Seeing the best in life's challenges

Election Season is NOT the Playoffs – It’s the DRAFT!

This is my attempt to explain why our political process has gotten so crazy and seems so impossible to “fix.”  We are so caught up in the “sport” of politics, that we have forgotten the purpose of elections.

We Americans love our favorite teams.  We root for them, we are loyal and crazy, and we love to shout about all of it!!!  It is great fun!  We love the competition, we love to dress up and dye our hair and have a party and badmouth the other team.  All this is a big part of the culture of sports, and people can get VERY serious about it!  Yay!

It’s easy to carry over this culture into politics.  We align with our favorite team and take it from there.  But, wait a minute…..

The purpose of electing public officials is not so that one team can defeat another team.  It’s not a sport.  The purpose should be to elect the most qualified candidate, the one who will work well with the others, the one who will balance out the team.

Because when it comes to our country and our government, WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM.  That doesn’t mean we are all the same and that there won’t be conflicts that need to be worked out.  It does mean that the ultimate goal is to make the entire team stronger.

We need an offense as well as a defense.  Different perspectives are at the core of the balance of power that is so important to democracy.  You can have the greatest offense in the world, but you won’t win a game without a defense.

When individuals get drafted, they have been noticed for their individual skills, the position they play, how well they work with others on a team, etc.  A team might already have 3 great running backs, so they might not draft that awesome Heisman Trophy winner, instead they might pick the defensive lineman who can replace the guy that got hurt last year.  You get the picture.

We have to realize how falling into the “us against them” team loyalty thing plays into the lap of the party insiders.  All they have to do is convince individuals that they have the best team and that they deserve their loyalty, and BOOM, they have you for life.  You will believe what they say no matter what, you will view the other guys with suspicion no matter what, and nothing will deter you from supporting YOUR TEAM.  See how much is at stake for a party in maintaining your loyalty?

But politics doesn’t have to be an us-against-them team sport.

We had the perfect example of this in Delaware in 2008.  Jack Markell ran for Governor despite the fact that his party (the Democrats) had another candidate in mind.  He ran a positive campaign, and gained the support of Democrats and Republicans.  Many Republicans changed their party affiliation so that they could vote for him in the primary.  Fortunately, Delaware is small (so that people know each other) and doesn’t have its own TV station (so the media influence is minimized).  It’s easier to do what Jack did in Delaware than it would be in other places.  But it was done.  It is possible.

And I think many people forget that Barack Obama was also an outsider that most didn’t take seriously at all at the beginning.  That he ran a campaign outside of the party machine.  No wonder so many hate him – he didn’t play the game like you are supposed to!  Taking the power away from the party insiders is a huge threat and cannot be tolerated!

What can you do, even though you are just one individual?  Don’t participate in the negativity.  Don’t generalize and lump all Democrats or Republicans into a category.  For example, I was a registered Republican for almost 20 years.  I consider myself a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.  I changed my party affiliation after I moved to a community that is mostly Democrat, so I could have a say in the primaries.

Yet, I get labeled a “Liberal” and dismissed by many people who won’t even have a conversation to understand where I’m coming from.  Aren’t we supposed to be thoughtful and free to form our own opinions?

Sorry, it’s just not so simple that you can assign a label to someone, and lump them into “friend” or “foe” categories.  Well, you can, but while you are wasting time with that game, your team is going to fall to pieces.



How To See Clearly Now

It’s uncomfortable to watch other people in situations where they are unhappy, frustrated, overwhelmed or otherwise just not good, when you can clearly see and understand the dynamics of what’s going on.  Yet, the person in the situation didn’t see it coming, and even when they repeat their circumstances over and over, they still don’t see the cause and effect, their own contributions that obviously lead them into the same trap, time and time again. When this is someone you care about and love very much, it feels more than just uncomfortable.

It’s so easy to see this happening to others, yet almost impossible to recognize when we are doing the exact same thing.

