Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson & Letting Your Light Shine...

A Return to Love
by Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Bay-Bee says, "Let your light shine! Your playing small does not serve the world. Get out of judgement and into curiosity as I am. I see the world as a source of wonderment, this wonderful place of miracles. How do you see the world?"

Bay-Bee says, "I was born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. You were also born to manifest that glory. There is a miracle inside of you, a passion that is begging to burst out, YOU ARE THE BRILLIANT ONE! Let it shine! Let your light shine."

You might say, "But, but... but I don't want others to feel intimidated or bad or think that I am over-bearing or coming on too strong. It's easier to just be meek and mellow."

Bay-Bee says, "Let your light shine! As you are liberated from your own fear, you AUTOMATICALLY GIVE OTHERS THE RIGHT, THE PERMISSION, THE INSPIRATION to DO THE SAME! By liberating yourself, by being strong, by overcoming your fears, you are being an example, a role model for others to do the same! We can all be inspiring!

Which would you rather do: summon the strength to overcome your fears OR live a life full of regret?

Aren't you tired of playing small? It's time to sit up and be counted, stand up and be strong, and open up and be heard. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. Serve the World! Serve it. You see, your new worth is in direct proportion to the amount of value you deliver to the people of the world. The more you serve, the more you give, and the more you master the skills, talent, and knowledge necessary to serve, the more you will receive."

God is going to give Bay-Bee a brain, a heart, and a body. It's up to Bay-Bee to maximize what God gave him. That includes staying away from destructive drugs, foods, and drinks. That includes staying away from destructive people as well. My father always said that you are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. Are your friends raising your average or lowering your average? It comes down to weightlifting. :) You are either a weight or a lifter. Which are you? Which of those two are the four of your friends with whom you spend the most time? Do you need some new friends?"

Listen, I know the readers of this blog. You are special, very special people. You have a light that burns so bright in you that it could light New York for a week, but for some that light is shaded by doubt, hesitation, fear, or friends.

Today is the day to wipe away the shade and let your light shine. Let it shine bright and let others know that you are no longer going to live a life of fear. You are going to do the things you need to do to fuel your body, your heart, and your brain. You are going to pick up the phone or visit those who raise your average. You are going to read, study, visit with family, share your happiness, and you are going to remember, YOU ARE THE BRILLIANT ONE!

Stimulus --> (Gap of Time) --> Response

You are going to CHOOSE HAPPINESS on a daily basis. You see, life is a choice (thank GOD we aren't just reactive animals with NO CHOICE!). Between Stimulus (WHAT HAPPENS TO US) and Response (HOW WE CHOOSE TO ACT), there is a gap of time (whereas with animals, it is stimulus-react based on instinct). We HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. We have the right to choose HAPPY or the right to CHOOSE miserable. It comes down to: only YOU can make YOU miserable! That's right. They can do whatever they want to do, but you can CHOOSE how you deal with that stimulus. I CHOOSE HAPPY! Say it with me, "I CHOOSE HAPPY!" Say it with me, "I CHOOSE HAPPY!" Don't you feel better already? I choose happy on a daily basis and I've found life chooses to smile back at me.

Inside each one of us, including Bay-Bee, there is a brilliant, bright, and powerful light just ready to blossom to light the air around us with a sparkle and magic. Perhaps you've lost a little of that sparkle. Well rejoice! Rejoice, because that sparkle can be re-kindled, no matter your age, gender, situation, or finances. Smile, laugh, be happy, because they can't take your mind, your knowledge, your talents, or your skills away from you. Nobody can take all of these blessings that are yours away - your sight, your hearing, your toes, your fingers, your mind, your smell, your health, your smile, your choice... Be thankful for the blessings, the many, many, many, many blessings you already have.

If you can read this, you are more privileged than 50% of the world's population. Think about how much power comes with the ability to read! Are you using that power?

Within you, each of us actually, there is a glow. It's been proven scientifically. That's where I truly began to believe in God was in my study of quantum physics. You see, you take the world around us and you look through a microscope and you see molecules. These are the small pieces of the world that make up the big pieces of the world. In between each of these molecules is space.

Take a stronger microscope and look at the molecules and you see that they are made of even smaller pieces called atoms. These atoms had a nucleus, a proton or more, and some electrons. The smallest pieces of these small pieces were the electrons.

When you look through an electron microscope (yes, this is a very, very high-powered instrument), you can see that the electrons are made of pieces called quarks. Look further and what you see is that these quarks are made of ENERGY! Energy, yes. Not pieces, but light (or pieces of light). We are all made of light. Call it God, call it energy, call it what you will, but when you look at us to the nth degree, we are a person full of "glow". In some people, this glow is brighter than in others. The brightness of that glow is determined by you.

