Peace to Orlando

30257-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Quote-I-have-decided-to-stick-with-love-HateMy heart goes out to all of those affected and touched by the horrible shooting in Orlando. Prayers, peace, love, light to everyone touched.

I am proud I have friends who are LGBT, straight, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, theist, deist, no claim, from multiple nations, ethnicities, languages, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist . . . and I like it that way. I have designed my life that way. I am proud of my life.

This mass murder has been called a hate crime, a terrorist attack, a combo of both. I see terrorism as a hate crime. It’s all the same. You can even throw bullying in the same pile. It all starts and comes from the same place. It is also my personal believe, from my own life and evidence, that it all starts with some sort of bullying, put down, insult combined with the feeling of being powerless, and the believe that the only way to have power is to reciprocate on a small level. It then grows from there. That is how wars start. That is how terrorism and hate grows.

What if we all start with one person in our life. One person close-by. Change that relationship thus changing us and them, and changing that one piece of the world. Why? Because it I hate someone across the planet that I have not met, that is not first hate. It started with someone close to me. It may have started with hate that was directed at me. And I grew it to hate others. You see I know that has happened to me. It is not something I desire in my life.

Some will read this and ask, “Would he defend himself and his family?” Yes, I would but at the same time I will not hate and I will stand for peace.


The Water Is


In all of time
In all of worry
The water is
It ebbs, it flows
Its tides go back and forth
The water is
No time nor worry

In all the storms
In all the winds
The water is
It rolls, it surges
It crashes back and forth
The water is
No storms nor winds

In all the softness
In all the hardness
The water is
It caresses, it hammers
It bends back and forth
The water is
No softness nor hardness

In all that is past
In all the present
The water is
It was, it is
It always will be
The water is
No past nor present

The water is
No matter what is
Time or worry
Storms or wind
Caressed or hammered
Softness or hardness
Past or present
The water is

Am I the water
Is the water me
Am I life
Is the water life
Are we the same
Ebb and flow
I am, the water is

© Tommy Price 2016

Gain with A Change of View


A few months ago I attended a professional networking event for coaches and human resources managers. The last speaker was the only one who got my attention. To start with, he did not look like an HR manager especially as compared to the others. Once introduced he took the mic and stepped down from the stage to the level of the rest of us and he had my attention.

Once off the stage he asked everyone to reach under their seat and pull out the card that was taped there. Everyone did so. We all had the same card. His directions were “you have 30 seconds to memorize the back of the card.

Most everyone in the room was studying the back of the card. At the end of the 30 seconds he called out and we focused on him. He then said, “Please count all the letter F’s on the card.” After several minutes he asked everyone who found 4 or less to stand up. That was about one quarter of the audience. Next was who found 5 or 6 F’s on the card. Those who stood appeared to be about half of the audience. About one quarter of the audience had not stood. Then who got 7 F’s. I stood in this group. Still some had not stood up. Finally, who found 8 F’s on the card. I was surprised and double checked the card. I still only found 7 F’s. The rest stood up. I was perplexed.

The back of the card that we had been asked to memorize read:






And there are only 7 F’s in that phrase that was on the back of the card. So where was the 8th F? It was on the other side of the card in the word “software”. You see memorizing the back of the card was the dis-tractor. It limited the vision of most of us. The directions to count the F’s were to count the F’s on the card. Not just the back of the card that we had originally focused on. The exercise was about thinking outside the box regardless of the directions or the dis-tractor.

Those who counted 4 or less F’s left out most of the F’s in the 4 of’s. This group focused on the F’s in the big words not the little words. Those who only found 2 F’s found the 2 in the first 2 words that started with F. Going up the count 4, 5, 6 just missed an F or 2. Usually they missed one of the F’s or the F in scientific. Those who got 7 only counted the back of the card which we had been asked to memorize. Those who got 8 heard the final direction to count the F’s on the card.

Are you limiting your thinking by only looking at one side of the card, box, issue?