When we see another person heading toward trouble, the same trouble they complained to us about last week, we wish we could tell them what we see.  But most of the time, we don’t.  Maybe we’ve tried and they couldn’t or wouldn’t listen.  If you are a parent, you know that you could have saved your children lots of times, but kids won’t listen – they have to learn many lessons the hard way, through experience.  The same dynamic can occur when you see someone missing an opportunity.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

There’s a lot to be said for learning by experiencing.  We all know that lessons stick much better if we live them, rather than just reading about it or having someone tell us.  Letting someone else learn their own lessons is more respectful of them than offering them unwanted advice or outspokenly telling them what they should do.

But I want to talk about the other side of the coin.  If I can see others clearly, then there must be somebody out there who is seeing ME clearly. Do I have the same resistance to the advice, wisdom or constructive criticism of others?  Why?

I’m talking about feedback from a person that you know has your best interests at heart and loves you and means to help.   I’m talking about someone who takes the time to ask questions and to understand you and your situation.  Someone who qualifies what they say with statements like “I could be wrong, but it seems to me…” and is kind and gentle with you.  Someone who cares more about you than about being “right.”  I am NOT talking about the know-it-all who always thinks they know what’s right regardless of the situation and talks AT you, not WITH you.  The kind of person that you know is thinking “I told you so!”  There’s a BIG difference.

Wouldn’t it be smart of me to seek out those people, and cultivate a relationship with them where I could tap into their insights and wisdom and apply it to my life?

To be able to listen to another person give their honest feedback about our faults and mistakes can be a really big pill to swallow.  Much has been written about overcoming Fear and Ego, the two biggest obstacles in these cases.  If someone who cares is giving you feedback, and you feel yourself becoming angry or defensive, can you step back and ask yourself what buttons have just been pushed?  Why is what they are saying such a trigger for you?  What might this tell you about yourself?  What’s more important to you — avoiding your own negative reaction and staying comfortable, or learning something about yourself that might help you grow?

This is an aspect of communication that takes effort, cultivation and practice.  You have to be working at it on purpose.  You have to be ok with making mistakes and getting emotional.  Not easy!!!  But simple steps can get you started.  Next time you are frustrated and complaining about a situation to a friend, stop and ask, “So, are you seeing anything I’m not seeing here?  Any insights?”  Then make your best effort to listen, without interrupting, defending yourself, or arguing.  And if you realize later that you blew it in a situation like this, make a point to tell that person that you recognize this and that you will try harder next time, because you value their perspective.  There’s nothing wrong with telling another person that you think they are wise, you value their opinion, and that you are trying to get better about listening to the advice of others!  I bet this will make your friend feel great and they will want to support you in this!

You have to learn to be honest with yourself first, before you can truly be honest with others.  And you have to demonstrate your honesty and willingness to listen to others and develop a level of trust before others will be comfortable enough to be truly honest with you.

Honest feedback from others that truly care about you is one of the most valuable resources you can tap.  Only you can decide if you are willing to work hard enough through the obstacles to take advantage of it.

A person who plays this role for another is nothing less than an Angel.  While we’re at it, we can also work on being the Angel that someone else is looking for.

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MEMO: “Why Isn’t This Manifesting Stuff Working for Me?”

Angela Peregoff offers free “Morning Blessings” via email at her website.  I ran across this one and thought it was so clever!!

The Morning Blessing     08.16.12


TO:                                  You Divine Spark

On Location:             Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy, The Universe

FROM:                          Ralph, Executive Assistant to God,

                                          Secretary in Charge of Manifesting and Magical Movies

CC:                                  Cosmo, Head of Divine Timing Department

BCC:                              GOD

REGARDING:          Your recent letter of complaint titled:

                                         “Why Isn’t This Manifesting Stuff Working for Me?”

Dear Spark,

So, you have recently found out that life is like a movie script that you are writing moment by moment, in which you can design for yourself an abundance-creating, soulmate-attracting, self-realizing existence. You’ve watched The Secret and enthusiastically pinned a check to yourself on the ceiling, and stuck a vision board on your bedroom wall. However, here you are months down the track completely at your wit’s end, wondering why your manifestations aren’t working or what’s wrong with you that you can’t “do it”!

