You Have ‘Em . . . I Have ‘Em And They Seem So Real

True story:

They seem so real at the time. Strange though that we never see our own faces in our dreams. We can see our body outline. We can see the backs of ourselves. We know it is us.We can feel panic or happiness. We can enjoy or be frightened in our dreams. We can also learn in our dreams at least I think I do. I have conversations with characters in my dreams. I feel like I can or am discussing things as well. If I get up in the morning and remember all of or at least some of the dream then it must have happened.

I’m not sure about the neuro chemical changes that go on when I dream nor am I aware of any biochemical changes that go on. I just know that dreams are dreams and I have them. I can often feel them in my sleep.

Many attempts have been made to ‘interpret’ our dreams but I’m not buying that one. No one mucks around in my head except me. I’m good with that and besides, I really don’t want someone else’s idea of what my dreams mean to me. How could they know except to repeat tendencies or probabilities? If someone says they can tell you what your dreams mean–Run and don’t look back.

This one was a bit weird to be sure. Parts were quite funny. I have no idea where it came from and no idea of the significance of it. What I do know is that the messages contained within it were real for me in my waking hours. They are important and so I thought I would pass them along for whoever reads this article. Take from it what you like and leave the rest behind.

I’m sure many of us still remember the show called ‘Laugh-In’. Dan Rowan and Dick Martin were one of the funniest teams ever. However, one of the characters I enjoyed the most was Arte Johnson. The other show I enjoyed was SNL-in it’s early seasons. An actor named Don Novello created a chain-smoking character called Father Guido Sarducci. Guido’s job on the show was to be a music critic dispatched by the Vatican to report on what was happening in the music world. Anyway, in my dream, the character who presented himself was a combination of these two actors in one person who called himself ‘Timothy’-who knows why Timothy?

As Timothy presented himself to me (I don’t know why me. Remember it’s a dream.) I couldn’t help but notice his face. He was a wizened soul who had seen more than his fair share of life in the fast lane. He was small in stature but his presence filled the room. His voice was strong and he spoke with conviction. I can’t remember exactly how our conversation began but he helped me understand that he had traveled a great deal and had learned a great deal on his journey. He said that it was important that he tell me what he had learned so that I could pass this knowledge, information, and wisdom along to people who would hear it from me.

I said I would so here it is:

–The first person he mentioned was Donald Trump. I know, I know I didn’t want to do it either but there you are. He said he will prove to be a very sad, lonely, dangerous bully with more than a modicum of phony self-confidence.

–The four most important assets we have to give are our trust once it has been earned, our honesty in terms of how we treat others. We also need to be as honest with ourselves as we are with others so that we cannot be directed, shaped or manipulated by our own guilt. The 4th, says Timothy, is our time. We need to be sure to give some of our time to helping others. Once we can do that we are free to be who we really are meant to be in the world.

–Be sure you learn how to enjoy your own company so you can be free to enjoy others’ company as well. This is what will keep us connected to one another.

–See the value in all you do and pass on any wisdom that you come by to others. What they do with it is up to them.

–Laugh at yourself. You are not all that perfect that you won’t from time to time mess up.  As long as your mess up doesn’t hurt anyone so be it.

–Love children. Appreciate them for who and what they represent. They are our window to the world. They understand it and they will manage it. Adults can learn much from them. Treat them with the respect THEY deserve as well.

–When we look at someone who looks different to us just remember that we look different to them as well. In the end, we are all men women, black, red, yellow, brown, white and we are all human beings.

Then I woke up wondering who was that guy? These are the words from Timothy 🙂  Take them-leave them or forget them. That’s up to you.

These are the words from Timothy 🙂  Take them-leave them or forget them. That’s up to you.

Anyways, that’s the way I see things. Thanks for stopping by–all the best, Jim

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4 Things I Need To Find My Christmas Spirit . . .

This photo by the

It is no secret that I have been searching for my Christmas Spirit for quite some time now. I have tried looking for it everywhere but it has remained illusive. I have tried seasonal movies like–The Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life–nada. There is a host of Christmas ‘feel’ good shows on cable but–nada. I must admit that something stirred in me the other night when I listened to Josh Groban singing Silent Night. The man has a gift like no other. But when the song was over so was my warm and fuzzy. What this told me was that I still have what it takes to embrace Christmas–I just need to look in other places.

Great insight often comes from simple events. I don’t claim to be overflowing with the Christmas Spirit. I’m still unsure of what it is supposed to feel like but I believe that I am moving closer to the magical time when it just ‘is’ with no thought or work on my part. So here it is–my ‘recipe’ for feeding my soul and, hopefully, finding my Christmas Spirit.

This plan requires equal measures of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love. I know it sounds like an ad for ‘Hippie Haven’ but I think it has great promise. Perhaps, in the past, I have overlooked the simplicity of it all.

Hope: I need to restore my hope in the world and the people around me. I do that by allowing myself to see the good in others, about taking emotional risks and leaving doubt and pessimism behind. If we choose to see just the downside in people, events and things we are only going to see the worst that life has to offer. Hope is about choosing to see what is possible without the fear of being disappointed.

