Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions


Last week, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with the Family.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life transformation does little to inspire me. And it doesn’t surprise me at all that the success rates were pretty depressing.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. The DO level. It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model. “I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue - the “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.

A Better New Year’s Ritual

I would encourage you t o choose one word, a word to guide you throughout the year a word to remind you to live your life at the BE level.

How to Choose Your Word for 2008

Look through the list below if you need some guidance. Get quiet over the next few days. And pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.

For instance, let’s take one of the examples above. Let’s say you are one of the many people who would normally choose “Get Organized.” You look around to see clutter and junk all over your life. You’re tired of the chaos. So, you think, “I need to get organized. That should be my Resolution this year.”

But then you read this blog. You decide to try it.

You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words that will inspire you. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You’re scared to let go. So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go. Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself. You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d opted only to “Get Organized.”

What word to choose?

Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.

I’ve compiled a list of possible words below. As you read through them, see if one stands out for you. It’s tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you’re too messed up to narrow your flaws down to one helpful word!) I recommend that if you can’t choose just one, narrow it down to no more than three. One word is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.





Abundance

Acceptance

Action

Adventure

Allow

Artfulness

Attention

Awe
Awareness

Beauty
Change

Choice
Clarity

Commitment

Compassion
Connection

Courage
Confidence

Creativity

Deliberateness

Delight

Discipline

Discover

Engage

Expansion
Exploration
Focus
Forgiveness
Forgive
Freedom

Friendship

Fulfill

Fun

Generosity
Gentleness
Grace

Gratitude

Growth

Heal
Health

Home

Integrity

Intent

Joy

Kindness

Laughter

Laziness

Leap

Listen

Love

Knowing

Mastery

Now

Openness

Order
Patience

Peace

Pioneer

Power

Prayerfulness

Presence

Release

Risk
Ritual
Trust

Savor
Self-Love

Spirit

Survive

Wealth

Willingness



The word I have chosen is “connection.” Quite simply, I want to connect more (and have more quality connections) with others - that means my boss, my friends, my family, members of the opposite sex, etc. I know I have a lot of room for improvement in this area, but when I do this, my life will improve immensely.

Happy New Year....Ric

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas


God is love. Christmas is all about love. Love is the key to peace and happiness. Love needs to be practiced, love needs to flow. It starts with your partner, your children and family, and from there expands to everyone else.

Why was Ebenezer Scrooge so unhappy? If you knew only the man's assets and had never read Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," probably you could not guess the answer. Most of us believe (if we are honest enough to admit it) that happiness comes through getting. If only I can get a new (pick one) house, car, job, promotion, or relationship, I will be happy. But Ebenezer Scrooge was unhappy not because of a failure to get but a failure to give, and this, I submit, is the most important message of Christmas.

I had to become a parent before I discovered the principle for myself. As a child the chief joy in life, especially at Christmas time, was getting. I still remember the happiness I felt receiving my first new bicycle, and my first BB gun. Similarly, words simply cannot describe the joy Michelle and I received watching our five open gifts on Christmas morning. I imagine we can all call to mind a picture of a joyful child on Christmas morning, their delight surpassed only by that of their parents.

By midlife all of us should know that our best joys come through giving. And yet we forget; don't we? Maybe it's all those commercials that convince us we really can't be satisfied unless we buy the new and improved version of some product (translation: happiness comes through getting).

Christmas is a good time of year to remind ourselves of the truth. The most important message of Christmas is that of joyous giving. It's the message of our seasonal classics like "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life." And, more importantly, it's the message of that first Christmas. For the baby in Bethlehem's manger was a gift, a present from a loving heavenly father to his lost and hurting children, a gift the Bible says brought "good tidings of great joy" to giver and receiver alike.

Where will we find happiness in the second half of life? The same place we found it in the first half. Look around you. What are your opportunities to give with joy? These are your best chances at midlife happiness.

Yes, I believe in Santa. He is me and he is you. I'm writing because I want you to know that I believe in Santa. I love to look into the eyes of those filled with a sense of childlikeness and magic, and, their experience of surprise and joy. I have looked into the eyes of a child and an adult, and I've seen there a world that I once knew, a world I love to reenter if only once a year on Christmas eve, a world where reindeer fly and wishes come true, a world of great surprise and great joy and great peace and great love, especially the great love.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Ric

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Superman Is Alive is All of Us


I am an easy going guy, I like to play Pool. I have been playing in a league for 4 years now. (thanks t0 Kevin for getting me started) The League that I am associated with is the A.P.A. Which stands for the American Pool Players Association. It's an amateur league. Prior to this year, I was on two teams that regularly won our division. This year I am on two teams who have not faired so well, mostly thanks to my poor playing. (Do you know about the curse?) I have won awards through my years playing pool, and have got to meet alot of cool people, along with some of the greats that play the sport. Pool has been kind to me:)

I also get to be a part of weddings each weekend. It is a joy to be there with couples as they enjoy and celebrate their wedding day.

I work (temporarily at least) at a wonderful law firm, getting to do what I do best.

And then at the end of the day I get to come home to the best girl in the world.

You could say that i am like the Clark Kent charactor. I fumble and mumble my way around. Every once and a while I will say something, or do something that makes someone's day. Another one of my dreams is to be able to fly around saving people. Just really don't know about the costume though, cause i am not a skinny guy, and it wouldn't look too good.

Be good...Ric

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can you handle The Truth?


The Truth is often painful.

Deep down nobody wants to hear it, especially when it hits close to home.

Sometimes we tell the truth because the truth is all we have to give.

Sometimes we tell the truth to say it outloud to hear it for ourselves.

And sometimes we tell the truth because we just can't help ourselves.

And sometimes we tell them the truth, because we owe them, at least, that much.

Have a good day, Ric

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You've done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.


For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.


I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know
Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided
And bless each and every person invited


.I give thanks for life today,
I pray for health and strength along the way.
To carry on and try to be as you would have us to be.
Forgive us our sins as we draw closer to Thee.