Cosmo, Head of Divine Timing, assures me that as always all is happening right on schedule. He has received all of your emails about the presence of Fear on the set, and is applauding the way you have been handling the situation. Word out up here is that you have been having a few talks with Fear, letting him know you are the star! The crew have been standing back in awe as very few people have ever dared to confront that overpowering egomaniac. Congratulations, someone had to do it! Fear’s agent says he is getting less and less attention every day and really only likes to hang around when he is the star. Fear is getting “over it” as he says, and is thinking about a career change. This is good news for everyone!

The Director is aware of some of your concerns about the next stage of production, likewise we have some of our own, so I’m here to address those:

You’re a Co-Author in this Movie

We all like to think we are completely in control of our life, but when it comes to manifesting our movie we are always merely co-creators, producing the show together with our higher self and the higher self of any other people involved in any particular scene.

Always be conscious of the fact that there is a higher plan of which you may not be aware. Ask that all your prayers, vision board wishes and manifestations vibrate to their highest and best potential, and let go of what you think this looks like.

While you may have a preference for a certain outcome, it is always a good idea to ask that all situations unfold in alignment with the highest good of all concerned – otherwise you may be asking for something that may not be in alignment with what you or others truly need!

Divine Timing

Timing is more important than you can consciously perceive. Cosmo receives thousands of letters of complaint a day and can’t handle the stress much longer. He is considering issuing a global press release to remind the people of Earth that thinking you are above divine timing is like thinking you can control nature. Divine timing has a rhythm and a flow that is perfectly co-ordinated and much peace comes from really accepting that. Your soul knows what it is doing on a higher level even if from your perspective things are going way slower than you would like.

Learn to go with the flow, and if something doesn’t go according to your plans or preferred schedule trust that this is for a good reason. Do all you can to make your dreams turn into reality, while simultaneously letting go of the need for the process to go a certain way. Let go of the outcome, trusting it will turn out the best way possible.

Are you Ready?

We don’t just deliver what you ask for on a silver platter unless you are truly ready. We make sure you go through all the steps you need to take first so that you can handle what you’ve asked for. Imagine if you asked for a Ferrari but you had never driven a manual transmission let alone a high-powered sports car! You would probably crash it on your first drive. Insurance across the Universe is at an all time high and we just can’t afford to make any mistakes these days. If you ask for a Ferrari we are going to make sure you have done your advanced driver training first, it’s that simple!

Find the Gift in the Present on your way to your Ideal Future

If you are visualizing a soul mate relationship and you keep getting relationships that are less than ideal, this is not Aphrodite ignoring you. Rather, there is something about the relationships coming your way that have a message for you. If you are attracting unavailable people, is there a part of you that is unavailable?

If you are attracting people who don’t value you, is there a part of you that doesn’t value you?

The universe always hears your requests, and it always answers you in ways that are the most effective for what you truly want, even if it doesn’t immediately appear that way. It may well be that for your particular path, in order to be ready for your soul mate you have to be completely emotionally available and value yourself totally. Hence the relationships that are being sent your way are there as a form of preparation, reminding you to connect with these aspects of yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to stay in these relationships. Sometimes it’s just about getting the lesson then getting out, onward to what it is you really want.

Is there a part of you that doesn’t want it?

Your conscious self can wish for a certain reality all it likes, but if you have self-sabotaging beliefs, memories, old emotions or subconscious aspects within you that associate that reality with a deep fear or wound, they will do all they can to thwart your every move. The more you try to move toward a certain direction, the more things will come up, so pay attention and do what you need to do to address your inner energies. Journaling, healing therapies, meditation and creative expression can all help. Feel it!

Start feeling excited and passionate about what it is you want, as opposed to using all your energy toward feeling frustrated about what you don’t want. Really feel your excitement, joy and passion, and anticipate positive change coming to you at any moment! This will affect your energetic vibration as it starts drawing to you what you most need right now, be it an opportunity, experience or insight.

Have Gratitude, Act as if it is Here Now

We are working our auras off up here, and sometimes it’s nice to get a little thanks! Just a little: “Thank you, Universe, for this great relationship/work/abundance etc. It is totally in alignment with my true essence and best possible path and reality.” That would be great, thanks.

