January 31, 2010

Poem of the Week



Stars at night they twinkle

Afar and burning bright

Each a source of wonder

Standing bright amidst the night


We pay them small attention

For they are always there

We go about our business

With but a single care


But then there are the comets

Bright and racing past

Everyone takes notice

Even if they do not last


It's what people remember

The dramatic burning light

That stands out on the landscape

And brightens up the night


More poems at http://www.sacredpoems.com.  As always, if you have a request, just send me an email.

4 Northcrest Drive, North Granby, CT 06060, USA

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January 30, 2010

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

What I Did With 525,600 Minutes!

Posted: 29 Jan 2010 04:34 PM PST


There are 525,600 minutes in one year, what have I done with those?!  Thinking about it, did I spend much of those minutes in things that truly count? Or have I merely let them pass, or spent them in things that didn’t really matter?

525,600 minutes.

What can I do with just one minute anyways?

In one minute -
1. I can sing a song.
2. I can kiss my loved ones.
3. I can shake hands with a new-found friend.
4. I can smile.
5. I can pray.
6. I can embrace a friend.
7. I can jump!
8. I can dance.
9. I can say ‘thank you’.
10. I can say ‘I love you!’

Looking back however at the 525,600 minutes that have passed, I ask myself these questions:

1. How many kisses have I given away?
2. How many smiles have I shared?
3. How many songs have I sung from the heart?
4. How many times did I jump for joy?
5. How many prayers have I uttered?
6. How many friends have I embraced?

Looking back, I must have slept most of the time.
I must have complained a lot of times.
I must have worried so many times.

So many wasted minutes.
So many moments that were supposed to be mine,
to enrich my life and that of others.

It is not too late however! It’s enough to have spent a few minutes looking back. But now it’s time to live the moment. May the next minute count therefore, and may it be truly blessed!

January 28, 2010

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

How Can You Be Wrong More Often?

Posted: 27 Jan 2010 04:57 PM PST

For me, the single best thing you can do to become more creative is to be wrong more often. Creative people are wrong all the time (look at Apple’s long string of failures). The goal is to create a safe place to be wrong, a way to be wrong without destroying yourself. - Seth Godin (Interview by The Happiness Project)1097805_gymnastic_on_a_lawn

Seth’s words caught my attention because of two things: First, that creativity is my life, and Second, that I still am afraid of making mistakes and wasting everything I’ve ever accomplished in life.

The second part of Seth’s quote gives us hope however.  We need to create a safe place to be wrong, “a way to be wrong without destroying yourself.”

But how can we do that?  Just how do we ensure that we don’t destroy ourselves with our mistakes?

In my previous job as an auditor, I believe we have such a word for that - risk mitigation. Risks exist, whether we like it or not. Without risk, there can be no business venture, and no profit in return. What we need to do is to learn how to handle those risks, how to mitigate them as best we could so as not to let them hinder us from our goals.

Following are some of the things I’ve listed in order to help me mitigate those mistakes:

1. Have a backup plan. Have as much backup or alternative courses of action as you may need. When Plan A doesn’t succeed, you always have Plan B or C.

2. Be aware of the consequences of your actions. You must be able to calculate just how much you are willing to risk. If your plan doesn’t materialize, can you handle the results? What would it cost you? Can you afford the consequences?

3. Test small before you leap BIG. There are times when you don’t need to plunge your entire body just to test how hot the water is. Just dip your toes a little to get a feel of the situation you’ll be placing yourself into.

4. Get relevant trustworthy advice. You don’t need to experience everything just so you’d have the wisdom to accomplish something. There are lots of people who’ve been there before, people who can advice you and impart to you the wisdom they’ve earned through the years. Just ensure that you weigh also the advice given you and talk only to people you could trust.

5. Use your imagination. As J.K. Rowling mentioned in her speech at Harvard, “Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not… it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” Use your imagination and envision what you’ll be up against. Feel it as though everything’s already happening. Will the worst of it destroy you or those that matters most to you?

6. Ready your safety nets. In case all of your plans fail, how do you manage your fall? Will someone catch you? Will you have facilities to assist you? Do you know how you will manage the pain you will feel? How will you heal and for how long?

7. Strengthen yourself. There is no better preparation than striving to be the best person you could ever be. Gain wisdom. Develop patience and maturity. Have the courage to face your challenges, and the faith that no matter what happens, you will be able to rise up from the ashes like a phoenix. Make mistakes, but not the ones that could destroy who you are, because who you are is the only thing you’ll ever have left even if you lose everything along the way.

Know yourself. If you know you have much to learn, and much strength to develop, don’t engage in challenges that are beyond your capacity. Know the battles that fit your current strength but could teach you enough to grow stronger.

As you gain more confidence in who you are, only then can you face those challenges that will not destroy you, but will bring out the very best in you!

January 26, 2010

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

Letting Go is a Very Hard Life Lesson

Posted: 25 Jan 2010 04:03 PM PST

Letting Go is a Very Hard Lesson in Life


Letting Go.

It’s so easy to say it,
especially if you’re not the one letting go.

If you were the person doing so,
you’d know how difficult it is,
and how almost impossible at times.

Why should I let go?
Why do we have to let go at all?

How do we know when and what to let go?
And how do we know what to hold on to?

In my belief,
for as long as it is possible,
never let go of something valuable to you,
something of a priceless worth.

Fight for it!
Protect it always,
defend it from all harm,
and from everything that may ever dare take it away from you.

We need only to let go of the things
that have already accomplished their purpose in our life,
things we no longer need,
or things that hinder us from welcoming the things we truly need,
things that can give us true joy and peace.

But then, you may ask:
What about in times when I no longer have the power to hold on to it,
and to fight for the thing most precious to me?
What about in times of death,
death that takes away the presence
of those I hold most dear?

I answer first,
that I have no words to soothe such grieving hearts,
for I know that none can soothe me then as well.

I have but a glimmer of hope in that instance,
that even in death,
there is something of love that remains always with me -
a memory perhaps,
a song,
a withered rose pressed upon the folded pages of my book.

A tiny voice also asks me a question
that forces me to look for wisdom -
“Is the presence of your loved one
dependent only upon their physical form?”

As such, I might be forced to reply
that the physical body is merely a shell cast away when it is no longer needed.
It is let go so that the soul might be freed at last!

January 24, 2010

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

The Latest from I Take Off The Mask!

What is the Worth of a Dream?

Posted: 23 Jan 2010 08:36 PM PST



it isn’t only the fulfillment of a dream that counts.

Many times,


and the DREAMING itself

is already a GIFT.

Do you remember a dream of yours that came true?

Do you remember the first moment
that you dreamt it,
or the many moments you labored
in its pursuit?

Do you remember the PEOPLE you dreamt it with?

Do you remember their surprise
when they first heard of your dream?
or their encouraging words
when they saw you losing hope?

How much were those moments worth?
How much the worth of those
who walked with you,
who believed with you,
who blessed you with their company
as your eyes remained focused only
on distant stars?

when I look back,
I couldn’t help but think -
that during those moments,
I’ve already had everything I’ve ever wanted to have.

Which is the real dream?
and how much is it really worth?



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