This we ask in the name of Christ,
Amen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Love Story


This 80 year old woman was arrested for shoplifting. When she went before the judge in Cincinnati he asked her, "What did you steal", she replied, "A can of peaches". The judge then asked her why she stole the can of peaches and she replied that she was hungry. The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. She replied 6. The judge then said " I will give you 6 days in jail." Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment, the womans husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something. the judge said "What is it?"
The husband said, "She also stole a can of peas."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Favorite Sayings


Raking it in. - So hungry I could eat a horse.
What's done is done. - Tools of the trade.
Putting it in a nutshell. - Sturdy as an oak.
There's no time like the present.
We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Stand your ground. - Rough as a cob.

Ugly as a mud fence. - They are like two peas in a pod.
She is the apple of my eye.
Rain, rain go away; come again another day.
You are all washed up. - Slow as a snail.
Stubborn as a mule. - Watered down.
You are in hot water. - Till the cows come home. - Slow as molasses in January.

Tall as a tree. - Still waters run deep.
Watch and wait. - You reap what you sow.
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.
We hung them out to dry. - Save it for a rainy day.
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Walking on water. - Stop and smell the roses.

You cant teach an old dog new tricks.
That is water under the bridge
Weed it out. - she has a green thumb.
What goes up must come down.
Wait and see. - Waking up with the chickens.
Walking on cloud nine. - The real McCoy. - I feel like a fish out of water.
Sweet as honey. - What's done is done.
Shake like a leaf. - You are all washed up.
When pigs fly. - Wet behind the ears.
Red as a beet. - There may be snow on the roof, but there is fire in the belly
Timing is everything - When it rains, it pours
Pull it up by the roots - Slow as a snail - Stuck in a rut. This is for the birds. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
You are all washed up. - The whole nine yards.

And my two favorites:

Colder than a Texas Tech Cheerleader -

Hotter than one of those Newbern Girls

Ya'll be good.....Ric

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Great Minds Only


The reading below is unusual and interesting! Only great minds can read this.

**fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. **Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.** i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! *

And sepkanig of the usnuaul, can you veiw the ndue wmoan in the pciutre avobe?

Ejnyo....Rci

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Music


Music is one of my passions. I love the piano but after years of practice and never really getting it, I consented to just enjoying hearing others play it. I play the guitar...even though rarely anymore. And I listen … always. I love to listen to music!

My taste however is quite diverse. One of the best lines I heard regarding music, was "the more you love music, the more music you love." I enjoy classical music, but I also love hard-rock. I absolutely melt when I hear a great guitar riff! And most of all I listen to music “with a meaning” – even Christian music. I love to sing along and tell God in this way that I love Him. I grew up on church music. I love country music.

Some people it seems like music to act as a sort of wallpaper when they are busy or to dance to with friends.
When I listen to music it’s always because of the words or because the melody has a meaning to me.

That’s what music is all about, in my opinion. It moves your soul (wow, great words, but true). Music can touch you as nothing else can. It can make you happy, sad or reflective. It can bring back memories or give hope for the future.

Whether it’s classical, pop or country (whatever your taste) … music always touches something inside you.

That’s what music does to people. It’s from the heart, because that’s what it’s created for.

See you next time...Ric

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Invisible Woman


By Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to
school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when
the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?"

"Nobody," he shrugged.

"Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we
crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?"

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something
to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen.

Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand
there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would
someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been
there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was
talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break
in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are."

He just kept right on talking.

That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he
can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the
way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask
to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the
phone?"

Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or
sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no
one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this?
Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm
not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a
satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car
to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history and the min d that graduated summa cum laude -but
now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of
a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting
there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard
not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my
out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My
unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could
actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when
Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I
brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn ' t exactly sure
why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with
admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I
could pattern my work:

* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of
their names.

* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see
finished.

* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes
of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny
bird on the inside of a beam. H e was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are
you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be
covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of
kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is
too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great
cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a
disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the rig ht perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished,
to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the
book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our>lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend
he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in
the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for
three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd
built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come
home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add,
"You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We ca nn ot be seen if
we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will
marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been
added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My 3 Angels


Angels have always been one of my favorite subjects, as they represent the good and true things in life. Angels are always among us. A world without Angels would be a world without grace and beauty. Angels are the guardians of our well being and serve as inspiration to that which we should aspire to, in order to live a life that is happy harmonious and fulfilling.

Angels are sent by God to bring the truth, especially the big truths, to specific people in critical situations

Angels guide us in the way God wants us to go in a specific situation, sometimes calling us to take a specific action.

Angels have another task : that of protecting people. In their protective roles, angels are in no way Precious Moments-like creampuffs. They can be the fiercest of warriors and the swiftest of rescuers, and angelic determination knows no bounds. After all, they're on a mission. From God.

Where big things are happening, angels are there.

When angels "appear" to humans, so as not to scare them, they usually appear in the form that those humans "expect" angels to look like. But this may be nothing at all like the form they normally take (if any!)

And of course, angels are famous for their angelic choirs. It is not uncommon to have 50,000 angels singing in exquisite unison. Why do angels have such beautiful voices? Simple - because they have beautiful feelings. When you pick up the phone, you can immediately tell how the other person is feeling from their tone of voice. The tone of the voice always has encoded within it the emotional state of that person in that instant. This is true of humans, elementals, and of course angels. If you wish to have a more beautiful voice, rather than taking voice lessons - get to the source, the cause - just focus on cultivating more beautiful feelings! When angels greet each other, it is a triumphant and ecstatic symphony of gorgeous colors, music, fragrances, and feelings.

Angels want to serve you! They also want to play with you! They even want to worship with you!


The appearance of wings in many of the depiction's of Angels, is merely to portray their flight between heaven and earth... call it artistic license, but it serves as a reminder that they are not of this earth plane.

