Spiritually Speaking Blog

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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,... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Get the Aerial View

In life we are given many choices along our journey affecting our happiness. We can take the low road or choose the high road. It’s up to each of us. On the lower road we see beauty – towering trees, colorful flowers, and manicured lawns. Single isolated dabs of color and loveliness. All wonderful in themselves. But on the higher road, the view widens with perspective allowing for the vistas of spectacular. Not only do we see the trees and the streets, but we also get to see how they all work together; how they are interconnected designed to make communities and neighborhoods. The aerial view gives us the Bigger Picture. So too in life, we can choose to react to situations presented to us in a normal ordinary way. We can view situations, events and occurrences as single happenings, lone snapshots. We wonder “why did this happen to me?” It’s as if we walk through our daily lives with a myopic human everyday lens on the low road. On the other hand, on the higher road, we can see the event acting as a part of the Bigger Picture. We envision how it works into our life’s calling and life lessons, interconnected. We see things in the larger perspective. No incident is a coincidence! So if we find ourselves in various predicaments, not knowing the why behind them, seek out the view from above. Look for the connection and the inter dynamics. Trust in the higher good. Trust in God’s providence. Trust the Bigger Aerial View! So don’t go through life signing up for the “single shot” view. Grab... read more

Are You a Superhero?

There are people we meet in life that make everything seem magical. To me they are personal Superheroes! You know the ones I’m talking about. When you see their caller ID on your phone and you look forward to answering. The one who walks into the room and you just know it’s going to be a great meeting or party. Or the person who causes your shoulders to drop in relaxation, no pretense needed. They come into our lives to nourish our souls, support our efforts, and encourage our journey. These special people are our Light sources sharing their positivity. They help make any day or situation a little brighter. And in their own special way, these Superheroes urge us to be better in so many ways. What a gift to be able to see the beauty, humor, or meaning in daily routine and frustrations. Hopefully we can surround ourselves with Superheroes soaking up their positive energy propelling us to be the same for others. That’s really what we are called to be for one another. That’s our life’s work, no matter what professions we have undertaken. We are meant to help each other interpret life as it was meant to be. We are transformers and superheroes amid the daily grind. Recognize who these people are. Cherish them. Be grateful for them. Pray for them. Call them. Eat with them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. And above all, learn from them. Be one of them! Alan Watts, an English philosopher and expert in comparative religions stated that, “The whole art of life is knowing how to transform anxiety... read more

What’s Your “Go-To”?

We all have “go-to” places, clothes, and patterns. We keep these comfortable, reliable, and proven routines and places for “ready referrals” in times of stress or question. We surround ourselves with habits that we are accustomed to because we know they are reliable and we know what to expect. No surprises! What’s your “go-to” restaurant for Italian food? What’s your “go-to” place to buy birthday cards? What comfy clothes do you don on a rainy day? Groceries? We all have our everyday references to make our daily lives easier, but how about your spiritual “go-tos”? What are your favorite rituals, prayers, and hymns that bring you the needed comfort and Divine connection that we all seek? Years ago I read this prayer and I can’t even remember where I got it, but it’s my “go-to” morning prayer starting my day off with 3 imperative attitudes. Try this prayer to begin with a glorious, faith-filled and hope-filled day: “Perfect God. Perfect God within me. Perfect life within me, which is God. Come into that which is me. Lead me to the path of perfection and cause me to see only the good.” (Usually I add one of my favorite psalm verses: “Only good and kindness will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23) These 3 attitudes are essential  for any day: – God is Perfect….Praise – God is with me, in me, leading me through to my soul’s mission. Faith – All that happens is for the best. – Hope Remember that prayer is not to pellet God with what WE want but to get our lives more “in... read more

Why Wait to Be Happy?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. “Happiness is not a gift, it’s a skill.” (Secret #7 from “A Change of Habit”). We know that we cannot change what happens to us. The only thing we do have control over is our ATTITUDE toward the situation. Choose happiness, but how? One key to being able to opt for happiness entails “being in the present” or practicing “mindfulness” throughout each day. Walt Whitman penned, “Not in another place…not for another hour, but this hour.” This powerful thought centers on our being in the present moment where the happiness is. The “now” situation may not be perfect; the weather could have been sunnier, the meal could have been tastier, or the game could have been won. If you are waiting for the PERFECT service, or events to turn out the way you envisioned them, then you are missing the happiness offered to you at that moment. Actually the moment was perfect all along, we just miss it looking for something “better”. We all need to appreciate what we get in this life, after all, “it’s the best we’ll ever get!!” Alfred D. Souza shares his “aha” moment, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life”. We waste so much time and energy wishing, desiring, and... read more