to look ahead at all the goals for the days ahead.  The start of days of awe.  The start of days of wonder.  The start of the new.

The new year, or any new year, whether in Judaism or for other traditions, is a time to stand at the starting line, waiting for the word “go.”  It’s a pause.  A moment.  A gap between what was, and what will be.

But what’s in that gap?  What’s in that pause?  What goes though a person’s mind when the training is behind and the race is ahead?  Is it nerves?  Excitement?  A tremendous sense of quiet focus?

Often, when a new start comes for me or one of my friends, no matter what our religion or pursuit, I think about that gap.  That moment before the official start of a new race.  When we stand in prayer or anticipation or in a secular phase between what was and it is coming, what is it that we’re really doing?

If we’re just standing there regretting everything that has happened, then we aren’t thinking about ways to make a fresh start.  If we ignore the past altogether and just say, “I’m living in the moment now!” we risk leaving loose ends.

But, if we stand in focus…if we stand in reflection…if we stand with a real sense of desire to account for what has happened, and an earnest desire to prepare for what’s ahead, then we give ourselves a chance to really understand this moment.  This liminal phase in the doorway between what’s behind and what’s ahead.

Okay, now what does all of that mean?  Maybe it’s like this.  We had a goal in the last year.  There was something we wanted that perhaps we didn’t receive.  Now, we have a ceremony going on in this moment — secular or religious, doesn’t matter — that will give us time to pause and reflect — to stand in the reality of our situation and take stock.  So, maybe we review the paths we took to that goal that didn’t work out so well.  The false starts.  The earnest attempts.  Maybe we think about the delays, the disappointments, the things that didn’t go exactly as planned.  But now, in this moment, we’re not pursuing.  We’re not regretting.  Instead, we’re holding.  Holding a space.  Sitting in the middle between what we want and what we’ll do to get there.  So we plan anew.  We pray.  We take stock.  We get the courage up again.

And then we take a step.

We move ahead.

We put one foot in front of the other and take a fresh stride into a new commitment.

That, folks, is what a new year is about.  Take resolutions, for example.  They’re not necessarily about making a commitment to an absolute.  Rather, they’re about standing in the gap between what we wanted and what we still want and committing to a fresh start.  A renewal, of sorts.

Don’t lose sight of the importance of that.  Don’t miss the MAKING of the vow…the TAKING of the pause…the MOMENT of reflection.

The STANDING in the gap.

As the year of Judaism turns to 5773, whether you are Jewish or not, take a minute to appreciate the pause.  The stop.  The opportunity.

Stand in the gap between desire and accomplishment and renew your commitment — either to something old, or something completely new.

REFLECT on what you wanted.

RENEW your commitment to pursue it.

REENERGIZE your will to carry on, and…

REMEMBER to be fully present in the space between the dream and the journey to get there.

With that formula, I can’t guarantee you’ll reach your goal, but I can honestly say you’re giving yourself the best chance at seeing it in fresh light with a new vigor.

Heck, that’s a recipe all of Nobody Nation should follow.

Do it.  Help a friend to do it.

Then, when you reach the finish line, don’t forget to celebrate.  Your Jewish friends will tell you that Rosh Hashanah 5773 has time for that as well.

This Easter 2012 — Rise and Shine (Again) and Resurrect Your Passions

(Just like our Passover message here at Nobody’s View, I wanted to re-post last year’s Easter message.  Even though the year within the post refers to Easter 2011, I want to say Happy Easter 2012 to all our Christian readers.  Make this Easter 2012 something extraordinary!)

Happy Easter 2011 to our Christian readers here at Nobody’s View.  Welcome to a new season of Spring and rebirth.

I also hope you had a good Lenten season (the forty day period of repentance between Ash Wednesday and Easter when a Christian prepares himself or herself for the celebration of Holy Week, which incorporates the events of the Passion of the Christ, including Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection).

I’m sure it goes without saying that many of you, of all religions, had a good Mardi Gras (the famous Tuesday before Lent when many are to use up butter and meat — giving it the esteemed title of “Fat Tuesday.”)  We don’t need to go into details about this particular celebration, although I’m sure your memories will last a lifetime!

Easter itself is the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection.  It likely has origin in the Jewish Passover season (the time commemorating the Jewish Exodus from Egyptian bondage), but Christians regard the Easter season as a time to remember Jesus’ return.

Nowadays, like so many other things in modern times, Easter is largely associated with a certain bunny, delicious candies (like Cadbury’s amazing Creme Eggs and those…interesting little Peeps), and Easter egg hunts.  These are all fine and good (some really good), but there is something else lingering behind the commercial, and even the religious, meaning of the Easter 2011 holiday.

Consider the theme of resurrection.  No matter your views on the theological points of the Easter holiday, resurrection is something worth considering.  The term connotes a revival or a rebirth of sorts.  It’s not just a theme for Christ (although he made it famous in its most spiritual and material senses), but for all of us.

Whatever your religious persuasion (or lack thereof) there is always time to reflect on life and goals — life and goals that often lay dormant or dead in the tombs of our very selves.  Is there a book idea gathering dust in your brain?  A class you’ve been putting off?  Isn’t it about time you learned the waltz?  Maybe there is a religious, spiritual, or domestic practice you want to take up or resurrect — going to church more often, confession for the first time this year, a yogic discipline, more walks with your dog, more time with your kids, more volunteer work, more Torah study, a reading of the Chuang Tzu (a book of Taoism).

Let’s spend a little less time concerned with the religious lines that divide us and a little more time taking some meaning from seasons that may, or may not be, our own.

For my (practicing) Christian readers, again, happy Easter 2011.  Enjoy your Easter celebrations and have a Cadbury Creme Egg for me.  For my readers of different persuasions, happy Easter 2011.  Consider resurrecting something wonderful in your life.

This Passover 2012, Remember (Again!) — It’s Not Your Religion That Matters, But Your Humanity

(Here’s a re-post of last year’s Passover message.  The year is now 5772.  Please enjoy, and to all my Jewish readers, have a happy, healthy Passover!)

Happy Passover to our Jewish readers.

It’s Passover 2011, or, in the Jewish calendar, I think it’s Passover 5771.

This is the time of year when Jews around the world celebrate their freedom from bondage in Egypt with the commemorative seder and Passover meal.

Think about Moses all those years ago, trying to convince the Egyptian Pharaoh to “let my people go.”  Then all those plagues such as blood, frogs, vermin, slaying of the first born…

It took a lot for Pharaoh to finally let the Hebrews go, and even then, he still chased after them, necessitating the parting of the Red Sea so that the Hebrews could cross to safety.

There were wanderings, new beginnings, divisions, and some heartache, but in the end, the destination was reached.

There is one part of the meal that really stands out to me.  It is during the recounting of the plagues — when Jews count down the Ten Plagues during the seder.  A drop of wine is spilled with each recitation in memory of those who suffered in Egypt…not the Jews, but the Egyptians.

I guess it’s a solemn reminder that when blood of any kind is spilled, we all lose a little something.  Then, it is important to remember that when there are those in bondage around the world, we ourselves (no matter our religion) are in some way in bondage.

Jewish or not, matzah-lover (matzo-lover) or not, remember Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.  Work toward justice, strive for freedom, and remember those who may not be so lucky or fortunate.

Passover isn’t just about a meal.  It’s about the whole human race.

Happy Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.