Take it upon yourself to CHOOSE HAPPY this week. Let your GLOW be OUTWARD as well as INWARD and when one or two people try to shade your glow, tell them to smile and let their glow shine through. Tell them to read Then they'll get it. They'll quit trying to squelch the glow of others and start letting their light GLOW! They'll start being the lifter and not the weight.

Let your light shine, Bay-Bee! I can't wait until you see the light and we get to see your light. Stay healthy little guy. We're waiting with open arms for you.

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

P.S. Who do you know who needs to read this? Please pass this on to them. Be the inspiration. Be the role model. Let your light shine. Choose Happy! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Poem from Max...

I'd Rather Watch a Winner
by Michael Maxwell Maher*

"I'd rather watch a winner, than hear one any day.

So please, my loving parents, let your lives show me the way.

I'm only a reflection of what you taught today.

I may midunderstand you and the high advice you give

But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

So teach me by example, don't preach about what's right,

And show me by your actions every day and night.

I know that you're not perfect, in the things you do and say,

And the lectures you deliver are to help me find my way,

But I'd rather watch a winner, than hear one any day."

Couldn't you see a child writing that? This poem is a great daily reminder to me on how to lead with my actions not what I say ("Do what I say, not what I do" doesn't cut the mustard).

What does this poem say to you?

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

*This was really written by a self-improvement speaker and author, Denis Waitley.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Board of Education and My Seat of Learning...

Hi Bay-Bee!

I feel you kicking! I know you are anxious to get out of there and stretch your legs, but just wait 85 more days! Mama and Papa are anxious as well.

Tim Chin and I had our weekly radio show, Bizz Buzz Live (see more and listen Live at today. I look forward to this every Saturday. Sometimes it is because of the guests or the topics, but it's always because of Tim's great stories. His father made a big impact on him with something that could have made a big impact on him. :)

His father had a hobby of wood working to go with his preaching and teaching. One day, Tim's father shaped a piece of wood into a flat paddle shape. Easy to hold at one end and complete with air holes to decrease air resistance, this board was made for paddling. The engraving said it all, Board of Education. Tim's father would say that if he had any problems with Tim that he was going to apply the Board of Education to Tim's Seat of Learning. To emphasize the threat, Tim's father was smart enough to hang this paddle by the back door where the kids would exit to play ball or head to school. Tim's father was a wise man. Tim says that his father very rarely had to go to the Board of Education.

My brother, Brian, made a similar paddle. It was baseball bat shaped, except thinner. It also had air holes for speed. My brother made this of course after he had learned a few lessons. He made it for my brother, Rob, and me. Wasn't that nice? My brother also had an inscription on this board. It said "SCRAM". My father thankfully never had to use this board because I would have had a heck of tattoo to explain in gym class! SCRAM on my backside would take some explaining. Ouch!

We're going to try to get by without spanking. There are a lot of debates out there - spanking vs. not spanking, the best ways to discipline, reward vs. punishment, re-direct vs. directly correcting, etc. I honestly don't know which way to go, but if our time with Patrick is any indication, it will be by directly correcting and then discussion. Takes patience, but is more in line with my personality. We'll see. Which way do you think is the best way to get a child to behave?

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's your average?...

Hi Bay-Bee!

90 days to go! Are you kidding me? :)

Something my father said to me after a late night with my buddies has rang loudly in my head for years.

It was very late, after 1 a.m., on a summer night. I was 16. I had been picked up earlier in the evening at my house by three of my buddies. A couple of seniors, a junior (and I was a junior) went to cruise on Santa Fe. That was what high schoolers did for fun on Friday and Saturday nights and most of the summer. Cruising Santa Fe Street in Olathe (a bigger city just 10 minutes away from Gardner) was a big deal. Hundreds of cars and perhaps 400-500 teenagers flocked to the main street in Olathe on a nightly basis during the summer. Muscle cars and muscle shirts led to revving engines and short skirts. Every night was a party on "the Fe".

This particular night I was hanging out with a couple of seniors who were perhaps more notorious than famous. They were known to be pretty wild and reckless. That night was no exception. There was alcohol available. I'm not positive, but I believe there was something smoked (and I'm positive something was smoked on the Fe that night). (Note: Don't want to insinuate that I smoked anything, I was taught well here and had the good fortune of having "sports" father me when my father wasn't fathering me so I never smoked anything). There were races. It's a wonder nobody was arrested or hurt, though I know that many people were stopped by police on a nightly basis. My parents didn't have a curfew, but midnight was an implied "time to be home" because as my dad used to say, and I'm quoting, "Nothing good happens after midnight."

