Author Archive

YOUR JOURNEY – The First Step (13.08.04)

Written by Les Dahl on September 27th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized

 

 

document.write(" fantasy;">Have you heard the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”?

That pearl of wisdom was made by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu around 500 B.C.                                                                      

The advice is simple:

'Just take the first step, and you are on your way no matter how far away your destination may be.'

 

As a teenager, life's journey may seem distant and unreal.                                                                                                            

You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.                                                                                                                            

So you decide to simply have a good time—enjoy life while you can!

 

Here are a few journeys taken by adults as well as teenagers.                                                                                                      

Note the final destination of each journey.

  • Going around in circles, always ending up where you started:   Destination-  Lost

  • Starting out with no idea where you are going:   Destination-  Nowhere

  • Trying real hard, not making it and then giving up instead of giving it one more shot:   Destination-  Failure

  • Doing the same thing over and over again and again expecting a different result each time:   Destination-  Insanity

  • Starting out with the end clearly in mind, feeling the thrill of the journey pulsating in each step,                                                      and becoming a better person with every experience whether it be a success or a failure:   Destination-  Success

 

So what's involved in taking the first step?

I'm assuming, of course, that you've chosen the road to Success.

Smart choice.

Because while you were still in your mother's womb, your hard-drive was programmed for success.

That's why you feel so horrible when you fail at anything—you are wired for success!

 

Let me give you three tips on how to take the first step on your personal journey to success.

 

  1. Decide exactly what you want in life.

You say, “I have no clue what I want!”

No problem,

Let me help you.

Imagine you could wave a magic wand and be - do - have anything you wanted...

“I can think of a hundred things I'd like to be, do and have!” you say.

Perfect.

Make a list of 100 things.

Write them down on a piece of paper.

Put your '100 List' somewhere safe.

Every year or two or five take a look at your list.

You will be surprised to see how many things you can check off: 'Been there - Done that!'

 

  1. Make a plan.

“I've never planned anything in my life," you say.

"I don't know where to start...” 

No problem.

Let me help you again.

If from your list you had to choose only one thing

the thing you would have to do for the rest of your life,

which would you choose?

What would you have to do to excel at that one thing?

I mean, to become one of the best in the world!

Also, what would you have to do to really enjoy--

I mean really enjoy doing it?

Answer those three questions and you are well on your way to creating a plan for success!

By the way, you don't have to be stuck on one thing.

Ask yourself,

'If I could add one other thing, what would it be?

What would I have to do to excel at it?

What would I need to know or do to really enjoy it?'

And now that you're in the groove, you can work your way through the rest of you '100 List'.

 

  1. Act like it is impossible for you to fail.

“What!” you say, “how do I do that?”

Once more, let me help you.

Imagine yourself enjoying the accomplishment of your goal.

Create a detailed mental picture of you enjoying your completed goal.

Feel the thrill.

Wallow in the emotion.

Feel the feeling!

Now, when you've got that picture clear in your head,                                                                                                                         when you've got those emotions stirring up some excitement inside you--                                                                                             start to think, talk, walk, act like your dream is already reality.

Call it swagger, if you like!

Just do it!  Feel it!  And then show some swag!

Start living with that sense of accomplishment, self-confidence, inspiration and motivation every day.

Don't wait...live your dream today!

 

“What about all the mistakes I'm bound to make along the way?” you ask.

Mary Pickford, a former movie actress, has a good answer:                                                                                                                    “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you.                                                                    What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”

In other words, if you are willing to fail with no fear, make lots of mistakes with no shame,                                                                       get up and keep trying, you will most certainly succeed!

So here's the crunch--

the next thought you think...

the next decision you make...

the next step you take...

IS the first step of your thousand mile journey.

 

The steps that follow will lead to a certain destination:

Lost, Nowhere, Failure, Insanity or Success.

You're programmed for success—

decide exactly what you want in life,

make a plan,

act like you can't possibly fail!

Live your dream—today!

 

 

Blessings, 

The Sage

 

 

Image courtesy of [lkunl] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The Power of the Point

Written by Les Dahl on September 11th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized

Remember the ‘spiritual orientation point’ I asked you to anchor into your heart?

