Do You Speak in Code?

Do You Speak in Code?

In this fast paced world we live in today, we are often limited in our time and opportunity for real communication. We are sometimes reduced to mere code detectors to decipher the meaning of the message. We have short cuts to convey our thoughts as seen in text messages and the 140 characters of the tweet. We might see “r u (with a symbol of a sandy shore line)? Code for: Are you going to the beach? The reply might be “k” or a symbol of a thumbs-up emoji indicating that, “OK, yes I’m going to the beach”. Surprise: OMG (Oh, my God). Happiness: LOL (Laughing out loud). I’ve seen people have whole conversations without ever using a word. Entire unspoken messages are translated by little icons, symbols, and emojis. Birthday messages: Smiley Faces, Balloons, Cakes, Gifts! Happy Birthday! Our actual personal communication and greetings are mostly casual also. In our routine encounters with those we meet we hear “Hi”, “Bye”, “Chao”. And if we really want spend some time wishing our contacts a little more you might get a spoken “Have a Nice Day”. On my daily meditative walk I try to greet passers-by with a “Have a good day”, which I have my own code for. I want to send them on the rest of their day filled with many blessings so I adopted this Apache blessing as my code for “Have a good day”. In my heart I am wishing them the following good thoughts: “May the Sun bring new energy by day. May the Moon softly restore you by night. May the Rain wash away...
Find Your Beach

Find Your Beach

  We’ve all seen the beer commercial that encourages us to, “Find your beach”. Returning from an island vacation, enjoying the sand, sun, and shimmering water, I now have a fuller understanding of that advertisement. We humans, are like little electric or hybrid cars. We can go just so long until we “run out” of juice. We need to plug in, recharging our energy and strengthening our resolve. We need to STOP, halt our normal running around and connect with the Source of all Energy. So we need to find our chair on the beach, a rock, a mountain top, a pew in church or a bench in the woods and just “take it all in” to regroup. Just what does this “beach” do for us? How does it recharge, refresh and renew us to go back into the normal crazy lives that we all lead? These “beaches” in life, take our breaths away. We gasp, “Oh, my God”. “This blows my mind.” This vastness, this “over the top” unimaginable beauty, and boundless tranquility could only be the work of the Divine. For this brief time on the “beach” we suspend our normal thinking patterns of work responsibilities, time urgencies with social and financial pressures bearing down on us. We see our puny lives in comparison to the Bigger Picture. We realize that all our so-called important matters are not all that important in the grand scheme of things. We’re humbled by a Divine Presence, and can almost feeling the Almighty among us. While we’re awed by our smallness in the REAL picture we also are overcome with gratefulness,...
Live Like a Lost Boy

Live Like a Lost Boy

Joe and I were recently vacationing with the opportunity to do some island cruising. I sat immediately behind our young captain! The embroidery on the back of his ball cap grabbed my attention: “Live Life Like a Lost Boy.” At first I didn’t know exactly what that meant. My first thought being “if I was a lost boy, I would panic with fear setting in.” With a second glance taking in the high-sailing explorer, I concluded that “fear” would not be his underlying motivation. Imagining his presumed life style, I figured I missed something returning to my reflections. Following my initial reaction of “fear”, I enjoyed musing on how our captain (all of about 40 something, appearing footloose and fancy free) approached life. Tossing conventions aside, the oceans of the world are his highways with open seas offering an oyster of freedom. Following my newer takeaways, I now have a fresher outlook on the meaning that I will be try to incorporate into my life journey. Little lost boys see life as an adventure to be enjoyed. Little lost boys see time as fleeting never putting off until a “better day”. Little lost boys will make the best of the situation, no matter what the obvious “rule” is. Little lost boys will “tackle” any situation that comes their way. Little lost boys see a “rope” and see a “swing”. Little lost boys will toss convention aside, adopting anything necessary to improvise. Little lost boys approach life without overthinking the problem. They just “go for it”. Little lost boys don’t stew over being lost analyzing how did this happen. They...
Let’s Make a Deal!

Let’s Make a Deal!

Have you ever made a deal with God? “Dear God, if you let me pass this algebra test, I will say three rosaries.” “Dear God, if I give up this for Lent, will you…..?” We are all tempted to make deals with God trying to swing his will in certain situations to our liking. We offer God a tempting behavior on our part if He would only see His Divine Providence fall our way. Previously we saw prayer as growing into a position of trust. Our prayers shape us into a mindset of surrender to God’s will, not trying to pelt God with our wants, desires, and needs. Those are already taken care for in the Big Plan. So how do we move from a position of pleading with and bartering with God to one of trust and surrender? In my book, “G-vites ~ Everyday Invitations From God”, I offer my “Prayer of Surrender” for you to use. It is based on 4-evers: whatever, however, whenever, and forever. Whatever – Lord, whatever your wish is my command. Whatever you want me to do, I accept. I say, “Yes, Coach, put me in.” Bring on the people you want me to love, the situations you want me to take on, and the lessons you want me to learn. Whatever! However – However you choose to solve my problems, I accept your way. I know that you have the Bigger Picture that puts what is happening to me daily in a much more comprehensive life perspective. I know it works out for the best, the way that it is meant to...
My Way?

My Way?

Most of us aspire to Frank Sinatra’s hit song, “My Way”. Yes, in spite of all the difficulties I did it MY WAY. If we hold this ideal we maybe on the wrong track. Lately I’ve been sharing the prayers of children on my two Facebook Pages, (“Patty Kogutek – Author” and” Finding Your Joy”. These innocent prayers bring many smiles and also remind us of important messages. Here’s a sample: “Dear God, Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce” After a good laugh we have to examine the message. We have to praise this child, Joyce’s, ability and desire to honestly reach out to God in prayer. She expresses her gratitude for the new baby, but goes on to “remind” God that the baby brother was not what she prayed for! How often do we feel that we have to give a gentle nudge to God to answer our prayer OUR way? In our prayers we must start with the basic belief of trusting God. We trust God enough to let go and look through his eyes – the eyes of a wise Father. If we approach prayer with that frame of mind our hearts will be open and we will begin to see what God sees and hope for what God hopes. We’ll begin to want what God wants, and do what God does. That’s what praying in faith does inside us. It slowly reshapes our ideas and desires to match God’s. We change our perspective to shift our wants and needs from our values and expectations of life...
Living In AWE

Living In AWE

Are you caught up in the mundane of the every day? Do you miss the song that you are meant to sing? Do you miss the joyful symphony that others bring to you? Inside of each of us is the potential to create something beautiful. We don’t have to erect an award-winning masterpiece. We merely must enjoy the person who we are, who we are meant to be and anticipate the beauty and excitement that others bring to us. Simply listen to the birds singing, circling around being themselves, ordinary birds. Hear the music they bring and the joy they create fluttering to and fro. Or experience the joy that happiness passed on to you by the smile of another person. Just imagine what our world would be like if we, like the birds, lived the life that is in us expressing who we are and loving what others “bring to our party.”  Just imagine what our world would be like if we brought that expectation to all that we met. That’s what I mean by living in AWE – Living Amid Wonderful Expectations or Awaiting Wondrous Events…. We would go through our humdrum days expecting miracles, looking the beauty and unique gifts that surround us. Each of us has his/her own song to sing and wings to flutter. “Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.” – Nicholas Sparks You’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Expect a miracle”; let’s live it. Our minds and hearts must be...