Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Midnight Dream - Part I

Greetings!

As I mentioned in my last blog, I had a dream. A dream that drastically changed the way I "judged" people. Or I should say, learned NOT to judge people. Oh, I still have my moments of judging, but my little spirit voice will give me a talking to in order to snap me right out of it. Ouch.

Back in 1989, when I was in "not believing in anything" mode, I had a dream. It actually happened on Christmas Eve. I originally called it "The Christmas Eve" dream, but changed it to "The Midnight Dream" to make it apply to all year round.

At the time, I didn't understand what it meant, and thank goodness, I remembered every detail to write it down, and put it away to save. Then in 1992 after I moved to Nashville, I began attending the Unity and Religious Science churches. I have to admit that at first, I would have to force myself to stay in my seat. I would literally have panic attacks being in a church again. Sometimes I would even sit on my hands to keep from running out the back door. But after the service was over, all you saw was a blur racing to get out of there.

After I became more comfortable in this New Thought and New Thinking frame of mind, I would have discussions with like-minded friends. It was then that I remembered "The Dream." Surprisingly, I was able to find it, pulled it out, and made copies for friends, who made copies for friends, who made copies for friends.....

It is here that I would like to share it with you just in case it might affect anyone the way it affected me and so many others. I know in my heart that it was a gift that was given to me and I was only the channel. But if you should feel the desire to share it with anyone, please make sure that I get the credit (along with the Universe, of course), as it is copyrighted. Okay, I guess that blows my pen-name cover (Kalina), but that's okay.

I do want to make it very clear so that there are no misunderstandings. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions and choices; especially if they hurt someone or something. But I'm always curious as to why they made those choices. What happened to them in their lives to make them do what they did? There's always a bigger picture. Anthony Robbins once said in one of his books: "You never know a person's state-of-mind." I never have forgotten that. So here, my friends, is "The Dream." Since it is long, I am going to include it in two or three parts.


THE MIDNIGHT DREAM

by Karen Langford
Copyright 1989

It happened one evening in the year 1989. It is an experience I will never forget, and I will never be the same because of it.

It began with me standing in the door of a bar. The bar was run down and dirty, and the inhabitants blended with the atmosphere. Every person in the room appeared to be drunk. Even though I was not told, I sensed what each did for a living. There were doctors, lawyers, business executives, factory workers, cooks, maids, secretaries, actors, Vietnam Vets, housewives....

No one spoke. People just stood or sat around in a sad stupor. All were dressed in their work clothes, but they looked like they were either up all night or had just gotten out of bed. Clothes were rumpled, hair mussed up, make-up smeared, men had stubble on their faces. No one moved.

I waited for a moment to see what, if anything, was going to take place, but nothing did. I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but when I turned to open the door, it was gone! There was no way out! I began to get frightened! What was I doing there with all those drunks? I didn’t belong there! I wanted to leave, wake up, anything, but be where I was!

Suddenly, a man at the end of the bar caught my eye. As I stared at him, he slowly turned to meet my gaze. His eyes were so sorrowful and empty. I somehow knew he was a young doctor about the age of 33, and he may have been a very attractive man at one time. His blonde hair was mussed and fell over his eyes, and he hadn’t shaved for several days. He sat slumped over the bar with a glass of liquor in his hands.

Then it began happening. Without wanting it, I began seeing into his past and to know all about him. He came from a long line of successful doctors. His father was a well-known physician who worked at all the major hospitals in the area, and he did quite a bit of traveling giving lectures to various groups. His mother was a successful obstetrician at one of the local hospitals. Both had high expectations of their son and expected him to take his place in high society.

There was one problem though. The son didn’t care about money or being a part of high society. He cared about the poor and the less fortunate; those who couldn’t afford food to feed their families, let alone medical care. He wanted to start a clinic in a poor section of town so he could give those people the quality care they so desperately needed.

Of course, his family had a fit over this crazy idea of his and would hear none of it. Every time he would try to get the clinic started, his parents would use their influence and put obstacles before him. They just kept pushing and pushing for him to be what they considered was a success and to make a lot of money. Finally, he could take it no longer and he broke. He turned to alcohol to help him forget his dreams, to ease the pain he felt for others, and maybe in a way, to get back at his parents.

Most of the others in the bar had basically the same, but different stories. Things happened to them in their lives that they were not prepared to handle. An executive lost his job because of his age and couldn’t find another job. A lawyer handled a client whom he knew was innocent, but because of powerful politicians, he couldn’t get his client’s name cleared; nor his. A housewife was constantly being beaten by her husband and her children were sexually abused. A secretary was sexually harassed by her boss and eventually raped by him. She couldn’t say anything about it, as her boss was well respected in the company and in the community, and there was no way anyone would believe her.

I began to feel really sorry for these people. Not only sorry, but angered that this was even happening to them. I didn’t know what to do about it. Before I could say or do anything, the door appeared and I was being led out of the bar. I wasn’t being led by a person that I could see, but more of a Force. On one hand, I didn’t want to leave; but then again, I didn’t want to have to see these people’s pain any longer. I hoped I was being returned to my warm, comfortable bed so I could get on with a good night’s rest. But there was more.

The next thing I knew, I was flying over a huge city of twinkling lights. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. I thought that maybe I was going to start having some nice dreams to finish off the night. Before I could complete that thought, we started descending downwards. My heart began to beat faster anticipating where my dream would lead me next. I would soon find out.


Part II will be coming soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Diversity Unites Us All

Greetings!

The other night, I went to my Toastmasters meeting, where I currently serve as President. For those who are not familiar with Toastmasters, it is a public speaking club. Members give speeches to get used to getting up in front of people, to hone their skills, and maybe even prepare themselves for a career in public speaking.

I am absolutely in love with my Toastmasters group. We have a wonderful group of people. We come from a variety of professions, religions, and races. And, yet, what is so great, is that we all get along and we really care about one another. We have people from India, we have someone who is Scottish, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and a Spiritualist. We support each other, encourage each other, and just genuinely care for one another. I made the comment the other night that we are a good example of they way the world "should" be.

I didn't always share these views. Many, many years ago, I was a pretty judgmental cookie. At the time, I was what I called a "holier than thou, if you don't believe the way I believe, you're going straight to hell" type of born-again Christian. That's what I was taught to believe (by religion; not my parents), and that's what I believed. It was a very fear/guilt based belief. If I didn't believe the way I was told, I would go straight to hell. Hell was a pretty scary place and I wanted to avoid it at all costs, so I did as I was told. (I no longer believe in hell OR the devil.)

There were many things that occurred since then that helped "change my mind" and my beliefs have changed drastically. I remember a couple of events that happened about 1979/80 when I was living in Hollywood, California, that had a great impact on me and I never will forget them. The first was when I had gone to a Hungarian dance with a friend. When we got there, there was this "thing" on the dance floor. I had never had any kind of encounter with "things" before and it really blew my mind. She was a he dressed as a she, and maybe even had the operation to make her so. I remember commenting to my friend, "That thing isn't even human!" It totally disgusted me.

Not long afterwards, I had gone into a Christian bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard and, to my surprise, the clerk was another part-thing. He had been a man, became a woman, was "saved," and was in the process of becoming a man again. He looked like a man, but still needed to have the operations. Ugh. While I was there, an acquaintance from church arrived bringing another "thing" with him. He had been a man, became a woman, became "saved," and was going to become a man again (though he still looked like a woman). Before I left, my acquaintance suggested we hold hands in a circle and pray together. (We were the only ones in the bookstore.) Here I am standing in a circle, holding hands on both sides of me with these "things," and praying, and trying not to freak out. It was during the prayer that a voice spoke very clearly in my mind, "See, Karen, these are my children, and I love them just as much as any of my children." Oh. Well, it didn't really change my mind right then and there, but it started to melt my heart, even if just so slightly.

