Keep Your Dreams

Never Give Up Your Dream
I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ “Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

Credit: Author unknown.

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The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong

Dan Pallotta makes a forceful case for changing the way we think about charities. This is a must watch video and its ideas need to be discussed and spread. The key problem is that while the issues that charities have to tackle are both growing and global in scale, we have shackled charities with outmoded ideas that prevent them from growing or scaling. From 1970 to 2009 only 144 non-profits have been able to grow beyond the $50 Million revenue figure. In the same time period more than 46,000 for-profit entities have grown to be more than 50 Million revenue. This means that while we allow for-profits certain leeway on how they operate, we shackle the non-profit sector. There is no real reason for our discrimination against the non-profit sector and the way we think needs to change, as the issues that the non-profit sector tackles are things that only they can deal with.

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Six Ways To Be

Six Ways To Be

Life is a swirl of activity. We have endless to-do lists and checklists, but after all we do and accomplish where is the time to be still, to just be? This post provides six ways we can go from doing to being:

1. Walk in nature

A stroll on the beach or in a park can help quiet a restless mind. Our ego forces upon us endless drama. But a quiet stroll in nature can help restore perspective and reconnect us back to our essence. As we witness the quiet wonder of an unfolding sunset our daily concerns suddenly seem to dwarf in comparison. The joy of simply being bursts into our consciousness and for a few quiet moments we taste the eternal.

2. Do Yoga

A well-balanced practice of yoga can help silence our worries and allows us to just experience the silent joy of being! On the yoga mat restlessness ends and stillness prevails. The world dissolves to a standstill and for a few quiet moments the eternal shines forth.

3. Meditate

Caught in the whirlpool of thoughts we spend our lives trapped in our minds. When we meditate we slowly learn that we are not our thoughts. As the separation between our thoughts and us grows we learn to surf the stillness between thoughts. It slowly dawns on us that our essence resides within this stillness and there is great joy to just be.

4. Pray

Prayer may start as a conversation or a plea. But at its heart prayer is an unconditional surrender. It is the complete letting go of our worries and concerns and placing them at the doorstep of the divine. As our surrender deepens the quietness within grows. Every action becomes a prayer as the ego melts away. It is important to set aside time and a place for prayer and slowly build up a practice of quiet communion with the divine.

5. Get into the flow

Sometimes we stumble into a state of concentration and focus where time stops. When we come out of this state we realize that many hours have passed. To our utter amazement we find that we have accomplished a lot in this state. Our deepest insights and our best work happen here. From the outside it may seem that we are in a swirl of activity, but from within we are in a state of complete focus and unity. There is no ego, no worry, and nothing to prove, just a connection with a quiet stillness within. Learning to focus without being attached to the outcome allows us to get into this state.

6. Serve

Selfless service is something that we do quietly without fuss or drama, and with no intention to draw attention to ourselves. We do it spontaneously and humbly and within it we find great joy, love, and connection. It is the result of being able to reside in the quietness within. Selfless service allows us to turn a tedious job into a calling. It allows us to make a living while doing our most fulfilling work.

It is not as if we can suddenly decide to magically switch completely into a state of continuous being. However there is a conscious choice that has to be made and this choice has to constantly be renewed. Each of the six ways mentioned in this article support each other and so you want to take up as many as possible. The journey into being is a journey into finding joy, wholeness, and fulfillment. Why would we waste a single moment pursuing anything else?

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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The Way Of Love

The Way Of Love

Mildred Norman was a saint who dedicated her life to peace. She later came to be known as the “Peace Pilgrim“. This essay is a distillation of her message:

Evil cannot be overcome by more evil. Evil can only be overcome by good. It is the lesson of the way of love. The contest in the world today is between the old way of attempting to overcome evil with evil, which with modern weapons would lead to complete chaos, and the way of overcoming evil with good, which would lead to a glorious and mature life.

We need not reach out to tear down that which is evil because nothing which is contrary to God’s law can endure. All not-good things in the world are transient, containing within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. We can help them to fade away more quickly only insofar as we remain in obedience to God’s law that evil must be overcome with good. Those who create something which is evil in order to overcome something else which is evil only double the evil.

God’s laws are implemented constantly, for everything out of harmony is on its way out. How can anyone doubt that eventually God will prevail? It is only who soon that is up to us. And with how much violence they will pass away is also up to us. Insofar as we are willing to let them go, there will be less violence – insofar as we have been able to build the new within the old, there will be less violence; so let us work on that. Let us help the phoenix to rise from the ashes, let us help lay the foundation for a new renaissance, let us help to accelerate the spiritual awakening until it lifts us into the golden age which would come!

In order to help usher in the golden age we must see the good in people. We must know it is there, no matter how deeply it may be buried. Yes, apathy is there and selfishness is there – but good is there also. It is not through judgment that the good can be reached, but through love and faith.

Pure love is a willingness to give, without a thought of receiving anything in return. Love can save the world from nuclear destruction. Love God: turn to God with receptiveness and responsiveness. Love your fellow human beings: turn to them with friendliness and givingness. Make yourself fit to be called a child of God by living the way of love.

Credit: This is from the book “Peace Pilgrim, her life and work in her own words”.

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The Jason McElwain Story

Jason McElwain is autistic and also a basketball lover. So intense is his love for the game that he has remained associated with the high school basketball team for many years, helping with whatever the team needs, including handing out water. Because of his devotion to the game, the coach asked him to “suite up” for the last game of the season. This did not necessarily mean that he would get a chance to play, but at least he would know what it meant to sit on the sidelines. But in the last 4 minutes of the game, the coach pointed at Jason to get into the game. What happened next was completely unexpected. Watch the video to find out.

This is not just a feel-good video. It also shows that when the energy level rises, belief can turn into reality and the unexpected can unfold.

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