Why I’m a Superhero

What makes your powers “super” is that they go above and beyond to help others. There is no overestimating the way these powers stir the heart and soul, and quicken the world’s resolve to hope for better tomorrows. Choose the courage of optimism over the crush of cynicism. Superpowers aren’t necessarily supernatural (although I think those exist too). Your superpower might be kindness, humor, listening or giving. They are anything that makes the world a better place. You are not ordinary. You are extraordinary. Be the hero that never gives up and changes the world.

The Smile Behind the Mask

These days we need protect more than our lungs. We need to protect our relationships, the reason we’ve been created. Look into each other’s hearts and souls, past the mask that separates us. We’re spending a lot of time worrying about the future. One thing is certain: it’s not likely to be what we imagine. Life is happening now. Every time we “face” a friend or a stranger we have the opportunity to reinforce that we are not alone and that we matter. So smile anyway and every way you can and maybe, just maybe, we’ll come a little bit closer to healing the world.

Memories and the Freedom they Make or Take

But I’m learning that memories can distort the truth. I’m clawing my way through painful and messy memories to uncover the proverbial “rest of the story.” Fight to find your happier, healthier memories. Reorganize what’s too painful to hold on to, but too painful to let go of. Freedom is choosing what to keep in your life, and loving what you choose. How?

What Are You Hungry For?

It’s November: open season for Thanksgiving feasts and feasting. What are you hungry for? This holiday season when you sit down at the table, really see your friends. Really notice them. Hear a lot of laughter. Breathe in the Spirit of your faith. Ask your soul, "Are you getting what you crave?" Because when it does, I promise, you will have happy - happier - holidays.

Wonder Woman and Apple Pie

Costumes aren’t just worn in October though, are they? Every time we wear something with a particular logo or label we are making a statement about what we value, and that our opinion matters, and therefore we matter. And based on these appearances we label each other and we are labelled. Here are three ways to resist the irresistible urge to label each other.

What do you EXPECT?!!

Where do expectations come from and how do they become so deeply ingrained in our pursuit of self-worth? Parents, pastors, peers, and the voices in our head have persuaded us that if we do THIS we will get THAT. This can definitely motivate us, just as it can set us up for disappointment. And disappointment often begs the question, “Why risk being hurt or being a failure again?” Isn’t it easier, and safer, to lower our expectations or give up all together? Well, here’s the secret I’ve found to dealing with disappointment. I’ve discovered a space in between what we expect and what we get. This space is mind-altering and life-changing. This space is called “NOW” where we simply appreciate the life we have in that moment.

The overwhelming never-ending power of the SMILE

The first week of August celebrates National Smile day, and this has me thinking about living a good life and how to help others live better too. People, like YOU, can bring out the best in me. And when I know that you can bring out the best in me this acknowledges that there is already good valuable stuff inside. Sure, external people, places, and things can make me feel better, but God hardwired me at the moment of creation with good valuable worth.    Imagine our self-worth as a kind of soft-ware God installed in us. And when we power up with it we are able to connect and interact with each other with crazy-good results: we bring out the best in each other. And this brings me back to National Smile week. Smiling releases a flurry of feel good hormones that elevate our mood, decrease stress and reduce anger. And when people see our smile they have brain neurons, called mirror neurons that suggest they smile back. I love how this day illustrates Sir Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion: For every act there will be an equal reaction. The iconic set of swinging silver balls, called Newton’s cradle. It demonstrates how this law works. Whenever we set something in motion (CLICK), there will be a reaction, (CLACK) – for better or worse.

Breaking Free From a Painful Past

In this month of July we think about freedom. If you’ve ever felt trapped by bad memories freedom takes on additional meaning. Painful memories can rob us of our personal freedom. I have an illustration that will help you transform your bad memories into a lesson easier to absorb.

Breaking Free From a Painful Past

I’ve watched the Disney movie, Frozen, with my nieces over and over. Elsa taught the world to sing, “Let it go! Let it go! But her song advised us to “turn away and slam the door…” I wish that helped! The belief that we can make our bad memories disappear by slamming the door on them is a fairytale. Out of sight is not the same thing as being out of pain. Slamming the door on bad memories can leave us numb or humiliated. And then something happens that reopens the door and, wow, we have to face and feel the sting all over again. So how do we transform the memories of painful experiences into something not just tolerable but life-affirming? The pain from our memories will stay with us until it has taught us what we need to learn. So rather than pushing them away I’m suggesting the opposite: Lean into them just long enough to discover their lesson. I promise you, the lesson isn’t going to be that you’re alone or a failure. It’s probably going to be about your worth and future success.

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