Are you only counting the big things while looking past the seemingly unimportant ones?

What could change for you by seeking a new or different view of the situation?

What breakthroughs, opportunities could “magically” appear with a shift in vision?

This Year, Next Year, Your Choice

As 2015 has come to an end, 2016 is now under way. How did you end 2015? How are you starting 2016? The previous year, 2014, ended two months after the tragedy at Marysville-Pilchuck High School where I was a teacher. The year 2015 was a transforming year for me. If I followed what many believe then 2015 would have been a year of tragedy, negative stress, and great struggles based on the Pilchuck High School tragedy, and not a year of positive transformation. Now that the end of my transforming 2015 has come, what will 2016 be like? That is my choice.
Your ending and your beginning is your choice.
Choice may be the most important tool you and I possess. Choice gives us the power to choose the beginning, the middle, and the end. Now I will be the first one to admit that you and I will have circumstances out of our control thrown at us. So what can you choose to control? You and I can choose our attitude and way of being. We can choose how those circumstances land in life. You and I can take a negative ending and choose a strong, powerful start.
Maybe you have not learned it this way. You may be thinking that negative must equal negative and positive does not always equal positive. What if by using your power to choose you can choose a new way to believe?
New beliefs are possible.
We are not locked in to one way of believing and being. It’s not genetic – it’s not in your genes. Choice is a matter of being and believing, and you get to choose your being and beliefs.
2016 is a new year.
What’s possible if you choose to believe a new way,
to be a new way, and to choose a new beginning?
What's your choice

Miracle on Possibility Street

possibiltiyYou are out for a drive on Christmas morning and you decide to go exploring. While driving down a new street you have never been on you see your dream home. You throw on the breaks and come to a screeching stop. You cannot believe your eyes. This is it. The perfect house. Your perfect house. The color, the style, the windows, the doors, every detail is there exactly as you have imagined. Every detail of the house is your dream. The yard is landscaped and perfectly manicured. All of the roses and flowers are in full bloom as they should be. The grass is the greenest you have ever seen. Cut perfectly. You are so excited you pull over to the curb. Every sense in your being is alive and electrified.
Still in shock that you are looking at your dream you get out of the car. Kneeling at the front edge of the yard you run your fingers through the soft green grass. Never have you felt grass this soft. You stand up and walk toward the path that leads to the front door of your dream house. As you walk up to the path you notice something peculiar and come to a stop.
At the start of the path to the front door of your dream house is an old rusty gate with a sign that reads “Keep Gate Closed Do Not Enter.” You also notice that there is no fence left on either side of the gate. There is just this old gate and sign that stops you in your tracks and blocks the way. You are still thinking about this house. What the inside must be like? Does the backyard have the swimming pool and garden you have dreamed of? You can’t get there though because of the gate in your way.
To make it down the path you have a choice. You could turn around and walk away from your dream house thinking that the path was blocked and there is nothing you can do about it. You could stand there frozen in place staring at it in awe never being able to see how perfect this dream house is for you. You could try to open the old rusty gate and struggle with gate. You could decide to walk the gate but worry what people would think when they see walk past the old gate. Or you could easily step around the old rusty signed gate walking down the path to your dream house singing Deck the Halls, walk in the front door of your dream house and discover what’s under the Christmas Tree for you.
I have my dream. You have your dream. Consider that what is blocking the path has no more power than a lonely old rusty signed gate that reads “Keep Gate Closed Do Not Enter” that you are able to just step around. Consider that what is stopping you and I has no power than that which we each allow it to have.
Its Christmas morning on Possibility Street. What choice are you making? What’s under the Christmas Tree for you?

Take One More Step, You Deserve It

“My presentation did not come off today.”

“Where was I today?”

“Why am I not showing up?”

“Man, I did not feel like I was in the room.”

“I was not my best today.”

“Worsts phone call I have ever made.”