Fast forward to the early 80's after I had moved back home to Indiana with broken dreams. I was so disillusioned about religion, fed up with it, and decided not to believe in anything any more. I now say that I was knocked off my holy-high horse. Then another event happened that catapulted me into my spiritual journey.

I had gone to a bookstore and was walking around looking at books. As I passed the New Age section, I felt drawn to books written by Shirley MacLaine. Now there was no way I was even going to TOUCH one of her books because I believed without a doubt that if I did, a lightening bolt would come out of the sky, through the ceiling, and strike me dead. So, I'd walk around some more, but those books kept calling me back. Finally, I stopped and cautiously tried just touching one. No lightening; so far so good. I picked one up and read the back of the book. Okay, still alive. Skimmed through some pages. Okay, this is looking good. After probably a good half hour, I finally worked up the courage to buy one, looking towards the ceiling and sky on my way out the door and to my car. I read it. Then I went back and bought another. And another. (I can't remember how many she had at the time.)

To give you an idea how fearful I was of Shirley MacLaine... I wouldn't even watch her movie on TV because I just knew that if it was even on our TV, our house would burn down! Really!

Now, I don't necessarily believe everything Ms. MacLaine wrote about, but I don't dis-believe. What she taught me was to have an open mind in everything. EVERYthing. I don't know; I wasn't there. There are a lot of things we don't know about. And I began the slow process of learning. I slowly began to read books of a spiritual nature (instead of religious). My heart began to soften. And then I had a dream in 1989 that completely changed my thinking when it came to judging people. (I'll write about that next time.)

What I have learned since then is that we really are a part of each other. We ARE our brothers' keepers. And once we begin to embrace this thought, then peace will prevail.

Till next time....

Love and Laughter,

Kalina

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kindness Counts

Greetings!

You've heard the saying, "Commit random acts of kindness?" There is even an organization and website committed to spreading the word. But how many of us do it? It really doesn't take much at all. Personally, I've been trying to be more aware of moments in my own life when I can pass on an act of kindness when I'm out and about in public. A smile here, a cheerful hello there. Offering to take a shopping cart back to the store, or to put it in the collection gate in the parking lot because you're going to pass it anyway. Offering compliments to complete strangers. Helping someone pick up a heavy item to put in their cart or car. Giving someone a loving hug. Picking up trash and throwing it away. These are just a few of the random acts of kindness that we can do and it doesn't cost us anything. And they can make the biggest difference without us even realizing it.

There have been numerous times in my life when someone has told me that they were having a really bad day and just my giving them a compliment made their day. I remember once when an elder woman wasn’t having a good day and wasn’t feeling well, so I gave her a hug. Afterwards, she exclaimed, “Gosh, I can’t even remember the last time someone gave me a hug!” Or a biggie…. I had a friend in college who said that she was thinking about committing suicide until I became her friend. All I did was become her friend, too. I was nice to her. That’s all it took.

How many people out there are in so much pain, and just an act of kindness could brighten their day. Or maybe someone was thinking about doing something drastic to themselves or someone else, and just your kind word or deed caused them to rethink it and they changed their mind?

We also need to remember to commit random acts of kindness to ourselves. I think we’re harder on ourselves more than anyone else. When was the last time you paid yourself a compliment? Or did something nice just for you? You’re worth it, too!

Children especially need kind words. Childhood isn’t always easy, and some children are desperate for love and attention. Maybe they’re not getting it from home. You may be the only rope that child has to hang onto. Invite them over for lunch or dinner. Take them to a movie. Believe in them. Listen to them. Tell them you’re proud of them. That can make all the difference in the world to the choices that child will make in the future.

When was the last time you said something kind to your husband, wife, partner, children, parents? When was the last time you hugged them or told them you loved them and were proud of them? Don’t just assume that they know. Kids especially will remember these words.

