I MC’d our ceili on Saturday night and shared the following story with attendees. I think this modern parable is worth sharing broadly so I’m typing it below; it’s a metaphor for life.

The rich industrialist from the north was horrified to find the southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat.

‘Why aren’t you out fishing?’ said the industrialist.

‘Because I have caught enough fish for the day,’ said the fisherman.

‘Why don’t you catch some more?’

‘What would I do with them?’

‘You could earn more money’ was the reply. ‘With that you could have a motor fitted to your boat to go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would have enough money to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats . . . maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.’

‘What would I do then?’

‘Then you could really enjoy life.’

‘What do you think I’m doing right now?’

What are you doing right now? Are you clawing and scratching and scrimping and saving for a better future or are you enjoying life now?

 
CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Advertisements

Sendai in Brighter Days Before the Quake

Here’s a beautiful message that arrived in my inbox the other day. Thanks to my dear friend Nevi for sharing. There is so much beauty in adversity and in the nature of the Japanese people. Prepare to be inspired.

John

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

 

Sendai After the Quake

 

It’s utterly amazing that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are, first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains around Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that is much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return to you all,

Anne

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to inspire the spirit and touch the heart. 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

When you learn to love hell you will be in heaven. ~ Thaddeus Golas

An elderly couple had lived a long and happy life together. Although they lived in a small house and never had much extra cash, they were known in their town as real giving people. They gave of their time and their goodwill to their family which included three children, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. They were always there with helping hands and listening hearts for their friends and neighbours, and they were involved in community initiatives to assist the poor and in planting trees around the small town.

In the last of their golden years together they made a pact with each other. They decided that when one of them died, the other would consciously stop living right after so they could remain together in death as they had in life; so powerful was their love for each other.

Inevitably the day came when one of them was approaching death. The husband lay in bed with eyes closed, struggling for every breath. His wife sat beside him, holding his hand, pouring every bit of her love into him. The man opened his eyes and whispered, “The time has come. Are you ready to join me?” The woman nodded, clutching his hand tighter. Tears formed in her eyes. The husband slipped from this world. Then, amazingly, his wife died too.

The next thing they knew they were still holding hands, flying through a tunnel towards the brightest light they had ever seen. The light pulsated with an all embracing love stronger than they could imagine. They looked at each other and smiled, scarcely believing what was happening to them.

They arrived at and were embraced by the light. All the cares and concerns of their life were washed away and they felt nourished, even as a newborn babe is nourished by the milk of their mother. The light pulsated and rippled, like when stones are thrown into a still pond. An image began to form and the couple found they were standing outside St. Peter’s Gate. A beautiful angel dressed completely in white greeted them with a radiant smile.

“Welcome dear ones. First let me congratulate you on an imaginative ending to the last chapter of your lives. You were already known here by the noble life you have had together. I have been requested by the boss to grant you a wish before you pass through the pearly gates. Is there something you would like to see before embarking on the next stage of your heavenly journey?”

The couple whispered to each other and soon reached agreement on what they would wish for. The woman, less shy than her husband, addressed the angel, “I’m sorry if this seems impertinent, but we have always wondered what Hell was like.”

The angel smiled benevolently upon them and replied in his, dare I say, angelic voice, “Take my hands. I will take you there.” So the man held one of the angel’s hands while the woman clutched the other hand tightly. Instantly they were transported through a fluffy, cloudlike mist. The mist began to thicken and darken. A nervous glance passed between the man and the woman; but they knew they were in good hands with the angel.

Then, out of the mist, a table appeared. The table was as long as a house and it was heaped with the most sumptuous feast imaginable, truly fit for royalty. Seated at the table were men and women.

The angel explained, “These people, like you, have recently died on Earth.”

The man looked more closely and was shocked at what he saw. Each person seated at the table was eating. But as they lifted a fork or spoon with the delicious food to their mouths, the utensil and the food passed right through.

“They look so sad,” said his wife. She was right. Each banquet guest looked terribly frustrated and upset, like a child told they can’t have cake at their birthday party.

 “Only on Earth do you need to eat. Everyone is nourished by light in these realms,” explained the angel to the couple. “If you’ve seen enough, I’ll take you Heaven now.”

The elderly man and woman nodded eagerly, each saddened and distraught by the scene before them. They held the angel’s hands tightly and almost instantly they were standing outside St. Peter’s Gate again. There, resplendent in white cloak trimmed with gold stood St. Peter himself.

“Welcome my friends,” he said, “Come on through.” The huge shimmering doors opened noiselessly, as if activated by the St. Peter’s voice.

The couple, bidding farewell to the angel, stepped through the gate together, into a fine opaque mist. The mist cleared, and there before them stood a long table heaped with food. The image was identical to the one they had seen in hell. People were seated at the table, but this time two empty chairs beckoned them.

“Let’s go back to St. Peter and see if there has been a mistake,” exclaimed the man nervously to his partner.

“No. Let’s go forward,” she said. “I think something is different here.

They approached the table and soon were relieved to see there was one significant difference from the banquet in Hell. The people seated at this table were laughing and joking. The couple looked closely and noticed that the people at the table were still not actually able to eat the beautiful food; but now, instead of trying to eat it themselves, each guest was handing a fork- or spoonful of food to their neighbour. They were sharing, and soon the newly arrived elderly couple was seated at the table in joyous celebration with the others.

Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Shahzad Rose

Shahzad Rose

 

 

 

 

I received the following story in my inbox early last year. I was touched and inspired and I duly forwarded it to a cadre of friends. Little did I know the implications this one simple act would have on my life.

 

The Rose

 

The first day of school our Professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. 

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant Squeeze.

“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.

She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids.”

“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream.

“When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose.

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

 

After receiving the story from me by email, a dear friend, Dave, living just a block away from us here in Coopers Beach, asked if I knew that the writer of the song, The Rose, named Amanda McBroom, had a vacation home in New Zealand. I replied that I’d not even heard of Amanda McBroom; I’d always associated The Rose with Bette Midler. Dave then informed me that Amanda’s vacation home was in Coopers Beach and that she and her husband visited once a year.

 

I immediately googled Amanda McBroom, found her website and contacted her agent about doing an interview with her the next time she visited New Zealand. Our discussions and the eventual interview are the subject of another blog found here.