The Universe always has a bigger plan for you than you could ever consciously imagine yourself, yet you constantly limit yourself by what you think is possible, or not. Don’t limit yourself! If you want love, imagine the greatest love relationship possible for yourself and let go of trying to control who it is, or how and when it will happen. If you want job fulfillment, see yourself doing what you came here to do, and let go of thinking you know what that perfect job is. Let yourself be surprised! Affirm that you are on your highest path, fulfilling your highest purpose, and see what magic happens!

On a final note, your script writing team of advisors wish to confirm that they have filled your story with lots of bliss, happiness, abundance, passion and fun! They let their creativity unleash with this movie and promise you a most exciting ride!

Don’t worry so much, just read your lines as you go, and we’re sure you’ll like what’s in store! There is a team up here working steadily with you on this movie, so please do not hesitate to contact us at any time should you have any further questions.

With sparkles of stardust,

Yours in Spirit,




I live in a universe that is by nature abundant; this universe is by nature loving, and it is by its very nature whole. I choose today to realize what’s always been true: that I am One with this Universe, that I always have been one with it, and that I have access to all its good, whenever I open my mind to receive it. Today I awaken to my noble self, realizing that I am a powerful center of creative energy in this universe, a place where life is delighted to flow and flow with ease. I stop playing small, and realize that I can gift myself anything in the world, and I do it with joy and with the knowing and believing that as imagination flows through me, I align with creation, it’s not of my own creation, but of Spirit. I receive each gift, whatever its form, freely. Whether it is presents from my children, offering my best in my work, loving my partner with all of my heart, or finding abundance, I do it with the full and complete understanding that Spirit and I playfully conduct this action through me. I relax in the knowing that everything is just fine, that the power of Spirit is thought+full+ly flowing through me, that this universe is a safe and wonderful place to be. And my life blossoms in joy. And so it is.


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© 2003 – 2012 Angela Peregoff | All rights reserved. Please feel free to copy and share these copyrighted Blessings with your friends, letting them know the source and inviting them to visit my website.

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You Can’t Legislate a Heart

Thanks to my friend Lynda Allen for the following.  I thought it was important to share:

You can’t legislate a heart. That seems to me the biggest problem we face in this country and possibly the world. You can’t legislate a heart. You can’t legislate kindness or love or decency or compassion or civility. I think our founding fathers knew this truth, so they gave us teaching tools instead, words to inspire and remind us: We hold these truths to be self-evid…ent, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Granted, they didn’t actually live the all men (or women) are created equal part, but we can. They gave us words to guide our hearts, to teach and inspire our hearts. For that is what you can do with a heart, inspire it, guide it, teach it, and most importantly show it. That is what leaders can do, whether the leader is a politician, a parent, a teacher, a neighbor or a spiritual leader. They can show a heart kindness. They can inspire a heart to compassion. They can guide a heart with love. They can teach a heart civility.

When I first began looking at the divisiveness that seems to pervade our country at the moment I wondered with sadness, what will it take? What tragedy will it take to unite us? Then I watched with horror as the shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin unfolded. I was further saddened when it seemed that the unity created by these tragedies was short lived.

You just can’t legislate the hate out of a heart. You can’t legislate a heart to believe in the same God as you. You can’t legislate a heart to love all people; whether they have the same mental or physical capacity as you, as much or as little money as you, the same definition of family as you, or the same color skin as you. You simply can’t legislate a heart.

So we must look to ourselves and to each other to teach and inspire and guide and show our hearts. I realized we are the leaders we are looking for; we are what it takes to unite us. We don’t need to look to our leaders; they ought to look to us. We need to look to each other, really look, and see the heart there, see the inherent worth and goodness there, see the humanity there. It should be our hearts that set the tone for our country with each choice we make and each word we speak. We should inspire our leaders to lead with love, to lead with kindness, to lead with compassion, to lead with civility. We have the courage within each heart to create unity despite differing politics, religion or point of view, to demonstrate tolerance. Now is the time for us each to lead our lives with heart and create the vision of Freedom this country was founded upon, rather than create m ore divisiveness and tragedy. Now is the time for us each to look to our own hearts and begin there.

