Saturday, August 29, 2015



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. 


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