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Man – I am finally feel as though I am catching up but the two loads of laundry in my bedroom tell me otherwise.

Last week was a true baptism into single-parenting and fatherhood as I dealth with being sick and Jose’s traumatic few days of broken collar bones and breaking teeth. There was a ton of data research at the Muse Machine and I felt as though all I did was type in numbers. I am still typing in numbers.

This weekend is Vandalia Butler High School’s production of Beauty & The Beast and my student, Nathaniel Stevens, has the lead of the Beast. I went to see him rehearse Monday and Tuesday evenings and he is doing a superb job – especially for his first round as a major lead. I am going to run up there again tomorrow to see it one last time before opening night, which is Friday. I will take Matthew on Friday so he can see his Sunday school classmate, and then Saturday, Jose will attend with me since Matthew will be singing with the Fairmont HS music department as they christen the new performing arts facility.

Next week Jose has a choral concert, and hopefully, we will be heading out of here to Washington, DC for Spring break. I am so far behind on the planning that I am beginning to get nervous – but it always comes together.

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When you endeavor to achieve clear and quantifiable goals, your choices and actions take on new significance. Consciously creating your goals can help ensure that the success you seek is attainable and serves you. Your plan must be conceivable, tangible, and measurable. If you cannot visualize your goal in great detail or believe that you can realize them, you may find it difficult to commit to your goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Make sure that your goals have the potential to be emotionally satisfying. You may even want to write them down. Putting your goals into words can keep your intention fresh in your mind and remind you of your purpose. As you make progress toward realizing your goals, give yourself a reward each time you take a step forward so that you have the incentive to keep going. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, examine ways in which you can revise your strategy so that your plan can work.

In creating goals, you create your future by outlining your destiny. When you choose your goals using your head and heart, you take the first step in manifesting what you want. You grant your own wishes every time you achieve another goal.

We all experience periods where we feel separated from the loving ebb and flow of the universe. These times of feeling disconnected from the source may occur for many reasons, but self-sabotage is the most common cause for us choosing to cut ourselves off from the flow of the universe. We purposefully, though often unconsciously, cut ourselves off from this flow and from the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues, shun the necessary steps for growth, or prevent the success that we are afraid of achieving from ever happening. When you choose to disconnect from the source, you block the flow of the universe’s energy from passing through you. You become like a sleepwalker who is not fully awake to life, and your hopes, plans, and dreams begin to appear as distant blurs on a faraway horizon. Universal support has never left you, but if you can remember that you became disconnected from source by choice, you can choose to reconnect.

Reconnecting with the universe grounds you and is as easy as you making a concerted effort to become interested in the activities you love or responding to what nurtures or stimulates you. You may also want to make a list of the activities and kinds of experiences that touch your soul. Try to pinpoint the times when you have felt fully engaged and aware and ask yourself what you were doing. But one of the easiest ways to reconnect is simply by stating the intention of doing so.

When you disconnect from the universe, your sense of purpose, creativity, and ability to be innovative are not as easy to access. You may also experience a deep and empty sense of longing or feel devoid of ideas or unworthy of love. It’s important, however, to recognize that being disconnected from the universe is never a permanent state, and it can be reversed any time you decide that you are ready to reconnect. When you are connected to the universe, all aspects of your being will feel alive as the flow of the universe pours through your being and into your life.

As we walk through the world, the people we encounter appear so different from one another. We see babies, old men, pregnant women, and teenaged boys. We know couples on the verge of marriage and lonely widows. We interact with toddlers and the terminally ill. As different as each person seems, they are all living the human experience. They are just at different places in the cycle that begins with birth and ends with death. Every phase of the cycle of life has its gifts and its challenges. Each stage is temporary and ultimately gives way to a new phase. This ephemeral quality makes each phase precious, because it will never last.

One of the wonderful qualities possessed by babies and young children is that they are unaware that a cycle of life even exists. They simply are present to wherever they happen to be right now, and they don’t give much thought to the past or future. Being around them reminds us of the joy that comes from living fully in the moment. On the opposite end of life’s cycle are our elderly role models. They are a reminder that each phase of life should be treasured. Time does pass, and we all change and grow older.

Being aware of the cycle of life and our place in it makes us wiser. As we develop a true appreciation for the phase we are in, we can savor it more. A new mother going through a difficult time with her infant can more easily embrace her challenges because she knows that her child will grow up, and she will long for this time again. Difficult and challenging periods are inevitable, but – like everything that is a part of the cycle of life – they are temporary. When we are fully engaged with life, we get to savor and grow from each phase, and we are ready for the next one when it arrives. Fully embracing wherever you are in the cycle of life is the very essence to happiness.

Poor Jose!

The third day of track, Jose was running and fell. His collar bone seemed to be in a great deal of pain and the doctor confirmed (with X-rays) that his collar bone was broken. They showed me how to get him into his clavicle brace – which I have to assist with in the mornings.

The following Thursday, he was at the dentist and his tooth broke in half during the drilling. Dr. Bob glued, screwed and capped it – but three hours of discomfort for Jose.

Of course, he is the type of individual whose glass is “half full” and he has been a cheerful little soldier throughout all this.

Naturally, all this happens when I am down with walking pneumonia – sitting in waiting rooms of ER’s and dentist for a combined eleven hours. Matt asked one evening, “Can I go ahead and go to the ER with you guys tonight so I can at least see you?”

Fortunately it was our one night NOT spent in a waiting room.

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March 2006
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