Warrior Creed

Warrior Creed

Sunday, February 27, 2011

12 THINGS TO REMEMBER...


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE INVITATION


By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.


It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn’t interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.


I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.


I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.


It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.


I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.


I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”


It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.


It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.


I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.



“The Invitation” is by Oriah from her book THE INVITATION (c)1999.
Published by HarperONE, San Francisco. All rights reserved. Presented with
permission of the author. www.oriah.org.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WHO PACKED YOUR PARACHUTE?


Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ROSES FOR ROSE


Red roses were her favorites, her name was also Rose.
And every year her husband sent them, tied with pretty bows.
The year he died, the roses were delivered to her door.
The card said, "Be my Valentine," like all the years before.

Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say,
"I love you even more this year, than last year on this day."
"My love for you will always grow, with every passing year."
She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear.

She thought, he ordered roses in advance before this day.
Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away.
He always liked to do things early, way before the time.
Then, if he got too busy, everything would work out fine.

She trimmed the stems, and placed them in a very special vase.
Then, sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face.
She would sit for hours, in her husband's favorite chair.
While staring at his picture, and the roses sitting there.

A year went by, and it was hard to live without her mate.
With loneliness and solitude, that had become her fate.
Then, the very hour, as on Valentines before,
The doorbell rang, and there were roses, sitting by her door.

She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock.
Then, went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop.
The owner answered, and she asked him, if he would explain,
Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain?

"I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago,"
The owner said, "I knew you'd call, and you would want to know."
"The flowers you received today, were paid for in advance."
"Your husband always planned ahead, he left nothing to chance."

"There is a standing order, that I have on file down here,
And he has paid, well in advance, you'll get them every year.
There also is another thing, that I think you should know,
He wrote a special little card...he did this years ago."

"Then, should ever, I find out that he's no longer here,
That's the card...that should be sent, to you the following year."
She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard.
Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card.

Inside the card, she saw that he had written her a note.
Then, as she stared in total silence, this is what he wrote...
"Hello my love, I know it's been a year since I've been gone,
I hope it hasn't been too hard for you to overcome."

"I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real.
For if it was the other way, I know how I would feel.
The love we shared made everything so beautiful in life.
I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife."

"You were my friend and lover, you fulfilled my every need.
I know it's only been a year, but please try not to grieve.
I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears.
That is why the roses will be sent to you for years."

"When you get these roses, think of all the happiness,
That we had together, and how both of us were blessed.
I have always loved you and I know I always will.
But, my love, you must go on, you have some living still."

"Please...try to find happiness, while living out your days.
I know it is not easy, but I hope you find some ways.
The roses will come every year, and they will only stop,
When your door's not answered, when the florist stops to knock."

"He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out.
But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt,
To take the roses to the place, where I've instructed him,
And place the roses where we are, together once again."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

THE FOLDED NAPKINS

Author Unknown

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counsellor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids travelling to school, those customers who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded 'truck stop germ' the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. 'OK, Frannie, what was that all about?' he asked.

'We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.'

'I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?'

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, and then sighed: 'Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK,' she said.

'But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is.' Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

'What's up?' I asked.

'I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,' she said. 'This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.'

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed 'Something for Stevie.'

'Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,' she said, 'so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.'

She handed me another paper napkin that had 'Something For Stevie' scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: 'truckers.'

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

'Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,' I said. I took him and his mother by their arms.

'Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!' I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. 'First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,' I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had 'Something for Stevie' printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.

'There's more than $10,000 in cash and cheques on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems, so Happy Thanksgiving'.

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Stevie was the best worker I ever hired.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING

A message every adult should read, because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend) influence the life of a child. How will you touch the life of someone today?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WHO WILL YOU BE TOMORROW


One man sat at a stop light. The woman in front of him was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green she didn't go. A green light is not a suggestion, you know, it is more of a commandment. But she didn't notice.

When the light turned red again, she still had not moved. The man in the car behind her now started screaming epithets and beating on his steering wheel.

A policeman tapped on his windshield. 'You can't arrest me for hollering in my car,' the man said. The cop asked for his license and registration, returned to his car, talked on the radio for a while, and finally handed the papers back. The driver protested, 'I knew you couldn't cite me for yelling in my own car!'

The officer replied, 'I didn't want to cite you for shouting in your car. But I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, 'That man is out of control. He's going to hurt someone!'

'Then I noticed the cross hanging from your rear view mirror, the bright yellow 'Love Is a Choice' license tag, the 'Give Peace a Chance' and 'Prayer Changes Things' bumper stickers, and I was sure you must have stolen the car.'

His behaviour did not reflect his bumper stickers. But let's not be too critical. Are we always the people we want to be?

We make changes by stretching. Personal transformation can happen when the person we presently are does not yet resemble the person we hope to be. Better to set high ideals and occasionally fall short than to settle for mediocrity and succeed.

The important question is not, 'Who are you today?' It is better to ask, 'Who will you be tomorrow?'

Remember: if nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.

Written by Steve Goodier

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ABCs of MOTIVATION

Achieve – It is essential that you strive to achieve on a daily basis. It is equally important to ensure that you use positive means to achieve those things in which you are interested in throughout life.

Believe – Without an appropriate belief system, there is little room for motivation. Belief allows us to strive, strive allows us to succeed.

Consideration – Considering that which is right, just, and appropriate for you is an essential means of success when it comes to motivation.

Don't – It is important that you avoid giving up. Do not give in to the inability to perform as you expect yourself to. Pick yourself up and try again!

Enjoyment – In order to be motivated, it is important to do those things that bring you enjoyment.

Focus – If you want to succeed in motivation, it is important to ensure that you retain your focus on the goals at hand.

Give – Giving to yourself, your work, and those around you are all effective means of achieving the ABCs of motivation.

Heart – In order to experience motivation, it is essential to put all of your heart into it. If you can do this, you will experience success in your endeavors.

Indulge – If you are attempting to achieve happiness in life through being motivated, it is important that you allow yourself to indulge in activities and thoughts that bring you happiness.

Joy – Do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to experience joy. If you do, you will find that it will be difficult to be motivated.

Keeping On – The next step in the ABCs of motivation is keeping on. If you fall, pick yourself up and keep going! Be your own light, and shine it on the path that you want to take!

Love – If you are looking for motivation, learn to love yourself. Learn to love others. It is then that you will feel love as well!

Mastery – Remember, you must be a master to achieve mastery in motivation. Know and understand that only you can be who you are. If you keep this in mind, you are sure to succeed in your path to enlightenment!

Notice – Take notice of the things around you. Be sure to notice everything that can bring you happiness.

Open – Be open to all possibilities!

Positive – Remain positive – even in light of the negative.

Quit – Remove the word quit completely from your vocabulary and life.

Ready – Be ready and willing for the impossible.

Success – Aim for success each and every single day.

Time Management – Be certain to manage your time effectively – even when you feel as if you have none to spare. Remember, it is important to maintain focus and enjoy your accomplishments.

Understanding – Seek to gain an understanding of everything around you!

Will Power – Remember, will power to become motivated and do what it takes to get there is important.

X Factor – This defines your own uniqueness.

Zero Tolerance – Have zero tolerance for failure. If you do fail, think of it as a more creative means to success.