The second breakout of shingles was painful and the itching was compounded by the itch to see my newest grandson and namesake. Douglas Frederick Cloward was born to Brytt and Jinger last week and I had to stay away until the shingles were past the contagious stage. Ohh! Itch and pain! But finally the time and scabs passed and I saw and held him for the first time last night.
There is something wondrous, wonderful, awesome and healing in the touch of new life. Not that I am biased or anything about my grandkids, they are all very bright and I simply can't get enough of them, this one included. All children have energy of life that is contagious and sometimes overwhelming. Oh if I could just find the formula and bottle it! I can see it now -- life, energy and heritage in a bottle! Oh well, back to the books. That is likely as close to capturing the life, love, energy and renewing power of any life - including our own.
I know a little bit about the thoughts and the process of new life, having come back from the brink a time or two in recent months. Perhaps that is, in a very real sense, what we are all reaching for - a new life. We call it progress.
Don't we all want a better life? Not that the one we have isn't good, or even great, but all of us are working, living and striving for a new, better life for ourselves and for our families. And Heritage Makers are actively passing on the tools to help do just that. How and where we search for that progress is an adventure and a challenge with life altering potential. What we take in from our search can lead to triumph or tragedy. So here are a few thoughts on how, where and what to search for to discover and capture the joy of newness of life.
1- Cherish your own breath. Learn to find joy in simply breathing. Close your eyes and breathe four times thinking what a joy it is to breath unlabored. Fill you lungs and your heart with a feeling of gratitude for the breath of life - your life.
2- Savor the moment. They are numbered, few and priceless, but we often let them pass without savoring what they bring - experience, relationships, opportunity to respond, repent and to bless. Be sure that where you sell and use your moments is worthy of the most priceless gift and asset your have. Too soon you too will come to know that time runs out for everyone -- including you.
3- If you have eyes to see and ears to hear - DO IT! Really see, really hear. Seek sights that inspire, calm and make you feel small - you know the smallness that feels good. Listen for the music of the moment, the sounds of the symphony of life that is playing all around you. Turn up the volume by directing your reception toward the performer to fully appreciate the performance. Even silence is an instrument of powerful accent and soothing transition between the din of din of humanity's trumpets of rush. See, hear, smile and say "ahh" to all the performers and artists - especially the Master of both.
4- Make your own voice a healing balm. How? Sing a lullaby to a newborn or a crying child. Speak kind and understanding words to an agitated teen, complement a co-worker or associate and praise a spouse for the countless acts and works of service they give to you and yours. Your tongue has great power. See that is used for good before you say "Amen."
5- Reach out and touch yourself. Marvel at your own hand. Reach up and stroke your own brow to discover the healing, lifting power and gift that is yours to gather and to give. Then gather and give. Gather strength, flowers and messes, write a love note. Give a handshake, a handout and a hand up. Make sure that yours is the hand that puts cookies in the jar of life.
6- Savor the flavor. Peel and eat an orange over twice the normal time it would take. Marvel at the orange structure, beauty, scent, flavor and the gift it is. Taste this bit of life and savor it more. Then add the savoring skill to other morsels and meals.
7- Give gratitude three times a day to three people who aren't expecting it. Gratitude is the mother of virtues and the father of real joy in life. Recognizing the little contributions to your life and assigning and delivering the reward of your praise and thanks is healing and it is also contagious and compounding.
So friends, family and heritage makers, here is wishing you newness of life, love and business and a most happy and grateful holiday.
Onward and upward.
To the friends and family of Doug Cloward
Saturday, April 26, Doug was admitted to the hospital for a severe case of pneumonia. Later he was diagnosed with mantel cell lymphoma leukemia.
We have been receiving many emails and phone calls expressing love and prayers in behalf of Doug. We have set up this blog for updates on Doug's progress. Thank you all for your overwhelming support and care!