Those three meditations…

You are reading them aloud first thing every morning, aren't you?

 

Let me show you how important they are.

 

Jesus taught that whatever is lodged firmly in your heart determines the thoughts, emotions and actions you express.

He said that if your heart is filled with darkness—and He hinted at various shades & forms of darkness—

your thoughts will be negative, your emotions will be unforgiving, and your actions will be destructive.

 

Every day you are bombarded with a deluge of images and sounds.

These come at you from TV, radio, and Internet.

They come at you by advertising and by text messages.

They target your eyes. They target your ears.

Video clips and sound bytes continuously swirl in the atmosphere around you

like a tornado—designed to capture you & hold you prisoner!

 

Oh, and don't forget all the stuff that comes at you from teachers, peers & parents.

“Do this...do that...how could you...what were you thinking...come on...what's with you...that was stupid...you look like a....”

On and on and on...

 

Your first line of defense is your 'conscious mind'.

You try your best to process the sights & sounds.

You carefully filter out what you don't want & retain what you like.

You're the master! You're in control! You're safe! Or so you think...

 

Here's the harsh reality...at best, you are processing 20% of the assault of image & sound pounding at you.

The rest, 80% of what's coming at you every moment of every day, invades your 'sub-conscious mind'

like undetected stealth fighters in the Luftwaffe, dropping deadly bombs

with high-tech delay-action detonators set to explode at your most vulnerable moment!

While these sound & image bombs are smoldering in your sub-conscious mind,

they are hatching emotions & beliefs that are either positive (propelling you forward)

or negative (dragging you back & down).

 

Most often you are not even aware of these emotions or beliefs developing.

But they can reach up to strangle you

like the tentacles of a giant octopus.

 

Let me show you how it works.

 

You sit down to do your homework.

You feel okay.

You figure you'll get your assignments done quickly

& move on to something you really enjoy doing—

like watching TV, or playing a video game, or txtng ur frnz.

 

As you open your book, you remember something that happened in class.

The teacher caught you reading a note someone passed to you.

You got in trouble for something you didn't do.

Nothing you said could convince the teacher it wasn't you.

And your classmate who actually passed you the note just sat there and snickered!

Suddenly your mood darkens.

Anger rises from your belly,

your mind churns with plots of revenge.

You think, feel & believe you are worthless.

Your life sucks!

What's the use!

 

You are spinning out of control...

falling helplessly into the Black Hole.

 

Where did that come from?

 

Just a minute ago you were ready to do your homework & enjoy a nice evening chilling.

Now you are sullen.

You can't do your homework no matter how you try.

You just want to hurt someone—

even if it is yourself!

 

One of those high-tech-delayed-action Scud missiles 

hidden in your sub-conscious mind 

just detonated! 

When you least expected! 

Un-provoked!

 

Depending on how often these detonations have occurred before,

determines how much you can control the damage.

The more explosions, the less possibility for damage control.

 

Without a 'spiritual orientation point' your recovery from the effects of such an eruption is uncertain.

And you most surely have no 'defense shield' to protect yourself

from this invasion of this destructive armament into your sub-conscious mind.

 

Using your 'spiritual orientation point', however,

you can get out of your funk,

back on track &

into your positive frame of mind.

 

Here's what you do:

  1. Begin reading aloud the three meditations.

    -Read slowly & thoughtfully

    -.Allow the sound & the rhythm of the words penetrate the darkness of your mood.

         -Let the meaning of the words permeate your conscious mind.
  1. Imagine yourself in the Presence of the Sovereign King of the Universe.
         -Imagine what it would feel like if you were in the Throne Room of Heaven,
              standing in the King's Presence, surrounded by His entourage of angels.
         -Absorb the awesome feeling of that possibility.
  1. Now, stand, sit or kneel quiet listen.

       -Don't rush through this step.

         -Just stop, get real still, & listen.

 

If you don't hear anything, don't fret.

There is a lot going on inside your heart at this moment that you don't realize just yet.