The guys dropped me off and I cringed when they revved the engine and peeled out from in front of my house. So when I rolled in at about 1 a.m. (perhaps later), I was only slightly surprised that my dad was still awake. He had shorts on and his typical white t-shirt. His five o'clock shadow had browned to a 1 a.m. shadow. He wasn't upset or mad or yelling. He never did that (except when it came to coaching, and even then it was rare and most of the time I thought it was more to fire his team up then it was anger). He simple stated, "Mike, I just want you to remember one thing: You are the average of the five people with whom you hang out most." That's it.

That's all he had to say. I got it. That was the last night I went out with those three. I continued to be alert to who I was hanging out with and even to this day, I strive to raise my average at all times. So what's your average? Who do you need to QUIT hanging out with and with whom do you need to start SPENDING MORE TIME? Raise your average today and call someone you love.

Bay-Bee, this is a very valuable lesson.

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chimps, Chumps, and Champs

Hi Bay-Bee!

A very important lesson today.

I know a boy, let's call him Skyler (not his real name), who recently got into some trouble (the 11-year old son of a client). There was an abandoned house nearby their house. It was a foreclosure. Probably something you've seen in your neighborhood during the last couple of years. He and another neighbor kid (another 11-year old) got bored one day this week and decided to check out this abandoned house. What started as innocent walking around the street ended up bad and could have been a lot worse.

Damon (not his real name), Sklyer's neighbor, was hitting some rocks with a bat and one of the rocks crashed through a window of the HUD home. Instead of deciding to quit and tell someone, Skyler and Damon proceeded to throw more rocks through the window. Looking around and not seeing anyone to take notice, Damon broke out all the window and climbed through the window into the house. He went around to the door and let Skyler in. They proceeded to take an ax to the walls of the home, chopped up the countertop, and broke more windows. They did about $4000 worth of damage! Unfortunately for them in the short term, but perhaps fortunately for them in the long term, a police cruise drove by when they were in mid-vandalism mode. Before they did more damage, two policemen stopped them at gun point (Damon dropped the ax quickly as you can probably imagine). Damon and Skyler were arrested.

They were taken down to the county jail where they were booked: photographed front and side, fingerprinted, and re-dressed in jailhouse orangesuits. They were going to be locked up for the night. The police called the boys' parents. Can you imagine getting that call? "Ma'am this is the county police. Your son has been arrested." Imagine what she was thinking (the stages of grief come to mind here - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, you can bet the first two stages were top of mind).

Sheri and I sometimes take kids to the movies, do yardwork with them, or just go out to eat wiht them. We don't call it babysitting, but hey, that's what it really is. It was time to spend some time with Skyler.

We did some yard work around the house and one of our rentals. I didn't say much to him. We went to get something to eat at Applebee's (one of my favorite restaurants for dinner - I love their Santa Fe Chicken Salad, nutritious too). Before we went in, I told Sheri to hold on a second.

Here's how my conversation went with Skyler (thanks to my dad):
Me (in a calm, serious tone): "Skyler, I'm angry with you. I'm truly upset about what happened the other day. You knew you were wrong. You knew you were doing wrong. And the worst thing is, you knew you were doing wrong and just kept on doing it."
Skyler (quietly, almost in tears): "I know."
Me (still in calm, quiet tone): "I want to tell you something my dad told me many years ago. You see, I got in trouble like you did. I did something wrong. I didn't get arrested, but it was wrong. My dad had a sit-down talk like I'm doing with you today. He told me that there are Chimps, Chumps, and Champs.

Chimps are just mindless followers, leaves in the wind, doing whatever other people want them to do.

Chumps are negative leaders, people who lead people down the wrong path.

Champs are positive leaders, people who do the right thing and lead people down the right path.

Which were you, Skyler?"
Skyler: "I was a Chimp."
Me: "Yes, and what was Damon?"
Skyler: "He was a Chump."
Me: "Yes, and what should you have done?"
Skyler: "I should have not gone into the house."
Me: "What should you have done before that?"
Skyler: "Not thrown rocks through the window."
Me: "And before that?"
Skyler: "After Damon broke the window, I should have said, 'We need to tell somebody.'"
Me: "Is there anything you could have done before that?"
Skyler: "Yes, I saw him about to throw the rock at the house. I could have said, 'Let's not do that.'"
Me: "What would a Champ have done?"
Skyler: "Would have said not to do that."
Me: "Skyler, you are going to have a LOT of chances and choices to make in life. You're going to be in a lot of situations where you have to be stronger than you really think you are. Whether it is somebody pushing marijuana or dope on you, or offering you a drink while everybody else is drinking, offering you a ride when you aren't sure the driver is able or sober, even in school when the opportunity to cheat comes up and you haven't studied, you will have opportunities to choose between right and wrong and I want you to remember to be a Champ. You are a Champ. It's time to make decisions like a Champ. Wouldn't you agree?"
Skyler (quietly): "Yes."
Me: "Let's go eat!"
All: "Yeah!"

