Friday's Inspiration Weekly
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.
Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life’s a short summer, man a flower;
He dies—alas! how soon he dies.
So many experiences have taught me the value of my connections with others, and the grandness of the Universe. What lessons can be learned from living in the moment, and being constantly aware of my connectedness?


Spotlight: A Lesson From Stuffed Cabbage by Helaine Iris

I just returned from a wonderful week of rejuvenating  vacation that included a visit to my parent's home. In  their guest room, where I sleep, is a large picture of  my dear and departed red headed, Jewish grandmother.

Early one morning, as I was waking from sleep my thoughts drifted to her and I began to think about the tremendous impact she had in my life.

It was easy to recall some of my fondest childhood memories were times I spent with her. My favorite time was in her kitchen. I would drag a chair across the floor to be as close to her as possible. From the view at her elbow I watched her cook with intensity and devotion putting her heart and whole self into it. She prided herself on not using recipes as she produced her famous, nurturing culinary creations.

It was much more than stuffed cabbage and sponge cake. She was not just feeding bodies; she was conveying a deep sense of connection to something bigger than herself; the love she had for her family. This is what she passed along to me, and fed me, the valuable gift of connection.

Connection is one of the elements that creates a meaningful context for my life. It keeps me related and involved. It helps me feel a part something bigger than myself rather than separate and isolated. Also, by experiencing connection it helps me define who I am as an individual, another important element for my wholeness. Finally, connection offers me the opportunity to notice and celebrate unity rather than difference.

What or who do you feel a connection to? What connections are you wanting to make or acknowledge and are hesitating?

Here are few simple suggestions to nurture your sense of connection:

  1. Open your awareness and shift your attention outwards. Another way to say it is stop the busyness of life for a moment and stop to "smell the roses".  You will experience a deeper, richer and more fulfilling relationship with the world and your life.
  2. Connect from your whole self. Knowing who you are first is most important. I invite you to consider that, the more you connect with the world as a whole being, the more you have to offer as well as receive.
  3. Look for opportunities for connection everywhere, even in the Starbucks line. Stay open to the magical surprises you might not expect.

My connection with my grandmother is timeless. She's a part of me even though she's no longer alive. I wish I could tell her how her gift has enriched my life.

Somehow, I think she knows...

About the author:

Helaine Iris, this week's Spotlight contributing author 
Helaine Iris is a graduate of a "Free (student-run) School," a child of the 70's, a midwife, a successful businesswoman, a wife, a mother and coach at Path of Purpose. She says, "Coaching is a lot like midwifery. Now, instead of helping bring babies into the world, I support people who are ready to transform possibilities into reality. Like birthing a child, this can be gut wrenching and disillusioning work. As a spiritual midwife I guide clients through the emotions and resistance that prevent them from seeing their inherent perfection. Come, let’s walk the Path of Purpose together. The journey is incredible! "

 A Second Helping: Bronze This Moment by Julie Jordan Scott

Sandy and I walked along the bluffs, soaking in the rays of the sunshine and accepting the soft winds blowing against our bodies. We were temperate, calm, centered and incredibly alive as we basked in the afterglow. Sandy's footsteps were nearly silent beside me as we greeted the other journeyers along the path. I smiled into his deep brown eyes with my contentment flowing through me as if I was holographic.

My friend Mary Anne once said to me, "This will be a Bronzed Moment". A memory forged into firmness in your mental treasure box.

I reached down and patted Sandy's scruffy blonde, curly fur and heard a wisp of a sign escape from my lips.


Several hours later the phone rang. I was thrilled! It was one of my dearest friends calling from the other side of the continent. She called to tell me her husband, the man I introduced her to more than twenty years ago, is dying. He wanted to speak to me.

In fractured disbelief, I sobbed, gulping my breath and tears in an unwanted feast. I collected myself enough to spend some sacred moments with a man I love deeply. The weakened voice sounded both familiar and foreign. The gentle spirit shone through, a kindred to my own. The two minute connection completed with me saying, "That is so great, you made such a contribution."

Another bronzed moment, forged with firmness in my mental treasure box.

These seemingly divergent markers are sending a unified message. The moment you hold in your hand is yours to use either to embrace fully or to deny its complete expression. As the artist of your life, you can choose whether to forge this tick of the clock with bronze or toss it onto the scrap pile. It is that straightforward.

In the warmth of yesterday's afterglow, I imagine Walt Whitman joining me on my front porch, whispering in my ear, "The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity."

