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DIY Mountain Mural

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I do a lot of work for ANASAZI Foundation , a Wilderness Therapy program for at-risk youth and I frequently visit their lobby. Now, as much as I love ANASAZI, I hated their lobby—its main wall was particularly offensive to mine eyes. Every time I thought about it, I would get an Edgar-Allan-Poe-esque twitch. The wall was driving me mad! Mad, I tell you! Something had to be done. It was either me or the wall and it CERTAINLY wasn't going to be me! I decided to paint a mountain mural over it. And so, eye-a-twitching, I waited until everyone left work—until it was just me and the wall... Then, I created THE MOUNTAIN MURAL! ~Thunder clap in the background~ Supplies Needed: Black Paint White Paint Sahara Desert Sand Paint (Wal-Mart) Warm Caramel Paint (Wal-Mart) Lots of Painters Tape (for outlining the mountains) A Few Paint Brushes (for painting the outlines of the mountains) Lots of Rollers (for most of the painting) Paint Trays (in which you roll your

Hope for Resistance?

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Opposition is a curious thing. We frequently lament and complain about the presence of opposition in our lives, yet opposition—or resistance—is the only force by which we can improve our lives. While on a drive across the country, I was listening to The Boys in the Boat  by Daniel James Brown . The Boys in the Boat is  the remarkable story of the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew and their quest for gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. About a third of the way through the book, I heard a profound quote about resistance and how it actually supports us: It is hard to make that boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of men and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them. (George Yeoman Pocock) We talk of heroes like Winst

With Strong and Active Faith

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Franklin D. Roosevelt It's been a long time since I've written (or done) much of anything. I've reached a crossroads in my life—two distinct paths have opened up to me: one appeals to my wandering soul, while the other requires a great deal of persistence and hard work. One path would be a comfortable road for me—while the other would be extremely uncomfortable. There are voices (in the world and within myself) that would urge me to take the comfortable road. "Do what makes you happy," the voices would say. "Follow your bliss." As nice as that sounds, I feel compelled to reject those voices. I have sat, quite comfortably, at the crossroads for a long time and I can tell you that comfort isn't happiness . Fulfillment is a product of labor. Joy comes after the exercise faith. I recently finished watching the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts. I was struck by how much each of the Roosevelts (Teddy, Eleanor, FDR), successful as they were, s

Have You Ever Wanted A New Beginning?

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I've always been impressed by the symbolism associated with wakefulness—that is to say, the power of being awake. Wakefulness is about so much more than just getting up in the morning—it's about rising up, being attentive, alert, and alive. The process of waking up every morning is, in and of itself, a symbol for being born again. To wake up is to have a new beginning. In my life, I have been fortunate to associate with the Anasazi Foundation . Anasazi is a pioneer wilderness therapy program that is rooted in Native American traditions. The basic idea behind Anasazi Foundation is to take participants into the Arizona wilderness for 50+ days, give them a space that is free from the distractions and noise of the world—and in so doing, help them find a new beginning. The other day, I spoke with Ezekiel Sanchez (also known as Good Buffalo Eagle). Ezekiel is a Native American and a co-Founder of the Anasazi program. He told me that one of the primary messages of Anasazi is

Are You Following a Calf-Path of the Mind?

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This thought-provoking poem by Sam Foss is a bit on the long-side, but well worth the read! It tells the story of a calf who made a path that others would follow. The author ends the poem with a profound moral lesson on "calf-paths of the mind." Calf-Path by Sam Foss I.       One day through the primeval wood A calf walked home as good calves should;    But made a trail all bent askew, A crooked trail as all calves do. Since then three hundred years have fled, And I infer the calf is dead. II. But still he left behind his trail, And thereby hangs my moral tale. The trail was taken up next day, By a lone dog that passed that way; And then a wise bell-wether sheep Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep, And drew the flock behind him, too, As good bell-wethers always do. And from that day, o’er hill and glade. Through those old woods a path was made.             III.       And many men wound in and out,

BE STRONG! | Poetry to Give You Strength

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Here is a marvelous little poem that will inspire you to press on! The struggle you are fighting today is God's gift to you. It's like the legend of the man, cursed by the gods to push a large boulder over a mountain. Going uphill was arduous, painful work, but as soon as the man reached the summit, he realized that the task given to him by the gods had actually blessed him with strength. So press on and be strong! BE STRONG! by Maltbie D. Babcock Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift, We have hard work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle, face it, 'tis God's gift. Be strong! Say not the days are evil—who's to blame! And fold the hands and acquiesce—O shame! Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name. Be strong! It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong, How hard the battle goes, the day, how long; Faint not, fight on! To-morrow comes the song!