Angels will always be necessary in the lives of men, as long as people are of closed mind and hardness of heart, lacking compassion, understanding, forgiveness, faith, love, and trust to name but a few of the virtues that Angels have.
*****************


My 3 Angels……..by Ric Justiss

They Guide Me
They Protect Me
They Sustain Me

Why I was given 3 angels I don't know
But they watch over me wherever I go.

They keep each day perfect,
Chosen by God, handpicked.

They know me inside and out.
They know what I am all about.

The keepers of magic and dreams
Keeping me safe, what a great team.

My 3 angels, filling me with Love
A perfect Love, sent from above.

Somehow they always know,
And help me find a place, just when I think
there is no place to go.

They are the music in my heart.
They are my solace and my rampart.

They see me through the darkest hours.
And cheer me like a bouquet of flowers.

So if you see me out in a bit
Don't mind the angels in my pocket

They will always be on board
Leading me home to My Sweet Lord.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Great Sex


What makes great sex? What keeps the passion alive over time?


In the early stages of a relationship lovers are full of passion and excitement and often experiment with lots of different positions and approaches and explore their likes and dislikes. As they get to know each other better they tend to settle into a routine -- certain preliminaries and a specific way of reaching (or not reaching) orgasms -- with occasional variations. This is a crucial point in a sexual relationship.


Are both partners having satisfying orgasms (not necessarily simultaneous) when they make love? If a couple's routine leaves one partner sexually unsatisfied (and it's almost always the woman), there is trouble ahead. These lovers may confide in their friends that sex has become "boring," but boredom is not the real issue. The heart of the matter is a lack of deep satisfaction for the woman, which robs lovemaking of mutuality and depth -- and may affect her partner's level of satisfaction as well.

Without the deep satisfaction of mutual orgasms, there's a tendency to focus on sexual behaviors that by themselves can seem repetitive and even tiresome. It is boring to go through the same routine week after week if it doesn't culminate in good mutual orgasms.


Conversely, those genuinely happy with their sex life for several years, reveal that at some point they discovered a good sexual finale and continued to use it (perhaps with variations) over time.

But doesn't using the same mutual-orgasm approach get monotonous? Strangely enough, it doesn't. People don't get tired of having orgasms together.


Our appetite for sex is a basic drives that builds up over time. When we've had a good orgasm, we feel mellow and satisfied and our drives are temporarily stalled. When lovemaking is mediocre, our appetite goes down; when the sex is good, our appetite increases. If we haven't had sex in a long time, we are less fussy about the finer points of lovemaking. We can have too much of a good thing: with sex, we get exhausted and sore and our appetite disappears, and we have no desire to make love for a period of time. But the basic drives are still there, and before long, they're back. The kissing, hugging, different positions, techniques, toys, etc., can be great fun, sharpen the palate and heighten sexual arousal, and even boost the eventual level of gratification -- but foreplay activities are a means to an end:; it's the orgasmic finale that really hits the spot. The quality of this final stage of lovemaking is what delivers the lasting physical and emotional payoff. Getting that part right is the key.

Another reason that using the same mutual-orgasm technique can be satisfying year after year is that the feelings lovers experience from orgasms can change from session to session. One of the remarkable things about sex is the potential for great variety within the same technique. Lovemaking in which a couple uses a single mutual-orgasm approach can be hot and lustful, sweet and gentle, loud and raunchy, whispery and quiet, and everything in between. Subtle differences in mood, time of month, level of arousal, positions, pressure, and timing can produce quite different feelings and climaxes. So within the context of one successful approach to mutual orgasms, there can be great variety over the years.


Ric

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Butterflys


Few would dispute the beauty of a butterfly. These fragile little creatures take flight on wings colored from the rainbow, delighting observers young and old. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely notice or admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

The butterfly is one of God's most gorgeous creatures, and its life cycle is much like our own. Its fragile beauty is deceiving, for it is much stronger than it appears, as are we.

It struggles for life and goes through many changes before becoming a creature of great beauty, as do we. From the egg, comes the ugly, hungry, charmless and hard working caterpillar. But at some time, the life in the form of the busy caterpillar is over, and it goes into a cocoon. It emerges, more beautiful, more amazing, more glorious than could ever be imagined, as do we.

There are many species, different and yet much alike, having the same needs and reaching for the same goals throughout life, as do we.

We have a butterfly garden, and each morning we are more and more amazed at the beauty of the butterfly, and each day that I go out and walk among the butterflies, I feel as if I am getting a glimpse of the glory to be revealed. I am amazed with their purity and innocence. No one has ever been harmed by a butterfly. I can sense their delight as they so elegantly dance among the blossoms; long forgotten is their caterpillar past.

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.

Standing among the butterflies, tends to cause me to dream; I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Richest Man in Town


As little kids, a conversation as simple as: 'Can you make Space Dust come out of your nose?' can be the foundation of a lifelong friendship.

As grownups, it is usually a camaraderie for something that bonds people together.

We make many friendships in a lifetime I guess, but only ever likely to maintain a handful. Very few stand the test of time. Somehow we get disconnected from each other. We get married, we move away, and life happens. It's so difficult to make new friends. The trouble is, as you get older you are more demanding about who you want to spend time with.

I have learned through the unavoidable task of self evaluation, that, the truth is, we are connected, like it or not. No man is an island. My life is in yours and yours in mine. We have invested our love and our passion in so many lives, in so many places, in so many seasons. We have even, on occasion, thrown caution to the wind, diving headlong, vulnerable, just to give of ourselves, mixed motives and all - admittedly. And we also have received much, maybe not always even noticing, nevertheless we know beyond a doubt, it was love that was given to us.

In my self evaluation, I have found that your love and your friendship are the sources of the most of my smiles. It is you who brings joy to my life. You enrich me in ways I often failed to notice. But now I am on to you, and just want to say thank you, for making me the richest man in town.