Anthony Robbins (I think it was him) once said, “Never take away a person’s hope, because that may be all they have left.” I never have forgotten that. Are you building someone up, or tearing them down? I never want to be responsible for bringing someone down.

Saying kind or unkind things can cause a domino effect. There’s a commercial currently running on TV where one person does a kindness for someone, and either that person or someone who saw the kind act, then is inspired to do a kind act for someone else, and someone else, and someone else. But that could be the same for an unkind act or word. How many of us has had someone be nasty to us, which then put us in a bad mood, and then before you know it, that negativity spread to all those around us?

We have choices in what we say and do. We can make a difference even if it is only one person at a time. And making a difference one person at a time can change the world.

So, let’s make a commitment to change the world one person at a time, starting today. Be the wonderful and magnificent person you are and spread the love!

Kalina

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Being Full of It

Greetings!

It's interesting.... There is so much that I'd like to write about. It's all in my head. But getting it down on paper (or in the computer) is another thing. Sometimes I wish I had a computer chip that I could insert into my brain, download everything, and then insert it into my computer where everything would magically appear in a Word document. I know.....NOT going to happen.

I've been wanting to write a motivational book for years, but have been having troubles getting motivated to write it. Grin. It's all in my head. Just haven't been able to get it down out of my head. I know I'm meant to write it. And it will get written when it's meant to get written. I just have to get out of my own way. Ha!

I read a LOT of books. One right after the other. Mostly spiritual, motivational, self-empowerment books, with a few memoirs thrown in (mostly about celebrities). I find myself thinking that if all those people can write books, then why not me? Some people write one book, one right after the other! I'll read a book and think, "I can do this." Then I'll read another book and think, "Man, there's no way I can do this." Problem is, I find that I compare myself to other writers. My spirit voice keeps telling me that all authors had to start somewhere, so stop comparing.

Some books are so ridiculous that I cannot understand how on earth they even got printed. If they can get those books written, surely I can get mine written. And published. There's the bump right there. I read how some people have taken years trying to get their book published. Some had to self-publish because they couldn't get anyone else to publish it for them. (Note: Some of these books have turned up on the best seller lists, too.) My spirit voice tells me, "Kalina, you'll never know unless you try. If nothing else, you'll have a book for your kids. Oh, wait. I don't have any kids. Hmmmm."

I never will forget one time when I went into a very large Books-a-Million store in Knoxville, Tennessee. As soon as I walked into the store, my spirit voice said (very loudly, I might add), "Kalina, who were all these people to write books?" Point taken.

It's the same with my being an aspiring motivational speaker. I've talked about doing that for years. I know it's what I'm meant to do in this life. But here I am, still thinking about it. I do have to give myself some credit, though. A couple weeks ago, I started taking the steps to get it going. Slowly, but I have taken the steps. So, I can't be too hard on myself.

And again, I find myself comparing my abilities to people like Wayne Dyer, Les Brown, and all the other well-known speakers. And again, my spirit voice will tell me, "Kalina, they had to start somewhere, too. They were once where you are now."

I'm a pretty good speaker, if I do say so myself. A diamond in the rough, but okay considering I'm not a professional (yet). I've won awards in speaking contests. People tell me how well I do. It's just taking that big step through the fear factor, but I'm working on it.

Jobs are not too plentiful at the moment, and I think, no...I believe... that the Universe is giving me this great opportunity and time to get it started. I just have to say YES and step up to the plate.

So, as each moment and day goes by, I get one step closer (albeit baby steps) to my dream of being a well-paid, well-sought after motivational speaker, and writing my book, which ends up on the best seller list. (Hey, you have to aim high. What is the saying? Aim for the stars and you might hit the moon? Okay, something like that.)

So, my friends, if you have a dream, even if you have to take baby steps to seeing it fulfilled, take those steps. And dream big!

Till next time...

Love and Laughter,

Kalina