Simply trust the God of your salvation.

 

If you are authentic & sincere when you voice these meditations,

the Sovereign King of the Universe hears & responds.

You will see it, you will feel it, you will know it!

 

One last thought to consider:

if you continue to declare these meditations first thing every morning,

you create an 'anti-missile defense shield' 

that detects & intercepts the bombs before they land!

 

That's the power of the point!

Activate it!

 

Blessings,

The Sage 

A Journey of 1000 Miles – The First Step

Written by Les Dahl on August 15th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized

 

document.write(" fantasy;">Have you heard the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”?  That pearl of wisdom was made by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu around 500 B.C.  The advice is simple, 'Just take the first step, and you are on your way no matter how far away your destination may be.'

Life's journey may seem difficult and tiresome.  You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.  So you decide to simply live one day at a time—enjoy life while you can!

Here are a few journeys taken by some.  Note the final destination of each journey.

  • Going around in circles, always ending up where you started – Destination: Lost
  • Starting out with no idea where you are going – Destination: Nowhere
  • Trying real hard, not making it and then giving up instead of giving it one more shot – Destination: Failure
  • Doing the same thing over and over again and again expecting a different result each time - Destination: Insanity
  • Starting out with the end clearly in mind, feeling the thrill of the journey pulsating in each step, and becoming a better person with every experience whether it be a success or a failure - Destination: Success

So what's involved in taking the first step?

I'm assuming, of course, that you've chosen the road to Success.

Smart choice.

Because while you were still in your mother's womb, your hard-drive was programmed for success.

That's why you feel so horrible when you fail at anything—you are wired for success!

Let me give you three tips on how to take the first step on your personal journey to success.

  1. Decide exactly what you want in life.

You say, “I have no clue what I want!”

No problem,

Let me help you.

Imagine you could wave a magic wand and be, do, and have anything you wanted...

“I can think of a hundred things I'd like to be, do and have!” you say.

Perfect.

Make a list of 100 things. Write them down on a piece of paper.

Put your '100 List' somewhere safe.

Every year or two or five take a look at your list.

You will be surprised to see how many things you can check off: 'Been there/Done that!'

  1. Make a plan.

“I've never planned anything in my life...I don't know where to start,” you say.

No problem. Let me help you again.

If from your list you had to choose only one thingthat you would have to do for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

What would you have to do to excel at that one thing? I mean, to become one of the best in the world!

Also, what would you have to do to really enjoy--I mean really enjoy doing it?

Answer those three questions and you are well on your way to creating a plan for success!

By the way, you don't have to be stuck on one thing.

Ask yourself,

'If I could add one other thing to what I do for the rest of my life, what would it be?

What would I have to do to excel at it?

What would I need to know or do to really enjoy it?'

And now that you're in the groove, you can work your way through the rest of you '100 List'.

  1. Act like it is impossible for you to fail.

“What!” you say, “how do I do that?”

Once more, let me help you.

Imagine yourself enjoying the accomplishment of your goal.

Create a detailed mental picture of you enjoying your completed goal.

Feel the thrill.

Wallow in the emotion.

Feel the feeling!

Now, when you've got that picture clear in your head, when you've got those emotions stirring up some excitement inside you-- start to think, talk, walk, act like your dream is already reality.

Call it swagger, if you like!

Just do it!  Feel it!  And then show some swag!

Start living with that sense of accomplishment, that self-confidence, that inspiration and motivation every day.

Don't wait...live your dream today!

“What about all the mistakes I'm bound to make along the way?” you ask.

Mary Pickford, a former movie actress, has a good answer: “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”

In other words, if you are willing to fail with no fear, make lots of mistakes with no shame, get up and keep trying, you will most certainly succeed!

So here's the crunch--

the next thought you think...

the next decision you make...

the next step you take...

is the first step of your thousand mile journey.

The steps that follow will lead to a certain destination:

Lost, Nowhere, Failure, Insanity or Success.

You're programmed for success—

decide exactly what you want in life,

make a plan,

act like you can't possibly fail!

 

Live your dream—today!