So, Bay-Bee, remember there are Chimps, Chumps, and Champs. It's something to chomp on when you are considering a big decision. Be the positive leader. We need more Champs.

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Scary Episode in Orlando...

We just got back from Orlando where I attended the CyberStar Summit and Sheri, Tiffany, Shannon, and I attended the Star Power Annual Conference. It was a great conference with many of the speakers voicing points supporting the Seven Levels of Communication (my book) and my having four great chat sessions with full house crowds for each. Overall, just a fantastic conference with the Stars being as real, genuine, friendly, and forthcoming as ever. At the Star celebration following the conference, everyone was in a jovial, happy mood. About halfway through the cocktail reception, Sheri tapped my shoulder as I was speaking with four Stars. She whispered in my ear, "I think we need to leave... now."

First, she never interrupts when I'm in conversation and second, she rarely ever complains about anything. She was in pain. I asked her if we needed to go to the hospital. She said she thought so. I went to gather our stuff and as I turned left to head down the corridor towards the parking lot where our car was parked, I saw Sheri being consoled by Stephanie Evelo, Tammy Hickey, and a couple of other Stars.

Sheri was crying. She was bent over in pain. I've rarely seen Sheri in pain and it was even more rare to see her crying in public. She was really hurting. Shannon and Tiffany grabbed the bags and I sprinted to where our Trailblazer (rental) was parked. A million thoughts raced through my head as I burst through the kitchen and out a side door at the Ritz.

I jumped into the SUV and tore around the circle drive to pick them up. Sheri got in with Tiffany's help, Shannon jumped in, and I took off. Only problem with that is that Tiffany was still trying to get into the Trailblazer. She yelped and I immediately stopped. Luckily no injury occurred. I said "sorry" quietly and we sped off to the nearest hospital. Sheri was really bent over in her seat. I could only think that she was losing the child. I didn't want to lose the baby. I had already grown to love what I had not seen. I had accepted and planned for Bay-Bee!

We pulled into Orlando Regional Hospital. I dropped them off and went to park. I parked and then jogged over to the hospital. It was going to be a minute. What was more than a minute later, it felt like a day, the nurse called Sheri's name. We went in and to the nurse's credit she worked very quickly. She weighed Sheri, had Sheri do some tests, then admitted her to a bed. As soon as Sheri laid down in the bed, she started to feel better. She could see the worry on my face and she told me that everything was going to be fine and that she already felt better. I relaxed a little bit.

The doctor came in 10 minutes later. She pushed and prodded on Sheri's belly. She asked how Sheri felt. Sheri said, "I feel a lot better now that I've been in bed." After a few more tests, the doctor left for a few minutes. Sheri and I wondered what had caused the pain and spotting. It was very noticeable that Sheri was feeling better. The nurse came in and asked Sheri to lay on her left side. She took some measurements and moved Sheri's belly. She said everything was going to be fine and stepped out of the room.

The doctor came in again. She said that Sheri's ligaments and abdomen muscles were stretching and making way for the baby. She mentioned that Sheri being on her feet for four straight days was a recipe for problems and prescribed bed rest for Sheri. They recommended a night's stay at another hospital for observation. All indications pointed to Sheri being fine.

We considered driving over to the other hospital and I left it up to Sheri. She said that she felt much better and just needed to lie down. We met up with Shannon and Tiffany (true troopers for waiting and helping the whole time... and without eating for 12 hours!). Sheri said, "Let's go back to the condo." We headed back. We began to relax a little bit. Sheri was feeling better.

She rested on her left side for the rest of the evening and then got a nice night's sleep. We had a doctor's appointment on Monday and the doctor, Dr. Piquard, said Sheri was looking great and that the pains were most likely caused by standing and walking on concrete for four days and stress. She said Sheri needed to take it easy, which is a lot like telling a child, he or she can't play. To her credit, she has taken the good doctor's advice.

She's been fine ever since, but it was a scary day. Bay-Bee, I was worried about you!

To Your Success,

Bay-Bee's Papa (Michael)

P.S. Bay-Bee now weighs 2 pounds! He's ahead of schedule on weight and size. And most importantly of all, Mama and Bay-Bee are healthy. :)