See you soon....Ric

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis


I remember where I was in August 1977 when the news came down. I was 22years old, in Lubbock TX, stocking the shelves on Aisle 1 in the grocery store I worked at when I heard the news - the King was dead. Like the world, I couldnt believe it. And a quarter-century later, I would love nothing more than to go back in time just to be in his audience one more time. Elvis's beauty, power, and lack of calculation make him one of music's enduring greats. Some argue Elvis was less an artist than contemporaries because he didn't write his own songs or push the envelope with the knowing sense of purpose that they did. Even some of those who grant Elvis his '50s greatness will argue that it was all but canceled out by his sad manipulation at the hands of the Colonel and decade-and-a-half-long artistic decline, a deceleration that could only be halted by an almost merciful death.

But I say cleanse your mind of extraneous images of white leather or those very large belt buckles. Picture the naive young man so pretty he can still make the men take notice,accidentally inventing rock and roll, and pretend that that moment is an eternal one. From the very first recordings on Sun records, we knew he was important and inadvertently heroic. He was something special. If only we had performers today with this combination of gut instincts and pure lack of calculation, the music might not be stuck on the evolutionary ladder the way it is now.

And what of the fat Elvis? I say we have to embrace the fat as well as the skinny Elvis. We need to block out our pictures of the declining Elvis while we're reveling in the youthful joy of the early work -- and then remember them when we suppose that our own lives are destined to be portraits of unyielding greatness.

It's the singer, not the song.
He didn't write songs like Dylan or Lennon and McCartney. But he could deliver them. He made us feel the song, as if we had written it ourselves. No one could make us feel a song like Elvis did. So here's to Elvis -- eternal proof that it's the singer, not the song. And may we always remember where we were when we first really ''got'' ''In the Ghetto,'' ''Heartbreak Hotel,'' or whatever it was that made us realize that Elvis is still alive.

Take care....Ric

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Minimum Wage



At least 850,000 Texans will get a pay raise as the federal minimum wage steps up .

The first step takes effect this week, as the federal minimum hits $5.85 an hour from $5.15 an hour, the level that had been in effect for a decade.

What's the minimum wage in Texas? For entrepreneurs and small business owners with employees, it's important to know whether your state has a minimum wage law. Information on minimum wages can be tough to find so we've done the research for you. Here's the minimum wage for Texas.

Texas adopts the federal minimum wage rate by reference, thus any changes affecting the federal minimum wage automatically becomes the Texas minimum wage for all intended purposes. Based on federal legislation, the federal minimum wage will increase in three stages:
Effective July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage will increase to $5.85 an hour,
Effective July 24, 2008, the federal minimum wage will increase to $6.55 an hour; and
Effective July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 an hour.


Later.....Ric

Friday, July 6, 2007

07/07/07


Ever since I became aware of the coming of the date on the calendar of 07/07/07, I thought it to be a special date. I did not know why or how, but I was drawn to it…as if I have a big part to play in it all.

Turns out I wasn’t alone.

Believing the triple appearance of the number 7 will bring luck, many people are planning important events for this first Saturday in July. Many moms will be inducing labor today to have a child born on this lucky day. Brides and grooms especially, looking for a little extra dose of marital fortune, hoping the lucky numbers will make them lucky in love, are flocking to the altar in droves on 07/07/07.

The number seven is considered lucky due to its frequent and favorable appearance in the Bible - As the number of the days of God's first week, the levels of heaven, the numbers of angels and trumpets, etc., the number came to represent completeness and perfection. Something organized seven-fold meant that it corresponded to God's own arrangement.

Just as some people wouldn't dare get married on a Friday the 13th or live in a house with the address 666, we are also drawn to the positive influence of the number 7.

Sevens are lucky in the casino world. Three 7’s on the slot machine is a winner. There are 7 stars in the Big Dipper, the most prominent of the indestructible stars. There are seven colors in the rainbow. There are 7 notes to the musical scale and the Seven Wonders of the World.

Good things certainly seem to come in 7’s. Seven is filled with mysticism and is thought to be the most significant number. I certainly do hope this lucky seven seven seven will be good for you and provide that extra edge if you have any special plans for this special day.

Your friend, Ric

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Living Like a Rock Star


I first noticed I was becoming famous sometime last year. It was time to renew my drivers license and I was standing in line at the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. The line wrapped around the inside of the building and out into the street. A half hour passed, then an hour. I was getting very frustrated. But then a woman wearing a TDPS badge came over and told me I was standing in the wrong line. She said I was standing in the line reserved for new drivers’ licenses. I must have made a pretty surly-looking face, because right away she got all defensive. “Hey, I’m sorry you’re in the wrong line,” she said. “It’s just that I saw the documents in your hand and they’re not the right documents. Not for this line, anyway.”

In retrospect, I wish I would have thanked her. Instead, I just glared and moved over to the next line. It was even longer than the first. Standing in that line provided me with lots of time to think about what had just happened. She’d seen the documents in my hand. There was something odd about that. Why had she been looking at my documents? Why had she been looking at my hand? (Guys, women always look at your hands) I didn’t think it was merely a lucky break. It was something more than that. That’s when it hit me. She recognized me. She was a fan. She must read my blogs. Hallelujah!

That’s how it started. For lots of people, it probably would have been enough. Setting up a blog is one thing, but getting an actual person to read it is quite another. Believe me, it’s no easy achievement. But why else had the woman singled me out to switch lines? As everyone knows, good looks can only get you only so far. And good looks don’t get you anywhere at the TDPS. That’s why I was pretty sure the woman’s attentions meant my blog had finally taken off.

Of course, one reader didn’t mean much. Not to me, anyway. I was shooting higher. Much higher. I was going for rock star status.

In retrospect, it seems like it was all so easy. As everyone knows by now, I achieved rock star status almost overnight. But it wasn’t all fun and games. It's easy to forget all the hard work that goes into achieving rock star status. Who remembers that Britney Spears was once a Mouseketeer? See what I mean? That’s how it is with me. I was once a nobody too. I think you’ll forgive me if I skip over that part of my life—all that posting and linking and watching my traffic numbers and arguing with big nobodies in comments that no one ever read—and get right to what it’s like for me today. I want to introduce you to Ric J, a once normal guy, now living with rock star status. I’m not one to boast, but it kicks ass to be me. Everyone knows I play in a pool league. You haven’t lived until you’ve shown up at the pool hall and crowds are waiting for you at the door and in the parking lot, chanting your name, waving banners, not caring a bit whether your hair is uncombed or whether you are wearing the same shirt from the night before. It’s cool, people, and it’s my life. Like I said, it kicks ass. Why, I can even be late. Just having me show up is enough. In fact, they expect it. That’s the kind of thing that rock star status gets you.

It still gives me a thrill the way lady pool players approach me with their blouses unbuttoned at least halfway and they’ll be standing there with a pen wanting me to sign my name on their bare skin. I’ve even signed a few derrieres, believe it or not. Even some guys ask to have an autograph. It’s the sort of thing rock star status will get you. It’s something money just can’t buy.

It’s not all good, of course. Not only do I have to spend a good amount of time partying every night, but I also have to get a post or two together every morning. If you don’t have a blog of your own, it might be hard for you to understand, but it’s a lot of work thinking of things to write about.

I know that not everyone loves me. Some people say I’m nothing but a one-hit wonder. Some people say I’m too old for a blog, that at fifty-two, I should have retired from blogs long ago. Some say I’m nothing but a looser with too much free time and a computer. I know that’s what they say, but I don’t care. It’s just sour grapes. Sour grapes from bloggers who haven’t achieved rock star status. They know who they are. They’re the ones with the crappy blogs no one reads. They’re the ones who are always complaining about people like me. Boo hoo hoo. We’re supposed to feel bad because we get all the links and all the traffic and the other blogs get nothing? Hey, it’s not our fault. Don’t blame us if we’re great. And don’t think it’s just an accident. It’s not. Money for nothing and chicks for free? Not hardly. If we have rock star status, we have it for a reason. It’s because we’re better than the rest, we work harder than the rest, and we don’t have to beg. Not ever.

Not very often, anyway. But now that we’re at the end of this post, I should point out that despite all my bravado, there are times I lie awake in the middle of the night and wonder when it all might end. It could happen, couldn’t it? Sure it’s unlikely, but who knows? It’s not like I’m begging or anything. I’m asking politely as one blogger with rock star status to four others. Believe me, if I didn’t have rock star status already, I wouldn’t even bother asking. Not that having another blogger mention you in a post is ever a bother! It’s not. Even bloggers with rock star status love the attention of links from other blogs. How do you think they got that way? How do you think they stay that way? So peeps—if you’re feeling generous, how about a link? If you want, I’ll let you share my groupies. I’ll even let you borrow my limousine. No one else even needs to know.

Ric

Monday, June 11, 2007

Men and Women

Men and women are different. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this must live in a cave, on their own, with no contact with the outside world.

As proof, an English professor wrote the following words on a blackboard - "A woman without her man is nothing" - and asked to class to correctly punctuate it.

All the males wrote, "A woman, without her man, is nothing."

The females wrote, "A woman: without her, man is nothing."




Here are some other differences between men and women.

1. NAMES

If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call
each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.

If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to
each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

2. EATING OUT

When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in a $20 bill, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything
smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.

When the women get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

3. MONEY
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need, but it's on sale.

4. BATHROOMS
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor,
a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man
would not be able to identify most of these items.

5. ARGUMENTS
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that... is the beginning of a new argument.

6. CATS
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

7. FUTURE
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

8. SUCCESS
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

9. MARRIAGE
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change , and she does.

10. DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage,
answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

11. NATURAL
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

12. OFFSPRING
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about
dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret
fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

13. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people
remembering the same thing.


Comments? Ric

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cracked Pot


A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water; at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my crackpot friends and fans, have a great day kids and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Loveya....Ric

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Court Testimony


Police Officer is on the stand, being cross examined by attorney for the defendant.


Q: "Officer--did you see my client fleeing the scene?"

A: "No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the
description of the offender, running several blocks away."

Q: "Officer--who provided this description?"

A: "The officer who responded to the scene."

Q: "A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called
offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?"

A: "Yes, sir. With my life."

Q: "With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a
room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?"

A: "Yes sir, we do!"

Q: "And do you have a locker in the room?"

A: "Yes sir, I do."

Q: "And do you have a lock on your locker?"

A: "Yes sir."

Q: "Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with
your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?"

A: "You see, sir--we share the building with the court complex, and
sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room."

The courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.


Take care....Ric

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wrong Side of the Tracks


There can be no argument that there is a stark difference between one side of the railroad tracks and the other- and we all know don’t we about how literally the other side of the tracks is no doubt the bad side.

That divide, though, is a phenomenon.

The other side is an area of danger, full of gangs and crime…..reports of muggings and thugs….all on the other side of the tracks. It is a place that forever has been known to be covered by a dark shadow.

I am on the good side. Thankfully.

On my side - a nice park from where I regularly stop to view the skyline of the city. On the bad side - a bad park with no view; rubbish and an aura of creepiness.

On my side, tennis courts. Over there drunks, walking the streets all hours.

On the good side, traffic jams. That may be the worst part. Even the trees look healthier on the good side.

The good side feels like it is basked in sunshine and clear blue skies. The bad side feels grey.

The good side is quiet. The bad side is noisy.

In the alley ways of the good side a kid is riding his bike through. You don’t want to venture down the alleyway of the bad side of the tracks.

As soon as I cross the tracks, I can feel my mood change. What was once a calm, serine, relaxed mentality, soon turns edgy, on guard and suspicious.

This is just my subjective viewpoint. Maybe we each have in our own mind, an imaginary train line division of good and bad, a line we prefer not to cross.

In our life, we each decide where and how we want to live. You can investigate and visit different neighborhoods and ways of life. You can go for a drive and look around. Sometimes we do. Some do. But we are often swayed by things we have heard. A certain place gets a “bad” reputation. Was our mind made up before we even visited over there?

Maybe the other side, the bad side, was a myth. And those over there, well, they thought their side was the good side.

cya.....Ric

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Diamond"


"Break And Run"

Definition: The motivation for pool players to practice many hours a day—-to be able to wipe the table clear in one turn, never letting their opponent shoot - Make the opening break then make all the balls needed in a row to win while the opponent sits and watches. Ouch!

I finally did it. Last night. Michelle was there to witness it. It was great. She could hear the comments from the crowd. As I got closer and closer, she could hear the comments, the whispers and the hushes. I have done it before twice, in non league play. But last night was my first time in league competition. That was a really good feeling.
Ric

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Living


OK , So lately , I have been having quite a ball.
It has been amazing to me how much fun the world is giving me and the experiences I am sharing.
I give alot and I seem to be getting alot back.
I am so grateful and thankful to my wonderful loving wife Michelle.


Ric

Perception and Attitude


Expect to find an answer, and you will.

When I consider it to be a beautiful day, it is.

When I believe I am Happy, I am.

When I think or trust that things will work out, they do.

Know that something is possible for you, and it will come about. Our perceptions shape the reality that we experience.The way we see our life has a great influence on the way our life unfolds. The attitude we take into each day has far reaching consequences.

Take Care....Ric

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ferris Bueler's Day Off


We went out to the Rangers game last night.

What a night to be there. Two home runs. One grand slam. Two triples by Sammy Sosa. A 8 run 5th inning. A win, 14-4.

And then the foul ball. We get there, and right there in the first inning, I said to my wife, "I think I am going to catch a foul ball tonight." Sure enough, a couple of innings later here comes one our way, but just above us into the deck above us, but ooopps...it drops and falls into the seat right in front of me. But I didn't go for it cause this dad was picking it up for his little kid. I think to myself...well...that was my chance for a foul ball. But no...a couple of innings later, here comes another one, this time right to me - I take off my hat to try and catch it in my hat, but I missed...but somehow it bounced around and came right back to me. I just bent down and picked it up. It was amazing.

And the best part.....good company. My lovely Michelle...and ED and Lora...I had a great time.

Ric

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ladies Undies


I have noticed the ladies mentioning their underwear either in a blog or as part of a comment left somewhere. Also of course you have those who love to flash it either as part of their main picture or somewhere else on their page. What is going on here? Is the showing of the sexy undies an enticement to the guys?

Do ladies wear the sexy underwear all the time? Do you wear them just for special occassions or is this what we would see under normal conditions as well? Does a little voice in the back of your head tell you your bra and panties should match and be clean, in case you are in an accident that required your clothes to be cut off and afforded some emergency room technician to remark to the others in the room..."oh my gosh this womans panties match her bra"... but you never know.. it could happen.. and you will be ready for it should it ever occur?


Ladies, are you empowered by your underclothes? Does the color reflect your subconscious mood?

Do you wear thongs? How do they make you feel different?

Do different styles or colors have different effects of you?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Ric

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom


Mother

You took care of me when I was little
and watched over me all these many years.
You have always lifted me back up and sent me on my way,
dispelling all my worries, my doubts and my fears.

You always knew how to make me feel special,
It was more than just being a mother, it was you just being you.
It's never been enough to just say I Love You,
cause that could never repay all the things you do.

I have thanked the Lord for you a hundred million times,
No one knew how much you were on my mind.
I've dreamed of miracles and having special powers,
to somehow return the love and pay you back in kind.

You have always been my hero,
You have always stood so tall.
Most everyone thinks their mom is best,
But in my eyes you have surpassed them all.

You loved, you forgave countless times,
And you molded me into the man you knew I could be.
After all these years, you are still just so amazing,
I am overwhelmed at just what you see in me.

I thank you for the smile you always have for me,
I thank you for the words, you always know what to say.
With a heart overflowing with love and respect,
I send you greetings and thankyou's Mom, on this another
Mother's Day.

by Ric Justiss

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Love Dress

THE LOVE DRESS

A woman stopped by unannounced at her recently married son's
house.
She rang the doorbell and walked in.

She was shocked to see her daughter-in-law lying on the couch,
totally naked. Soft music was playing, and the aroma of perfume
filled the room.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm waiting for my husband to come home from work, " the
daughter-in-law answered.

"But you're naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.

"This is my love dress," the daughter-in-law explained.

"Love Dress? But your naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.

"My husband loves me to wear this dress, " she explained.
"When he sees it, he instantly becomes romantic.

The mother-in-law left. When she got home, she undressed, showered
and put on her best perfume, dimmed the lights, put on a romantic CD,
and
laid on the couch waiting for her husband to arrive.

Finally her husband came home. He walked in and saw her laying there
so provocatively. "What are you doing?" he asked.

"This is my love dress, " she whispered, sensually.

"Needs ironing, " he said. "What's for dinner?"


His funeral will be held this coming Thursday, closed casket.

lol...Ric

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nothing is Stronger that a Bad Habit


Think for a moment... What have your bad habits cost you -- in

relationships, health, money, career and advancement?

You know the habits I'm talking about... smoking, stress eating, wasting your time, mismanaging your money, watching too much TV, working to much, not taking care of your body, cluttered spaces, losing your temper, swearing too much, procrastination, worrying all the time, plus many many more. Bad habits chip away at the life you COULD be living, right now. Habits are what tie us down - and our lifestyles are often little more than the sum total of our habits.

They hold you back from enjoying rewarding personal relationships... And they prevent you from looking and feeling GREAT. What is holding you back from being the best you can be?

How often do our lives become cluttered with unnecessary businesses, events or situations that drain us and at times overwhelm us. Has our busy lifestyle just become another bad habit? It doesn’t take long to feel cluttered and bogged down. Maybe it’s time for a little Spring cleaning.