 

Blessings,

Les Dahl

 

Image courtesy of Digitalert & Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Thrown to the Wolves

Written by Les Dahl on July 15th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized

My personal experience in education is colourful and varied.  From the ever-curious and oh-so-impressionable pre-schoolers in kindergarten, to the growingly sophisticated primary students in grades 1-6, from 'know-it-all' juniors in grades 7-9,   to the more serious-minded seniors in grade 10-12, from adults desperate to achieve basic academic certification in order to qualify for jobs, to juvenile delinquents hoping to stay out of trouble and off the streets, to EMR children with special needs, my teaching experience is a forty-three year adventure in learning, to say the least.

 

The Initiation

My initiation as a young, eager teacher was a grade 6 class in the city of Prince Rupert, an isolated fishing community on the coast of British Columbia, Canada, about 500 miles north of Vancouver.  My final assignment as student-teacher took me to King Edward Elementary School, a school that served children of lower socio-economic families, many of them single-parent, fragile, dysfunctional, and some, abusive.
In October, only a month after I had begun my final practicum, the principal of the school approached me with an offer.

“I understand you would like a job in January,” he began.

Teaching positions at the time were scarce, so my response without hesitation was, “I'm definitely interested.”

“We will have a vacancy in January,” he continued.

I thought it a little unusual, since we were but a few weeks into the term.

My principal described the following situation.
By the middle of October, this class of 30 grade 6 students had driven two professional teachers to a nervous breakdown and had exhausted the full roster of substitute teachers.  None would answer a second call; you couldn't pay them enough to take this class of hooligans!  The students were now under the firm hand of a diminutive, but seasoned, old-fashioned 'school marm' who had been coaxed out of comfortable retirement to hold off these budding 'terrorists' until 'someone suitable' could be found.

Would you sign up for this class?!  In my naivete, I did.

Cleverly, I asked the principal to allow me to observe the class for the remainder of the term as a 'student teacher' being mentored by Mrs. McGibbon.  “Don't let the students know I am to be their teacher come January,” I begged.

Day after day I sat at the back of the class studying each student thoroughly, interacting with them whenever possible, learning not only their names, but how each thought—their likes, their dislikes, their family background, anything and everything that would help me understand who and what I was up against!  I studied their every move.

Like a pack of vicious wolves they tried everything their mischievous minds could conjure to break down this brave old veteran.  Only her courage, experience, wisdom and love for children carried Mrs. McGibbon safely through the entire term and back into welcome retirement.

You can imagine the initial shock on the faces of those students on the first day of the new term when I was introduced as their new teacher.

Their second response was equally predictable.

Almost imperceptibly, eyes flashed the message from student to student, 'This rookie should be easy prey.  Let the games begin!'

As I began to write on the chalkboard, one after another dug into their arsenal of mischief.  But without turning around, I called each by name and by misdeed.  By mid-day, the entire class was convinced Mr. Dahl had eyes in the back of his head! 

The Secret

The secret, I learned as the year progressed and these students began to achieve academic success, much to the amazement of the principal and the rest of the staff, was not really my cleverness, nor my diligence as a CIA spy, but something so simple yet often overlooked -- RESPECT.

As these students saw that even under fire I respected them as people (not animals!), respected them as individuals (not a bunch of misfits!), respected their personal and academic potential (no teacher, not even their parents, thought they could amount to anything!), one by one surrendered and began a journey with me on a pathway of learning and discovery none of them even imagined existed.

'Marginalized' students

My journey as an educator seemed to follow a designated path:  marginalized students--slow learners, behaviour problems, learning disabled; those whom other teachers wrote off, just couldn't manage, or simply didn't want.  As these kinds of students ended up in my classroom, I was driven to ask,  what KEY unlocks learning for this kind of child?

In my quest for answers, I stumbled upon Ronald D. Davis' book, The Gift of Dyslexia, and signed up for training to become a certified and licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator.  Landmark Learning Solutions was created to focus my experience and training on providing individualized, specialist solutions to learning 'disabilities' of children and adults.