Lynda Allen

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Jargon is Tricky

Have you had the experience where you listen to someone who is well-versed, or maybe you could say immersed, in a subject area you know little about?  You notice that they have a set of words, a vocabulary, that obviously has specific meaning in the context of their subject area, but might not mean very much to you?  People use words to convey meaning, to describe concepts that might be complicated or have a lot of context and history to them.  If you aren’t real familiar with the context, the way that person talks about their subject area might seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

This is true for any area of interest or expertise:  finance, economics, auto repair, sports, knitting, video games, health care, politics, even religion.  People who share expertise in a subject area can use jargon to make their conversations more efficient – they can use a word as shorthand to talk about something very complicated that they both understand.  But to an “outsider” listening in, the conversation would not be understandable at all.

We have to use words to convey complex concepts.  But let’s face it, when you get into complicated concepts or nuanced circumstances, it’s very difficult to describe something in words to a person who hasn’t had experience with what you’re talking about.  Any individual can hear words, a description of a situation, and interpret those words with their own personal bias and experience, and come up with an understanding that could be quite different from what the other person was trying to say.

Is it any wonder people misunderstand each other??

We hear someone using certain jargon, and we can get the quick impression that this person knows what they are talking about!  If you happen to be well-versed in that same subject area, you might find out after a bit of discussion that the person knows some jargon, but they don’t really understand the subject.  And the opposite might be true – a person might understand the concepts really well, but they don’t use the jargon you are used to.

My point is, we all need to watch ourselves, so that we do not make conclusions too fast about what we are hearing.  Words are powerful, but they have their limits.  Do you take words literally or do you listen for the message behind the words that the person is trying to convey?

The more esoteric and conceptual the subject area, the tougher this gets.

Which brings me to religion and spirituality.

Having attended churches with very different “styles” over the years, it is easy to see how a faith community can get comfortable with their own “jargon.”  Some groups refer to “the Lord,” some say God, some say “Spirit,” you get the idea.  It would be easy to assume, if you are used to saying “the Lord,” that anyone else who uses this term has the same understanding that you do.  And it would be tempting to conclude that those who use other terms “don’t get it.”  But that is a very simplistic approach.  These terms are used to describe the indescribable, the Creator, the Source of everything, something that is impossible to adequately describe in words.

(Interestingly, Ernie Fitzpatrick had something very similar to say recently about how we approach the Bible.)

So why do we get stuck at the level of jargon?

Well, it’s just human nature.  It’s what comes naturally.  It’s not that we are doing anything “wrong.”   BUT, if we want to push our understandings of complicated topics to a greater level, we can become more aware of this dynamic, and work at allowing ourselves to expand our ability to “hear” more than just the words.

Human nature can find this very scary.  We are comfortable with people we know, who speak the same language we do, who don’t take us outside our comfort zone.  Our instinct is to avoid the person with crazy sounding ideas, rather than taking the time to understand their underlying meaning.  We don’t want anyone questioning our status quo!!

There’s a lot of discussion about spirituality, in particular, that is “out there” that seems really wacky at first glance.  The safest approach is, “don’t go there!”  Don’t even read any of that stuff, it’s crazy, don’t consider anything that upsets your comfortable paradigm.

If you are so comfortable that your paradigm is The Truth, then what is so scary?  What’s wrong with stretching your mind to consider something that is outside the box?  You might learn a lot about yourself if you are able to engage the process.  What’s the harm?

Personally, I have decided to be fearless about investigating all kinds of stuff that others might consider wacky.  I am stretching my mind.  I am challenging myself to use my own brainpower and instincts to form my own conclusions about whatever comes my way.  I am doing this for me, not to influence or convince anyone else of anything.