Can you even put a PRICE on the opportunities and potential your bad habits are holding you back from -- right now?

Of course not! Because your goals and dreams are priceless!

Life is NOT a dress rehearsal -- it's a live show! You owe it to yourself to put in your best possible performance. And to do this, you need to lose the bad habits. Period.

Boot them... bust them... banish them FOREVER!

And so, I challenge you to join me in Forty days of Purpose.

I want to balance my life and focus on each area. What habits do I need to develop or enhance to become more balanced and fulfill my life purpose? In some areas, it will mean developing new habits. In some areas, in will mean being more steadfast in the habits I’m already trying to keep. Examine the areas of your life – family, school, community, work, clubs, etc., and take note of what you want to focus on. And then decide to commit to forty days of purpose to change whatever it is. Forty days. And let’s see if a forty day habit is enough to kickstart a new habit you can keep for a lifetime.

Will you join me?

The first step to changing habits is to realize that all behavior is partly unconscious and mechanical. We are creatures of habit. This is why behavior and thought patterns are not easy to change. The unconscious component can be very deep and very old. Understanding this helps you not to expect too much too fast when attempting to change habits. It is a formidable task or there would be no need for most counseling centers, recovery programs, hypno-therapists and psychiatric medications. However, habits can change.

People often talk of upgrading their computer or their house. Changing habits is about upgrading the quality of your life. Changing habits requires a focus on yourself. It is not a morbid preoccupation with the self, although it may look that way to others. It is about loving the self enough to observe, taking the time to experiment, letting go of what does not work, and having the courage to make new choices. It is all about you, not about others. Stop blaming anyone, in the present or in the past.

Changing habits requires a focus on the present and letting go of the past. Change requires letting go of people, places, activities and things that "once meant something". Sentimental and nostalgic attachments that are now meaningless just hold you back. Throw out items that remind you of a dead past.
Also stay out of the future. The future may or may not happen the way you think. It's up for grabs. Ignore the fortune tellers and prophets of doom. The world is fine and getting better all the time. What matters is whether you are getting better. It's too easy to blame the world for your habits.

The best preparation for the future is to live every moment well. Take one day at a time. If you goof up, let it go and start over tomorrow. Everyone has those days. Fortunately, the day ends and a new one begins.

Whatever you commit yourself to, you will achieve. This is an ironclad rule. Intent is everything. By keeping your intent pure and not giving up, you will eventually achieve success. This holds true in every area of life. If you do not achieve something, it just means you changed your mind at some point and stopped being committed to a particular outcome.

Likewise, just as some people become accomplished musicians by so many hours of daily practice, we can become a better person by consistently making good moral choices. And even if we lose a battle now and then, we won’t lose the war—not as long as we get right back onto that new “path” we’re trying to form.

Plenty of rest and sleep are vital for habit change of any kind. Some attempt to change their habits by distracting themselves with lots of activities. Although focusing on better things is great, it can backfire if it means ignoring the body's needs for sleep and rest. Tiredness leads to apathy, depression and despair. Fatigue is the main cause of depression today. Stimulants of all kinds become all the more attractive when you are tired and depressed.

Changing habits is one of the most worthwhile endeavors you can undertake. Upon careful examination, you will find many habits that undermine your health and happiness. Most of them are hardly conscious. Be patient and persistent, loving yourself regardless of how well you feel you are doing. Making the effort to look at your habits objectively and taking steps to change them is a cool move.

It only takes 40 days to form one new habit. Need to floss more regularly? What once was a tiresome chore will evolve into a bedtime ritual in only 40 days. Encouraged by this, you could then break the habit of eating too many sweets. Next tackle the habit of criticizing too much and for 40 days look for an opportunity to give someone a thoughtful genuine compliment each day. Soon you will have a new habit of praising your kids and husband and/or wife. The results will be astounding and astonishing.

So, how about it? Forty days of purpose anyone?. It will immediately make you feel happier and healthier. Live to be grateful. Choose to be happy. I’m betting it will make a world of difference.

Ric

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Truth Shall Set you Free


Nothing hurts as much as being lied to. Nothing.

The damage that is done in the name of "protecting" ones we love from the truth is catastrophic. If the truth is eventually exposed, we are damned by our dishonesty. If the truth remains hidden, it eats at our souls and then poisons our relationships.

Perhaps you have known someone who was very emotionally fragile, and because they were fragile, no one would risk telling them things that would make them cry. Because everyone "had to" lie to them, they came to know that they had been lied to, and they could never tell whether others were being honest. They didn't like some, because they were cruel; Someone might tell them that they were annoying, or that their new idea was not new, or even that it was stupid. But then, see, when they were told they were right, or that their idea was good, it meant something.

So now I tell the truth, and sometimes it hurts, but I think it hurts less than lies do.

What is truth? Truth is a relative term, interestingly enough. There is what seems to be objective truth, ie "the earth exists." And there are subjective truths, ie "There goes a handsome man."

There are truths that a person has a right to keep secret if he or she desires, truths that must be told for the sake of justice or to protect people, truths that should be told, but carefully, and so on.

Truth itself is merciless. True things are what they are, and if people are hurt by them, so be it. That's the way it is with truth. Truh does not care about how you feel. Truth will not be diplomatic. Truth is cruel. So what we do with truth is very important, and it is up to us. And it can be costly, even when it is good.

Perhaps that is why we are said to be "brutally" honest or honest "to a fault" And why it is the "painful" truth or the "unvarnished" truth or the "cold hard" truth and why we must "face" the truth.

I use to be a hard core truth telling person, but there were times when people I love have been hurt by my righteous idea of truth. It hurt me to see these individuals hurt because of me telling the truth. I still will tell you the truth, or at least what I believe is the truth, but I do try to not be harsh or brutal if I expect what I say will be hurtful. I try to sooth it with love and concern and a show of willingness to help or be helpful. But I know, that however painful my “telling the truth” is to someone, it is better than being lied to.

