September 29th, 2014

Imagine you go to the gym and hire a trainer and his plan is for you to never struggle even the slightest bit in any exercise. How fast would you reach your goals? Imagine that you come upon a friend when you are out shopping and they tell you that they have worked out every single day for several years. They also tell you that five years ago they couldn’t lift three pounds and now they can. Is that progress?

Most of us have this terrible equation embedded in our thoughts. That equation is struggle, struggle, reward and finish struggling. It may sound good as a fantasy but it isn’t life. The correct equation is struggle, grow, struggle, grow. That’s life!

You struggle with a cold as a child and your immune system grows strong enough to defeat a more serious one years later. You struggle through a bad relationship so that you can grow in wisdom. You struggle with finances so that you can grow in your vision of the worth of things. You struggle with school so that you can grow your earnings.

Seeing someone moaning and crying at the gym because they have to lift a weight would lead you to believe they weren’t serious about growth. On the other hand, watching someone struggle and then smile at their reflection in the mirror tells you that they are pleased with their results of their struggle.

Don’t moan about your struggles. Gratitude isn’t just for the bright, shiny things in your life. Gratitude is also for the struggles that make you a better, stronger person. Embrace your struggles. Give thanks for your struggles. Reap the wisdom and strength that you know is coming from your struggles. They are not knocking you down. They are building you up.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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September 22nd, 2014

I sat and I cried when my grandmother died. It was many years ago but I still remember the loss I felt. The kindest, wisest, most loving person I had ever known was gone. My world seemed to be missing something so important to my well being.

I sat and I cried and the tears were for me. I knew that she was finally out of the pain that cancer had visited upon her. She was free. Somewhere she was young again. Somewhere she was surrounded by so many loved ones. Somewhere the family she grew up with was together again.

I sat and I cried even though I knew all this to be true. If I could no longer have her physically in my life I wanted another person just like her. I wanted to begin a search immediately. I didn’t want the pain of her loss to last forever.

I sat and I cried for a long time because I knew down deep that there was no one else like her and I believed that I would always grieve.

I sat and I cried until one day I realized that she was a part of me that couldn’t be lost unless I rejected everything she ever taught me. She was more than just a part of my DNA. She was my memories. She was my patience. She was how I saw the world and it was a magnificent viewpoint.

I never sat and cried about her after that realization because the thoughts of her were no longer about loss but about the immense gratitude that she was my grandmother. My life changed again because I had traded loss for lucky. I think she would have approved the change.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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September 15th, 2014

Right now, every emergency room in the world is filled with people who had other plans for today. Some will walk out in a few hours feeling better. Others will start a long process of healing. A few will die.

Is this when we start to pray? Is this when we try to find our center, our sense of peace amid the storm? It’s difficult to start swimming lessons in a hurricane.

If you or someone you love are in an emergency room right now, I pray that you have a meditation and spiritual practice because it is your lifeline to clarity, strength and hope. If you and your loved ones are doing well right now, I implore you to take time today to start, restore or strengthen your meditation and spiritual practice.

Ask your self, am I donating an appropriate amount of time to this aspect of my life? Am I fully prepared for the inevitable crisis in my life or the life of my loved ones? Am I walking my talk? Am I really doing it or merely planning to do it?

When it is calm and sunny, it is the best time to learn to swim. Write yourself a reminder to start today. Words are a much more benevolent reminder than tears.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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September 8th, 2014

We think, oh Lord how much we think! We think about the future, the past, the laundry, the name of that thing, the repercussions of what we just did or thought about doing. Another thought filled moment of our life passes by much like all the others. Is there something to be gained by all of this thinking? In a word, no.

Thoughts are made from words and words are one of the most wonderful parts of our lives but there is something even more wonderful and that is wordlessness. There are no words in the night sky or in the sound of a flute or in a lover’s eyes until we put them there. Don’t rush to find the right words. For a moment, just be.

Train yourself to see the moon and stars with a sense of awe without describing it. See the beauty of creation all around you and feel the upwelling of gratitude inside of you but stop short of translating that feeling into words. Sense the love you have for another and their love for you and let it fill your whole being without naming it.

It is in presence without subtitles that we truly live large.

Words will describe our world for us but they will also limit our experience. Today, go beyond words every now and then and just be in awe of this miracle and blessing we have been gifted.Today, once or twice, take a conscious breath and take a break from thinking and just be.Today, love without description or judgement for just a moment or two. There is something special to be discovered there. Just be. There are no words for that. Thank Heavens.

©2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick J McBride
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September 2nd, 2014

When we think about moonlight we think about the soft light that filters down and illuminates the darkest night with a silvery glow. When the moon is at its fullest the moonlight can turn the night into a seemingly softly lit, beautiful day. Oh, how beautiful the light of the moon.

As beautiful as that is, the truth is that the moon really doesn’t have any light of its own. The moon moves in the sky like a quiet sentinel and it is only when the light of the sun strikes it just right that we have what we call moonlight. It is the powerful sun that creates light energy with its boiling gases. It is the sun that warms the planet and grows the earth.

There is a power in the universe that is greater than all the suns in all the galaxies and it is constantly sending forth its light. There are places and people that are blocked from that light for a myriad of reasons. Our role is not to separately try to generate that light but to reflect what is already there.

In other words, you and I are meant to be moonlight. We are meant to softly light the darkness. Some of us spend our lives looking for a purpose, something to generate. Our purpose is and has always been to reflect the light.

We reflect the light by being like the light. When we love, when we are kind, when we are uplifting, when we are happy, when we are grateful we reflect the light. When we are full, fully conscious, we reflect the light most strongly.

Yes, my dear, you are like the beautiful moonlight only stronger. Shine on.

(c)2014 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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