Joy: I have come to understand that Joy cannot exist in the company of ‘want’. True Joy is available to us when we give up our wants for more and more or bigger. We can’t experience Joy if we are never satisfied. It’s not about settling for less but rather appreciating what we have accomplished or done. We need to remember those times when we were able to say or feel that being with someone else in a special place or at a special time was all that we needed to experience real Joy. When we experience an ‘attitude of gratitude’ meaning  we are grateful to feel a calm and warmth in our soul. That is pure joy. I felt that when I held both my children minutes after they were born. I felt that the first time someone told me that they loved me and I could see in their face that they were being truthful and real. They were sharing their Joy with me.

Peace: Peace is not about living in the absence of war. It is living with Hope and Joy each day. What I am just beginning to understand is that this recipe does not create anything in me without equal measures of each ingredient. There can be no Joy if turmoil and animosity fills your heart. And if you never feel or experience Joy then Hope can’t flourish. If we are always filled with dread and fear Peace we will never know Peace.

Peace is living each day knowing that we are not only granting freedom to those around us to be who they want to be but we are not responsible for their freedom. Each of us needs to create and look after our own freedom. We just need to be sure that others are not negatively impacted by our choices or our actions otherwise we take away others right to be or feel free. Peace is not something that we take or make. It is a way of living each day.

Love: The most misunderstood of the 4 ingredients we seek. Trying to describe Love is a bit like trying to describe what a cherry tastes like. Go ahead and try–bet you can’t do it.

We can, however, see the outcomes of expressions of love. We can accept others for who they are or want to be. We can treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings walking the planet. How much time do we waste trying to force, manipulate or convince others to be just like we are–that we have a better way? How upset and angry do we get when we can’t make them see what we see? That is not love-that is control. We need to allow for the fact that not everyone is going to see the world as we do nor are they going to accept the fact that you are always right. Love is letting go of the desire to be in control of something or someone.

So this is my recipe for creating an atmosphere around me that opens me to the wonder that is the Christmas Spirit. Try it–what have you got to lose except your sadness, frustration, anger, stress, depression and doubt.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may Peace and Happiness find you wherever you may be. 

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Please forward this to family and friends with Hope, Peace, Love and Peace in your heart.
































There Comes A Time When You Need To . . .


January 28, 2015

This article is a continuation of a blog I wrote in 2013. It tells of a family but more about a man and his son and their story. I wanted to provide an update about what they have been doing that shows that their story is very real-that it is a way of life for them and that they live what we see.

Patrick Henry Hughes was born with no eyes and his basic structural bones and joints were all but useless in terms of he being able to walk, climb and be a ‘normal’ kid. Most parents would have been destroyed by this but this remarkable family didn’t let that happen to them. Truthfully, Patrick’s father stated he was devastated by this. He realized that his dreams for his son and all they would do together were gone before any of it could be started. But instead of feeling sorry for himself and his wife and family not to mention Patrick himself, they all banned together to provide Patrick with the best life experience they could provide him given the ‘limits’ that Patrick faced.

Patrick has gone on to graduate from the University of Louisville (magna cum laude), has produced two CD’s, much of it being his own music, has given concerts (he was playing piano at 9 months of age and is an accomplished piano and trumpet player) all over the world, has become an international speaker with an excellent motivational and spiritual message and has appeared on all the top rated day time TV shows. He has chosen to celebrate his God given gifts and to realize his potential and skills. He will not be defined by his circumstances but rather sees himself as fortunate. I believe this philosophy to be a great gift from his parents–especially his father who refused to feel angry and somehow cheated out of his lost dreams. Patrick’s father stepped up when most would have stepped back. He taught Patrick many lessons by how he conducted himself. He became Patrick’s role model and he gave from his heart. Patrick had a great dad–an outstanding teacher and mentor–one he could surely count on and a dad who loved him unconditionally. That’s who a dad is and what a dad does.

(Original copy from October 22, 2013)

There comes a time when circumstances demand we get out of ourselves and share who we are and what we have to offer to the world instead of constantly looking for what the world owes us. We have become such an ego-centric society. This remarkable real life story of Patrick Henry Hughes should command us, especially those of us with kids, to look at what and how we determine our priorities. Do we need to re-assess that list somewhat?

At a time when men all over the world are second guessing their role as a parent and as a father along comes a video that truly says what being a father is really all about. If you have any doubts please watch this life changing video. It will be one of the best 6 minutes you have spent in a long time. The quality of the clip isn’t great but the message is very clear. It leaves no doubt about the responsibility men need to share when thinking about being a ‘dad.’ It’s not glamorous and it’s not medal worthy but it is absolute. If you have taken the time to participate in creating a life then you have a responsibility to stay around and make sure that the life you helped create has every chance of thriving. This is not negotiable and it is not to be debated. It is what it is.

“There comes a point in life when fun no longer means clubbing, drinking, or being out until 4am, or thinking about yourself.
But now fun means Disney movies, family dinners, bedtime stories, long cuddles, a messy house, sleeping by 10pm and hearing little voices say, “I love you.” Becoming a parent doesn’t necessarily change you. But it does help you realize that the little people that YOU created deserve the very best of your time.”
True and pure love is the basis of this clip. Spend the time it takes and you’ll see the world to be a different place.

Finally a resource for single moms and dads

Finally a resource for single moms and dads

Please check out “A Man’s Work Is Never Done . . . ” Read it and then pass it on to those who you think would appreciate some guidance when mentoring their sons through the transition from boyhood to manhood. This is a great resource for single moms, single dads, grandparents and other family members who struggle with how to help a fatherless young man in their lives become all he can be in a rapidly changing world.


Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning