Once upon a time there lived a king. He was old and said to be very wise. He had an enemy, a neighbouring king. They had been at war for a very long time, with no end in sight. There was a great hatred between them.
The king had in his court a wizard. From his books and scrolls that had in them the lore of ancient magic and spells in near forgotten languages, the wizard learned of many treasures and things of power that were lost, hidden, or locked away in places near and far. The wizard had some servants he sent out to search the world for these things and bring them back to him. This, he had them do in greatest secrecy. He charged them, on pain of death, to reveal their missions to no being, natural or magical. They knew their master’s skill in the ways of magic, light and dark. They obeyed his command.
One day the wizard came before the king with one of these servants. He whispered some news into the king’s ear. Hearing it, the king ordered all his servants, guards, and ministers out of the room, and out of all the rooms and passageways adjoining the throne room. When they were alone, the king said, “Now, wizard, what has this servant of yours found?”
“The Wishing Stone of the Enchanter of The Dead Forest, Sire.” the wizard replied, in a voice mixed equally between excitement, pride, and fear.
“I am more ignorant in the tales of magic than you.” said the King, “Does this Enchanter yet live? Need I guard against his vengeance?”
“No, Sire.” said the wizard. “He lived in the time of legend, so long ago that even his castle has crumbled to dust. Of his home, nothing remains but the curse he laid upon the place.”
“The man is dead, and lis curse lives on?”
“Such was his power, My Lord. No living thing can survive a day and a night in that place. An hour on that ground and a man or beast is driven mad.  Even the foulest of demons are afraid to venture there.”
“What of this Stone? Is it accursed as well?”
“No, the Stone was made by the Enchanter as a gift to a lesser wizard who had allied with him in some conflict. To the Enchanter, it was but a trinket.”
“Good,” said the king. “Now, I have questions for your servant.”
“He is at your disposal, Sire.” said the wizard. And, he motioned the servant to step forward.
“Have you journeyed long and far to find this Stone?” asked the king.
“Yes, Your Highness, I have been gone from our lands for ten years. I have crossed high mountains, deserts, and two oceans in my search. I have suffered hunger, cold, thirst, and sickness to fulfill my master’s charge. I have succeeded where six others before me have failed and died.”
“And are you quite sure that no human, beast, or spirit in all that time and distance has known or guessed your mission?”
“None, Sire.”
“Then you have done well and I shall reward you. Go and stand half way between here and that window. Look out the window. Soon you will see your bounty.” Saying this, the king pulled on a bell rope to summon a page. When the youth arrived, the king whispered in his ear and the boy ran out again.  Soon the sound of a procession reached their ears. Drums and trumpets sounded. As the procession drew near and the sound was loudest, the king came down from his throne to stand behind the servant. He drew his sword and separated the servant’s head from his body with one blow.
As his consciousness faded, the servant heard the king say, “Dead men tell no secrets to the living. Wizard, lay a spell of silence on his ghost.”
Back on his throne, the king addressed the wizard, “Now, what is the power of this Stone?”
“It will grant one wish, Sire.”
“One wish, is that all? What are the limits of the wish?”
“It will grant one wish, with no limit to any person.”
“How do I invoke it?”
The wizard whispered the formula to the king. Then, the king sat long on his throne pondering the stone as it lay before him. When day was nearly gone, the king spoke to the Stone.  “Awaken, Stone of the Enchanter. I have a gift to ask of thee.”  The Stone began to glow, at first dimly, then brighter. Many colours played and flowed within it. A strange humming filled the room. Within the sound, a word formed. “Speak your wish.” said the Stone.
The king smiled grimly and said, “Stone of the Enchanter, do you know my enemy?”
“Yes, mortal, I know your enemy.” said the Stone.
“Stone of the Enchanter, I will speak my wish now if you are ready.”
“I am ready now to grant your wish.”
“Let my enemy know his heart’s desire.” said the king.


The 3 Gatekeepers

I wish I had found this saying, but I glad somebody did.

Kindness Blog

The 3 GatekeepersWith Mindfulness we can observe how we speak, the tone of voice we use and the words we choose. With a little attention (and good intention) we can learn to talk more gently and compassionately to others and ourselves.

We can ask….Is what I say TRUE? Is it KIND? Is it NECESSARY?

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The Lucky Ones: Surviving Loss – By Stephanie March

This is a lovely and wise post on loss and starting over.

Kindness Blog

We all experience varying degrees of loss, nobody is immune. We lose pets, friends, and family. We lose relationships and marriages. We lose entire houses to fires, floods, and tornados.

Life is incredibly unpredictable and impossible to navigate without that changing wind we know as loss.

Some are crippled by the sudden upheaval. We see this in the eyes of the homeless looking back at us through years of pain and loss. Some go on, only to develop unhealthy coping habits. Others find a way to bounce back, to be resilient, despite it all.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I know a thing or two (or ten) about loss. I have started over more times than one would think is humanly possible. I lost everything I owned at the age of 19 in a monumental flood after a hurricane. I lost nearly everything when my decade plus long…

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Thanks to Hasty for sharing Gretchen’s post. Please, parents, never stifle your children asking why and saying no.


Six months ago, on our way to dinner, I had a conversation with my 10 year old daughter.  I wanted to watch a movie and hang out with her for our girls night but she had her heart set on asking a friend over.  I said “Oh ok” and she immediately changed her mind and said she didn’t want to disappoint me.

I pulled the car into a parking lot and stopped the car.  I asked her to climb over the seat and sit next to me.  You see… this was an important moment.  This was the first time she had let my disappointment alter her own decision.  I do want her to carefully take my ideas and thoughts into consideration but I do not want to become her voice.  She has her own voice.  It was a fairly long conversation so I will highlight a few of the points…

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The Freeze Response: How a Warrior Handles the Trauma of Sexual Assault – By Amy Oestreicher

This is an important expansion on the physiology and psychology of the “freeze” response in trauma. I would add the in the abuse or rape situation, the predator counts on the freeze as their opportunity to take control.

Kindness Blog

When I speak at colleges about my own story of sexual abuse, I never forget how difficult it was for me to even speak the words,

“I was sexually abused.”

It took me an even longer time to believe it, or to understand it could happen to me. And what took so much longer than I ever could have predicted was to believe that I was sexually abused…and it wasn’t my fault.

Many survivors “know” that being sexually assaulted was not their fault. Now, I’m one of them. But the question I’ve worked to answer after a decade of “healing” and “processing” what happened to me is, “Well, then why didn’t I do something?”

I had heard this dozens and dozens of times — in my own head and with students who have opened up to me during my programs. Many victims of abuse, molestation and domestic violence often…

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Where do these words take my thoughts?  Love is such a much used and abused word with almost as many meanings and connotations as its speakers.  The philosophers of ancient Greece gave it two names, “Agape” and “Eros” and their mythology gave their management to different deities.  So, it seems complicated, even mysterious, at times in legend and popular imagination and art a blessing or a curse from beyond the mundane realm.  Seeking a definition of the core of what the fictional Mr. Long is talking about, I come to this:

When I love another (I’ll get to self later), I want or wish for them every good thing, possible or impossible, no matter how it happens, how they find it, who brings it, who they find it with, or how they create it.  There is a sort of catch to this wish, this desire.  We do this, we create this context of relationship in the knowledge that the reality will not be so.  We desire this in the face of pain, and grief, and illness, and death, and all the misfortunes that go with our mortal existence.  When we are willing, in so far as possible, to know and share both the desirable and undesirable experience of others, we call that compassion and empathy.  Desiring the best and sharing in the worst, we love.  In our mortal journey there is much that can and will break the loving heart, and much that will give it solace and healing.  The true path accepts both, takes life and our fellows whole.

It has been said that hate is the opposite of love.  I think it is more accurate to say that the opposite of love is indifference.  What is hate?  It would appear to be a desire that another suffer.  If I try to dig a bit deeper into it, I come to the idea that it is a defense against love, born of a fear of what one would have to feel and do if one related to that other with love and compassion.  If that is so, then hate is still about love.  And, hate is a great deal of work.  It requires effort and a distortion even of one’s physiology, a flooding of stress hormones, changes in blood pressure, cognitive changes, tensing of the musculature, and obvious facial expressions.  Hate is not healthy.  It is destructive of body, and mind, and soul.


Set aside that mask.  How does the sort of love this vision sees work in the world?  It is not the manic excitement and desire of new romance, the subject of a large portion of the world’s poetry.  It is a current of context of feeling and knowing that runs deeper, a wider embracing.  We are admonished in a famous teaching to love our neighbor as ourselves.  I find two ways to read that.  If I love my neighbor as I love myself, what if I do not love myself well?  That would be a problem.  On the other hand, what if I can love my neighbor as not separate, feel a part of a shared beingness, a greater unity.  There, I think is the meaning.  Does the desire for the good of all and each require great deeds and noble sacrifice?  I don’t think so, although those can happen.  Mostly, I think it is nurturing where and how we can, doing our best.


Aiming to be one’s best self we will often miss the mark, but that is no reason not to practice at it.  Hoping to be wise, we will often be foolish.  Seeking to be loving and kind, we will still know anger and judgment. Thee will be weeds in our practice.  Never the less, it is important to remember that the real failure is indifference, not to care, to dwell in ignorance and apathy.  We may not all be sages or saints, most likely we will not, but we can have our moments of that and that is no small thing.



This is a important? no more than important – essential story


I have some mad respect for this dude.  Seriously!  This post rips me up… it also increased my determination to be more aware of those around me.

Not every kid has an adult in their life who loves them.

 Let that sink in. 

 I read the stories and I watch the horror of headline news and yet… it is hard to truly grasp what is going on. What’s going on is there are kids that are LEFT to survive completely alone.

This is one of my favorite posts and I hope you share it every chance you get.  I hope you see the surviving spirit Byron has, but I also hope you see the moments where other people made a difference.  All too often, we are afraid to get involved so we program ourselves to be oblivious.  I believe being an oblivious community is creating a bigger problem.  Bullying is only the beginning of worse adult…

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Practicality In Complexity

Re-blogging this by Nora Bateson – Its a fairly long read, but well worth the time.



How can we use knowledge of complexity in a practical way? I am often asked this question. I am confused by it. Practical at what level? By “practical” what is meant?

Practical to offer quick but un-systemic solutions?

Or practical to offer better understanding of the complexity of the context?

Executive decisions define our lives, and evidence based research with deliverables is required to back those decisions up. In this era substantive demarcations of what makes an effort worth the time and money it costs should be provided at the outset of a program. Consequently we see, in workshops, lectures, conferences, and universities, an insatiable appreciate for another pret a porter improvement program. There is always the next new step by step program ready to be sold with the promise of improvement for individuals, organizations and ministries. Usually they read something like The Five Steps to the Seven Applications… for…

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