Simply choose to bronze each moment.

About the author:

Julie Jordan Scott, this week's Second Helping contributing author 
Julie Jordan Scott is a Life Purpose Coach who enjoys discovering what nature is speaking to her, following the lead of one of her favorite thinkers, Henry David Thoreau. She left her career as a government bureaucrat and built a successful home business in less than six months. She now combines mothering 4 children with inspiring people worldwide through her books, ezine, teaching and personal coaching. To contact Julie about complimentary coaching or living passionately through free email and teleclasses, visit her website at or email her at - To subscribe to her ezine, Daily Passion Activator, the Little Ezine with the Powerful Impact, send a blank email to

 From the Feedback Button

About last week's article, Where Creativity Dwells, it would seem I struck a chord with the subject. Sherry wrote, "Absolutely amazing... you've really tapped into the flow!" My dear friend Ken from Tacoma said, "Really enjoy your weekly messages." He sent along a favorite quote:

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, it isn't.
  • Richard Bach

Which leads me to the next reader's comments - Susan, whose daughter is a heart transplant survivor, wrote this week to say, "Thanks for your continued prayers, Michael. I appreciate the Friday's Inspiration. Thanks for posting it each week."

Susan is an aspiring writer, and Friday's Inspiration will feature, in a future issue, her story of family faith and courage in the face of nearly overwhelming adversity. Susan's inspiration is her beautiful daughter, Shivan, and all the wonderful people who helped during a very tough time for her family. Learn more about Shivan's struggle for life, and the generosity of strangers at  A Valentine for Shivan.

Click to send your Let to me right now!


Feature: Falling Into The Cosmic Whole

I sat on the beach, facing the sun in my "lazy man's lotus" position. I could hear the waves, the gulls, the mothers and fathers and children, lovers whispering and friends laughing and calling out. I closed my eyes, and the warmth of the sun blessed me and all that surrounded me.

In that brief moment that went on and blissfully on, I glimpsed the truth of what I perceived. It is all, from the grain of sand at my feet to the infinite star-strewn expanse beyond the blue summer sky of the Florida beach, all of One Grand Creation. I was much more connected to It than I had been moments before closing my eyes. I was a part of the All, and it felt pretty dang good to know I had just fallen into the Cosmic Whole.

Connectedness describes the fact that ideas, things and people are joined, fastened, linked, associated, related, attached, or somehow in contact with one another. There are generally four types of connectedness, each (amazingly enough!) connected in some way to the others. They are

  1. connectedness with oneself
  2. connectedness with others
  3. connectedness with our living, learning, and working environments, and
  4. connectedness with a larger meaning or purpose in life

Western society places great emphasis upon masculine values, like an orientation toward achievement and objectivity. These concepts are more highly valued than the more passive virtues of cooperation, connectedness and subjectivity. Without the internalized fear brought about by perceptions of separation and sovereignty, and the quest for external power to enforce that belief, individuals and nations might eventually find themselves engaged in spiritual betterment of each other, resulting in true and lasting prosperity at all levels of existence.

As with anything else experienced by the individual, perception is the key to understanding. According to A Course in Miracles, most of what we think we see and try to understand is simply illusion, anyway. The Course teaches that a change in perception is the most obvious way to achieve a change in understanding. When it comes to connectedness, the change required is a loving, rather than fearful, perception that wholeness prevails in the Universe. As the poet, William Blake, proclaimed:

If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear as it is, infinite.

All realms and dimensions of human experience - physical/material, mental, emotional, etc. - are so interwoven that no person or thing in the cosmos can be separated from the whole. The only way I can experience separation is to believe in separation. The Universe is so accommodating that, even though I cannot be disconnected therefrom, when I choose to believe in such a separation, I perceive the experience of separation, and experience its consequences, as if the erroneous belief and its consequent perception were actually true. All right, I guess that is deep enough.

When I believe it differently, my perception attunes itself to everything in existence, and life becomes harmonious. Everything comes to me. Once I believe the principle of Oneness with the ALL, everything and everyone is willing to communicate, according to Abraham Kawai'i, in his book, Keeper of The Secrets. As stated in the Volume of the Sacred Law, we become "members of one another" (Rom. 12:5).

My belief in the infiniteness of things as they really are is the key to cleansing the doors of my perception. My task is to try and stay attentive to the wordless call from that Oneness which is always there, waiting for recognition. Close your eyes, and believe...

  • Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

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Peace and Light,