Ric

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sportsmanship


Last weekend the New England Patriots lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL playoffs. Anyone who watched Bill Belichick, the coach of the Patriots, as he
was interviewed after the game saw what has become an expected posture and disposition following the game. He was mad, angry, short, and not in the mood to answer any questions. Here's a guy who won three Super Bowls in a span of four years, and is touted by some as one of the greatest coaches ever. A guy who took a team that wasn't supposed to be all that good this year and brought it to within a few minutes of yet another Super Bowl. And here he was, seemingly ready to throw up on his sweat shirt as he answered questions in a barely audible monotone. He reminded me of Parcells after every loss, and in most weekly interviews also.

Prisoners going to their execution have looked better.

And it has become expected and no longer surprising. The losing coaches and players when interviewed often are just plain ole bad sports.

Good sportsmanship occurs when teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials treat each other with respect. Kids learn the basics of sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially their parents and their coaches. Kids who see adults behaving in a sportsmanlike way gradually come to understand that the real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity — whether they win or lose a game.

Here are some ways that you can show others what good sportsmanship is all about:

Be polite to everyone you're playing with and against. No trash talk - which means saying mean things while you're in the middle of a game.

Don't show off. Just play your best. If you're good, people will notice.

Tell your opponents "good game!" whether you've won or you've lost. Recognize and appreciate good performances, especially by the opponent. Applause for an opponent’s good play demonstrates generosity and courtesy. It shows a true awareness of the game and athletic ability.

Learn the rules of the game. Show up for practices and games on time - even if you're the star of the team.

Listen to the coaches and follow their directions about playing.

Don't argue with an official, even if you don't agree with his or her call. Umpires are impartial and perform to the best of their abilities. Any mistakes made are part of the game and must be accepted.

Don't make up excuses or blame a teammate when you lose. Try to learn from what happened. Be positive and friendly even after losing.

Be willing to sit out so other team members can get in the game - even if you think you're a better player.

Play fair and don't cheat.

Cheer for your teammates even if the score is 1,000-1! You could inspire a big comeback

Win with class – lose with dignity.

It seems in our sports today, the concept of good sportsmanship has been lost. While winning at all costs and poor sportsmanship may be condoned and even promoted in professional sports, this does not mean it is the proper way for us normal people to behave. Whether we like it or not, sportsmanship in sports is a direct reflection of our own ethics in real life. Sportsmanship like ethics concerns both the character and the actions of an athlete. The image you project as an athlete is a product of your character. Good sportsmanship is not just what you do on the field, it is hopefully the way you conduct your life both on and off the field. In the same way, unsportsmanlike behaviour on the field is probably an indication of your off the field conduct. When I see someone displaying bad sportsmanship, I get a real clear picture of the way they act in their business dealings, their treatment of their family and others.

We can sit back and blame television and pro sports for the decline in sportsmanship but we can also take the responsibility of bringing it back into our own contests and games. It is time for all of us involved in sports of one kind or another to practice good sportsmanship. This is especially important if we are involved with children either as a parent or coach.


"For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost - but how you played the game." (Grantland
Rice)

Take care...Ric

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Fifty Yard Line


The Fifty Yard Line, both a great place to watch the game from, and even when you are playing, a great place to be on the field. When your team is on the fifty, you have so many choices to choose from - go for the bomb, keep it conservative and grind it out slow and easy, or something in between. And when sitting on the sideline or in the stands, you have a great viewpoint to see the whole game and to see the big picture. You can see it all so clearly.


The highlight of my reaching the 50 yard line in life was a birthday party with my friends. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. There was such a wonderful sense of love and joy among the birthday party people. Hearing the kind comments about myself at my 50th made me feel like I was at my funeral without having to die.

Reaching this important yard line, I noticed a few things about myself:

My eyesight has changed, and not for the better.
My hearing has changed, and not for the better.
My reflexes have changed, and not for the better.
My pant size has changed, and not for the better.
My healing time has changed, and not for the better.

On the other hand, I am more patient than ever before (this might not be saying much).

I know more than ever before.
I can anticipate things better than ever before.
I am more analytical than ever before.
I am friendlier than ever before.
I am more confident than ever before.
I laugh more than ever before.
I am wiser than ever before.

Now the second list is a good one, a darned good one, but in my mind, all of this could deteriorate in the next decade or two. I am hoping not. I am only going to be positive.

Being on the 50 yard line is not a bad thing at all, in and of itself. I can see that there could be a time when I know I shall be ready to go, or that the plan to punch my ticket is something far beyond my control. When much younger I looked to the age of 50 as something far far off, and now that it has arrived, I look at the final curtain in just the same way. None of us wants to leave early and it is with the energy I now possess that I plan to set in motion those things that give me the best chance of staying to see the whole show. The wisdom of age is the ability to
employ whatever it takes to let you enjoy being older.

I have found the fifty yard line to be very liberating. I feel alot of the emotional and spiritual work I have been doing for many years is “finally” coming together in an extremely empowering and exciting way. I feel more like myself than I have ever felt before. It feels wonderful! My creativity is extremely high. The only problem is finding the time to do all I want to do! Is it a time when everything “goes right?” I think we all have our individual journeys to undertake. What “goes right” for one may not be the “right” thing for another. But everything shows up in our lives to enable us to move forward on our spiritual path and with our lives true mission. I believe we are all here to heal ourselves and to learn to love and forgive ourselves and all others. I believe all of the situations whether we perceive them “right” or “wrong” are opportunities to do this. I look forward to moving into my power even more as I learn to balance and heal every aspect of my life on this beautiful planet!

I have been enjoying my view at the fifty yard line. And to those who are just now getting to their seat, relax, you are going to love the game from the fifty yard line. And I certainly will enjoy having you seated with me.

Wishing you the best...Ric

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year


Happy New Year

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.
And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

Ric