So, why are you writing about it, you ask??  Well, it is simply an outlet for me to express myself.  Writing helps me process my thoughts.  I’m writing anonymously and letting my words be “out there.”  If someone finds my musings by googling, that’s great.  And yes, I do get a kick out of watching my stats come up, and seeing all the views from around the world.  I don’t want to separate myself or hide from the world, but I do want to sit back and watch any interactions unfold.  Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else.  It’s a thing that’s a little hard to describe in words.  🙂


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Are You Surrounded?

Look around you.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  Who is with you?

There is no doubt that the sights, sounds and people that surround you influence — maybe even “make” — your experiences.

Maybe this is somewhat of a chicken and egg question – do your surroundings contribute to your experiences, or do you gravitate toward the surroundings that “fit” with what you expect your experiences to be?

These are questions worth pondering.  First, each person can pay attention and become aware of the influences in their life.

I’m going to use just a few examples:  music, television, and people.

What kind of music do you listen to?  What do the lyrics say?  Does the music pump you up?  Does it relax you?  Does it make you feel good about the world?  Does it speak about love?  Does it speak about heartache?  Does it express anger?

Is this a reflection of your belief system?  Does music lift you up?  Or does it make you wallow in your sorrows?  Does it soothe you or push your buttons?

Music is hugely important to me.  As I think back, I can see that the songs and lyrics that meant the most to me have included all the same messages.  I didn’t really see this at the time, but as I reflect now, there is such a consistency……Zoom by the Commodores, Howard Jones Dream Into Action, Wake Up Everybody, True Colors, the philosophical musings of Van Morrison, the social commentary of The Hooters, the list is endless…’s no wonder Jack Johnson and ALO are my favorites.  In a very real way, they are me.

What do you watch on TV?  Let’s start with the news.  A friend recently said, “It shouldn’t be called the News, it should be called the Bad News.”  She decided she is no longer going to start her day with the Bad News.  How about soap operas/reality shows?  Are you addicted to the drama?  Do you expect that life is full of drama?

Then there’s the violence.  I’m not going to say that watching violence is “wrong.”  I am just curious….ask yourself, why do you want to watch it?  Isn’t it fascinating that a movie such as The Dark Knight Rises spawns a violent, horrible incident, yet the movie itself is a commercial success?  Is it that we want to see that good wins in the end?  Is our deep-seated belief that the world is a scary place, and that the “good” has to fight to overcome evil?

And how about the people you spend time with?  Do they lift you up?  Do they encourage you?  Do they understand you?  Or do they put you down?  Do they make you uncomfortable?  Can you be yourself around them?

Understand that since each person is different, I can’t tell you which kind of music is appropriate or “right” for you – only you can figure that out.  There is no “right” or “wrong” for what people should watch on TV.  I can’t tell you which people you should or shouldn’t spend time with.  That’s not my point.

My point is, pay attention to the influences that surround you.  Understand that your surroundings DO make a difference.  Decide whether the things around you are influencing you in a way that empowers you, that makes you feel good about yourself, that makes you peaceful and happy.

If the sounds, sights and people around you don’t seem to be the influence you want in your life, DO SOMETHING about that, whenever you can.

When you have a choice, think about the music you listen to.  Music can get into your subconscious in a powerful way.  We might not be thinking about the lyrics, but they work their way in there.  Notice how music makes you feel.  Why is that?

Personally, I hardly watch TV any more.  But there is such a wide variety of programming, lots of it good.  Just notice what you’re watching.

The people issue can be much tougher.  We’re not just going to stop interacting with people who aren’t the best influence.   Sure, we can make some choices as to who to spend time with.  But in many cases, we have to deal with people who push our buttons, make us doubt ourselves, or otherwise give us a hard time.

When you find this to be the case, and you recognize the negative influence, you can choose not to interact with the negativity.  You can manage the situation.  This is a learned skill, and comes with practice.  You can anticipate the interactions, what that person is likely to do or say, how you are likely to react and think, and strategize in your mind as to how you will ignore the influence.   In many cases, you can head off a potential mine field by choosing not to engage.

If you can maximize the positive influences that you have control over, and minimize or neutralize the negative influences, you will have surrounded yourself with experiences that will empower and comfort you.

Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

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