Saturday, August 29, 2015

Oxygen

OXYGEN!

What a necessity for life. 

And when we are without, we can only last a few seconds up to 4 minutes. 

A barely flickering flame needs oxygen.  Sometimes we call it nurturing the flame.

People need oxygen too, and not just in the air we breathe.  We need it in the form of a word of esteem and a word of hope.

And you and I hold that oxygen in our hands every day.  With every person we meet, we can either say words of hope and encouragement, or words of ill will. 

Your next wait person at the restaurant needs oxygen-like words of appreciation and kindness.  So does your mailman, your grocery clerk, and your minister/priest/rabbi.

Even your spouse and kids, especially your spouse and kids need to hear those life-giving words for which they thirst

Will you bring life to someone nearby today?

I hope so.

And may you receive in like manner in which you give

Be well today.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Final Conversations

This post is not meant to be morbid nor depressing.  Hopefully, you will gain some insights about the last conversations you may ever have with a spouse, parent, sibling or someone very close to you.  These thoughts are based on the book – The Four Things that Matter Most by Ira Byock, M.D.

When someone you cherish is facing their last days on this earth, it is doubtful you’ll have conversations about the weather or the recent Mariner’s or Seahawk’s game.  You probably won’t brag about the new Lexus you just purchased either.  I hope you go much deeper than all of that. 

If you are like a lot of people, you want your last breath, and the breath of your loved one, done right.  You want to say the right words at the right time.  Usually, those words fit into four neat phrases. 

     “Please forgive me.”
       “I forgive you.”
         “Thank you.”
           “I love you.”

I hope you seek to fill those final conversations full of loving and esteeming relationship restoration moments.  Make magical memories for those who will be left behind.

Dr. Byock tells a touching story of a man named Ira and his father’s last days.  The short version of the story is this:  The father had always been a man of stern disposition.  He never showed emotion and never expressed the “I love you” words. 

During the last month of life his father asked Ira to give him a shave during one of his morning visits.  Ira was taken aback at this request, but quickly consented and got the shaving tools needed. 

He placed a hot towel on his father’s face, and they began talking softly all during the process.  Ira used the soap cup and brush his father had used his whole life, which happened to be the same soap, cup and razor his father used when teaching Ira to shave as a teenager.  After he finished, his father asked him if he would come and do that again. 

Ira consented, and soon realized that his dad didn’t need his son to shave him.  The hospice team had been doing that.  His father simply wanted Ira to touch him.  Touch is one of the most powerful forms of communication when words fail us. 

Ira reflected after his father’s death:  “It was something he needed, and it was obviously something I needed as well.  Touching my father was magical.  We communicated more love to each other during those times than we ever had in all our lives.”

My wife Carolyn tells a similar story of her father’s wish for her to shave him during his last days.  Though they had a good and healthy relationship, this simple act of touch and gentle conversations had an impact that was magical, esteeming and memorable.  

We all will have those final crucial conversations.  I hope they become rich memories and restorative moments in your relationships.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Sunday, August 16, 2015

When You Do the Thing

So what if the critics say you can’t? 
~You do the thing anyway.

So what if you’ve never done it before?
~You do the thing anyway.

So what if it is hard to do?
~You do the thing anyway.

So what if it is a long way away?
~You do the thing anyway.

So what if it has been done before?
~You do the thing anyway.

Whatever you desire, if it is a good and worthy pursuit, and your heart is in the fight, and it is an honest pursuit, and it does not hurt mankind, do the thing anyway.
  


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Two Gifts

This morning when I awoke, I opened two of the most amazing gifts I've ever received, and it isn’t even my birthday.

I opened my eyes. 


I OPENED MY EYES.

You see, I looked at my wife, the one I love and the one with whom I do life.
I looked out my window and saw green grass, a blue sky and my fellow human beings with whom I share this planet.
On the ferry coming over to Orcas Island I saw some amazing scenery with lots of water, mountains, and lush green hillsides.
I could easily read the words in the book I am currently reading.

I opened two of the most wonderful gifts a person could ever receive.

And I bowed my heart and gave thanks to my God for this marvelous gift.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Art of Appreciation


This is a profound comment on human nature.  We simply want to be appreciated.

It is another way of being validated. 

Being Validated.  That is an important human need.
   Feeling useful
      Feeling recognized
         To confirm
            To Certify
               To endorse

Let’s say you need an employee to cover a shift for someone on your team.  You stand a better chance of getting a volunteer from the ranks of those who have felt recent appreciation from you.

We want to be recognized as significant contributors to the cause, whatever your cause may be.

A simple timely reminder.

Now, go and do likewise.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Be Kind to Yourself

In our fight to win at the game of life, often, the looser is our own sense of self-worth and even our physical well-being.  As I get older, self-care becomes more important.  You see, I
have a lot more books and blogs to write, and speeches to give.  I haven’t yet written the blog heard round the world, which is on my bucket list.  So, here are seven tips for all of us to consider as tips for how to be kinder to self.

~Set aside time for yourself.  Lately I’ve developed the habit of taking my lunch by Green Lake here in Seattle.  After eating a simple sandwich, I’ll sit by the lake, enjoy the sun and gentle breeze, people watch and delve into my own thoughts on whatever suits my mind at the moment.

~Recognize your strong suits.  You can give others accolades, but what about yourself?  What good have you accomplished recently?  When a success comes your way, pause a moment, breathe deeply and enjoy your moment of success. 

~Forgive yourself.  Ice skaters sometimes fall down.  Great leaders weren’t always great.  Everybody makes mistakes at some time in their lives.  Remember, failure is not final.  We learn from our mistakes.

~Take better care of yourself.  We’re talking enough sleep, proper feeding including fruits, greens, protein, and of course exercise.  Keep YOU working by honoring your body’s needs for great nutrition.

~Soothe yourself.  Do your body and your psyche some favors occasionally, especially if you had a bad day. 
  Visit a hot tub
    Get a massage
      Make some hot eggnog or hot cocoa
        Listen to your favorite music in your own 
        private space for an hour.

~Create some affirmations to keep your mind and attitude in good condition.
Some that I’ve created are
I approve of myself
I am a worthwhile human being
I am creative
I am loved

~Build your own dreams.  You have dreams inside of you.  Give them feet and wings.  You are the architect of your dream machine.

A kinder you can produce more than the ogre you.

Believe it or not.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Expose and Write

Here is an idea for you.  I borrowed it from John C. Maxwell’s book on How Successful People Think.

And now … the quote.

Expose yourself to good input.
Be sure and write down significant thoughts.

It is the exposing, the opening oneself up to good ideas that starts this dance.  In the last
twenty years of my life I’ve expanded the list of those whom I allow to influence my thinking.  These are not men and women who have come to my attention, often from other writers, and occasionally from casual conversations with friends.  Some have been dead for a few years, yet their influence lives on and continues to feed my mind. 

Often one of these influencers will lead me to another, and yet another.  I am on the lookout for good, sound minds from which I can glean thoughts and ideas.

The second step in this dance is this …
capture significant thoughts and ideas for later review. 

One of the documents that is open on my laptop is called Blog Ideas.  It is 103 pages of quotes quips, sayings, and longer paragraphs that I have found to be stimulating at one time or another in my reading material.  This is the document to which I turn first almost every time I sit down for a blog writing session. 

I also carry around a pocket-size Mole Skin book as a holding place for spur-of-the-moment ideas as they occur.

Go ahead – expose yourself.

And then write about it. 


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time