Red is as Red Does

Written by Les Dahl on July 5th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized


 

document.write(" sans-serif; font-size: medium;">One of my mentors gave me an interesting assignment one day:  (1) notice how many times throughout the day you see the color RED--notice the emotions you feel; (2) write a blog about this experiment; (3) commit that the next time you have an unfavorable experience, you will deliberately decide to make that experience mean something positive to you.

Okay, I hear something like that and the kid in me jumps to his feet.  Number one, I’m curious...curious as only a little kid can be!  Number two, I love a challenge—throw me a bone and I’ll gnaw on it until I’ve worked it out!  Number three, I love to learn, especially by hands-on experiment!

“There are things that happen all the time, undeniable experiences in our environment.” my mentor explained. Loosely translated that reads, ‘There is RED all around you, pay attention and you will notice it!’

“Most people think that meaning is tied to experience, and that when something happens—it means something,” my mentor continued.  “The truth is, any experience can mean whatever you want it to mean.  Your mind highlights what is pointed out to it, through the filters of perception, controlled by your attention.”

So I’m saying to myself, if I take something simple and common, like the color RED, pay attention at each encounter with it during the day, take notice of the ‘filters’ through which I give it meaning, I could discover something profound about me!  I'm ready--the juices are flowing, the wheels are turning. 

 


As I step into the early morning sunshine, my attention is immediately captured by the magenta red of the bougainvillea blossoms and the fiery red of the ‘fire-cracker’ fern prolific on our yard.  I pause to bask in this glorious beauty, the masterful display of a joyful Creator who loves to create and re-create with unending and unique variety.

Yes, at this stage of my life I have learned to slow down and smell the roses, to feel the breeze, to revel in the artistry of my Heavenly Father Who simply loves life—and loves me!

I ponder my mentor’s statement as I work in the garden pulling weeds and removing unwanted stones,  “Your mind highlights…through the filters of perception…”  My eyes, my ears, my emotions, even my finger tips are now keenly awake and alert in my menial task.

Mid-morning, I put down my tools to fetch a cool drink.  I reach into the kitchen cupboard for a glass, my brain immediately picks up the signal flashed in less than a split-second from my eyes—RED!

I draw slowly and deeply of cold, refreshing water.  Spontaneously a blessing arises from within,

Blessed are You, O Lord, Sovereign King of the Universe, Who satisfies our mouth with good things so that our youth is renewed as the eagle’s.”  (Psalm 103)

 


I have not always been positive about life or about myself, and I still wrestle with lingering thoughts of depression, stifling feelings of bitterness, outbursts of anger. Worst of all is resentment fueled by unforgiveness.

But my experiment with the color RED taught me how easily I bring meaning to even the most mudane incidents of life. And the decision is entirely within me whether the meaning I attach to each occassion is negative or positive.

 

I commit TO PAINT EACH DAY RED!!!

How RED is your day?

 

Pause right now to focus your attention on something beautiful and release a ‘Thank You’ into your atmosphere:

Blessed are You, O Lord, Sovereign King of the Universe, Who surrounds us with spontaneous beauty of Creation so our spirit within us can be refreshed and renewed in the moment.

 


 

Blessings,

Les Dahl

My Shepherd, My Friend

Written by Les Dahl on July 4th, 2013. Posted in Peace


document.write(" fantasy;">

O Yahweh, my Shepherd, my Keeper, my Companion, my Friend...

Under Your loving, watchful care,

I cannot fail nor do I lack of any good thing.

Your gentle but firm Hand brings me to repose,

And as I feed on the tender green shoots springing up in Your pastures —

the affirming, invigorating promises in Your Word —

my anxieties are relieved;

Your shalom settles my heart and my mind.

The tender nudge of Your Spirit carries me

to the peaceful, healing streams

that flow from the watersprings of Heaven;

my soul is restored —

made like new again by the breath of Your Spirit

by which Adam became a living soul...

I am alive...

I am confident...

I am able...

I am ready...

Lead me on, my Shepherd, my Friend.

Amen — so be it — so it is...

(Psalm 23:1-3)

Image courtesy of porbital / FreeDigitalPhotos.net