Ever hear yourself say something like that. Sure you have. We all do at some point but what do you with that statement later on? Some people are able to let it go. No effect on them at all. You are already shaking your head, no. You wish that were you. You hang on to it. Sweat it out some. Maybe dwell on it. Beat yourself up with it for added measure. In the end you make it mean you were wrong. You let it tarnish or wipe out all of the ground taken that got you this far.

Consider that whether it went right or wrong, that is only your perception filtered through a cloudy lens. Your interpretation, based on feelings. Even if someone told you it was the worst presentation they have ever seen, that was only their perception. You still walked in the room. You still did the best you could at that time. You stood there regardless of how you were feeling about it. Remember there is no such thing as a perfect day. Give yourself some credit. You deserve it.

You can look back at ground taken that got you to this place in time. Look back and see how far you have come to arrive at this place. No matter what today held that ground taken is good ground and cannot be taken away from you. When you make yourself wrong, you disqualify that ground. The universe conspired with you to claim it. There is no value in attempting to give it back. You cannot give it back. It is yours forever. Give yourself credit. You deserve it.

You followed a path and made many steps to come this far. On this path there were big steps, little steps, rough steps, smooth steps, even steps that tripped you up. Still you took the steps. Whatever occurred today was another step. Maybe not a smooth one but it was a step forward. Now what. Take another step. It’s not the size of the step, the strength of the step that counts. The step itself is what counts. Take that next step. Give yourself credit. You deserve it.

Our Easter Angel

Do you believe in angels? We do.

This occurred on Easter Sunday morning, 1994. I was the pastor of a small church in rural Missouri between Grain Valley and Oak Grove. As the tradition I was going to lead a Sunrise Service on the hillside behind the church followed by a church breakfast. This was also the time we were in the adoption process for our daughters who were 8 and 9. The girls could not stay overnight yet with us but they could come for day visits. They lived at a group foster home in Lamont, MO, near Warrensburg about an hour from our house.

Tammy and I had made the decision that that morning while I conducted the Sunrise Service that she and our son would make the 2-hour round trip to pick up the girls to spend Easter Sunday with us and be back in time for church. Tammy and our son left about 7:00 am just before the service started. All was fine on the way. They made it to the group home and picked up the girls who were totally excited about the Easter adventure with their future mom, dad and big brother. They were about half-way back on highway 50 when the minivan got the ominous sound of a flat tire. Tammy pulled over to change the flat. She and our son worked hard at it but could not get the lug nuts loose. Thankfully we still a CB radio in the van. She powered up the CB, keyed the mic, and called out “breaker 1-9 for roadside assistance.” Just as she did an east-bound 18-wheeler came over the rise in the highway. The driver’s eyes met Tammy’s eyes as she spoke on the radio. He never replied. He just went to the turn-around in the highway, looped around and came to the rescue. Tammy explained the situation. He assured her all would be ok and went to work changing the flat.

As a side note I was 30 miles away from Tammy and kids but at the exact time that Tammy got the flat I knew something happened. I also knew all would be well.

The truck driver did not say much. He just changed the flat, loaded the flat in the back of the van, and packed up the jack. When he was done Tammy offered him one of the breakfast sandwiches in the van. He politely turned it down. She apologized for not having any cash to offer him for his assistance. He said that was ok and headed back to his truck. While Tammy got everyone back in the van the truck pulled off. He would have to go down to the next turn around to loop back East, his original direction. Tammy was about to pull back onto the highway when the truck made his loop to head East. Their eyes met as he passed them on the opposite side of the highway. Tammy, thinking about this nice truck driver, then looked in her side-view mirror to watch the truck drive down the highway only there was no truck. It had vanished.

When Tammy and kids made it back to the church I walked up to her and asked what had happened. The event above is story she told me. We compared times on my weird feeling and the time of the flat. They were the same. She and I have never forgotten that Sunday morning. We never will. As I typed this out I still get the same chills and tears I got in 1994, 21 years ago.

Was the truck driver an angel? Tammy and I give a resounding yes! Do we believe in angels? Yes.