The Phillips Bros. Mill was started a few generations ago and my grandfather was one of the brothers. It is now run by the descendants of one of the other brothers. It is the only fully operational steam powered saw mill still in operation in the United States.

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Make Love, Enjoy Peace

by Charlie Phillips


In 2007, when I started a webpage at the suggestion of a friend to put up some of the essays I had written, I just jumped into it and have made changes as we went along. One of the first things we did was to start putting up a different quote each week. I have always liked and collected quotes and thought it would be interesting. The quote or title of this page was the first one I put up.

I would like to look at this a little closer. It came to me when a friend sent me something with the famous quote of the sixties: “make love, not war”. I have come to realize that what we resist persists. I also saw some other material in which the authors talked about how we have taken the wrong approach to this whole thing, so I thought the above quote was a better choice.

Now in the sixties, the slogan applied to sex, which I think many have tried even to this day to substitute for love. That’s not to say sex is not a part of love, because it definitely is. When I said “make love”, I was referring to the spiritual aspect of it. Instead of being against something, let’s love the thing that would eliminate that which we don’t want. The whole idea is to focus on the positive, not the negative.

So as in the case of the above, instead of being against war, let’s be for peace. I think it makes more sense as that is a positive instead of a negative. The more on the positive we can stay, the happier our lives will be.

Having said that, life teaches us that it’s not quite that simple; we get caught up in everyday life and its dramas. When something doesn’t go the way we were planning on, it is difficult to just let go and accept that what has happened is for the greater good. We, or maybe I should say I find myself at times in a funk because things haven’t gone as planned, or hoped.

Perhaps that’s the problem; we were wanting or hoping something would turn out the way we were thinking. Instead, what the universe gave us is what we were concentrating on and that is more want or more hope. This gets back to our changing how we think about things. Instead of wishing or hoping for something, instead of saying, “I hope I can overcome it” we need to change it to, “I will overcome this challenge”.

I started to say that it’s not quite as easy as just throwing a switch, but that is exactly what we should do. We should be more aware of what we say and when we catch ourselves starting to use words like want, hope and need, we need to consciously throw the switch to: I will have, it is possible, and/or it will be nice to have. Personally, I am working hard toward that goal because the way I have done it in the past hasn’t worked too well for me. And it’s not just me; just look around at the shape this world is in. I believe the time has come to, as Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”.


What a Dilemma!

by Charlie Phillips

I was reading an article the other day. It was talking about some event that might happen. Now, I did get caught up in the Y2K ordeal, so I look at these things with a little bit of a jaundiced eye nowadays. Whatever this event that might happen was, I said to myself, if it does happen “Big Mike” will help me get through it if I am supposed to. Now, you might ask who is “Big Mike?” Well, he’s Michael the Archangel, of course.

Then it hit me – what if I was wrong? What if Michael had been misinterpreted? What if it was actually Michelle? Maybe way back when, they changed it because the good old boys couldn’t have a female being the one that would protect you. Was that because they wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be challenged? Then again, maybe it was just an honest mistake in the interpretation of it.

Now I’m wondering, would she be mad at me for thinking she was a he? Probably thinking – ‘I ought to let him just drown, stupid male; always thinking they are the only ones that can save things.’ Really leaves one in a quandary! Do I ask “Big Mike” or “Lovely Michelle” for help? If it’s “Big Mike” and I ask “Lovely Michelle” am I going to offend one or the other? What a dilemma!

As I ponder this I think, where did this idea come from? Maybe “Lovely Michelle” gave me the insight so I would be asking the right one. Am I claiming that God or his angels talk to me? Well, as a matter of fact, yes, I am. By saying this I am not saying I have any greater powers than anyone else. I think they talk to us all the time; the trouble is we seldom listen. We often say everything happens for a reason but don’t recognize that when we make a decision, there may have been an influence from a higher source. When you have one of those experiences where you avoid a disaster by a hair’s breadth do you thank God, “Big Mike”, or “Lovely Michelle” or do you just consider yourself lucky?

I don’t think luck has anything to do with it. I believe it’s one of those wake-up calls. It’s saying, do you think you’re on the right track? If it was while you were driving, were you paying attention or were you off thinking about whether it’s “Big Mike” or “Lovely Michelle”? Whatever it was, after the near miss you concentrate more on what you are doing right now.

Well, enough of that. Let’s get back to the original question – is it “Big Mike” or “Lovely Michelle”? How do we resolve this question? Part of the problem is we have been told that it is a male figure. You know, God has to be a male. Well, maybe not. Doesn’t that book say we were created in their image? Yeah, I know it says in his image, but then where did the female come from? If you say a rib, well what was the template? Let’s face it – man and woman are not the same. (And to that I say, “thank God!”) Maybe that was just another of those translation errors. I think we might have to consider that maybe God is both genders.

I really don’t have the answer to the question; all I know is that we have to look to a higher source for help with our lives. I think I’ll just play it safe and ask both of them for help when I need it. Since for me that is often, maybe if I alternate between them I won’t seem like such a pest. Then again, what if it’s one or the other? Guess I’ll just have to stick to asking both to be on the safe side.

What Do You Believe?

by Charlie Phillips

Have you ever stopped to think about life hereafter? We often talk about Heaven or Hell and most religions believe that if you follow certain paths or beliefs you’ll go there one day. Now the question I want to ask is – have you ever had someone come back and tell you that there actually was one or the other? Now before you get too upset with me, I’m not saying there is or isn’t, I’m just asking the question.

What it really amounts to is faith, or is it hope that there is more than just this? When you look at our life span – even someone who lives past 100 – in the overall history of earth it is just the blink of an eye. Is it just hope or is there more to it than that? Is it something that those that want to rule us came up with so that we would obey their rules?

What if it’s completely different than what we have been led to believe? Some say that in the original writings that were left out of the Bible, there is reference to reincarnation. That terminology brings up the stories of those that claim they were some exalted ruler in a past life; I never hear of someone who was a slave. What if you really were here before but the memories of that event don’t come with you? Or maybe they are imprinted in our DNA and that’s why some are child geniuses. Of course, if we’re not one of the geniuses then we don’t want to recognize that aspect.

When you start to explore that possibility then you have to maybe consider the multi-dimensional, or in other words, if you’re not here two or three times at the same time. We live in a three dimensional world, but sometimes we do acknowledge that there is a fourth dimension. Is it possible that there could be other dimensions we don’t understand? Maybe there are only 144,000 of us around. Now that’s real paranoia – but careful – maybe the reason you get along with that person is because it’s you…or maybe that’s why you don’t get along with them, because you can’t stand yourself.

That would take us down a completely different road now, wouldn’t it? Does that possibility exist? I would have to say that I can’t rule it out, because the more I’m around this place we call earth, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I’m certain there is a fourth dimension in time so it’s reasonable to question whether there are additional dimensions. Can we prove that? I don’t know, that’s for someone a little more scientific than myself.

I think it all boils down to one factor and that is the belief or faith that you have. Some believe we are a body with a soul or spirit. Then others say we’re a soul or spirit that is occupying this body for a while. Now, that doesn’t change what the outcome will be — I don’t think anyone can say for certain until we get there. That is, if there is a there.



Is Your Frequency in Tune?

by Charlie Phillips

It has been said that at the core we are all energy. I have no reason to dispute this; however, I have observed that some are able to put their energy together in a much more attractive package. I heard a fella once say that the same God that made Idaho made Indiana – he was just in a better mood when he made Idaho.

Back when I was trucking across this great land, people would often make the remark about how boring it was crossing the salt flats. This always amazed me. On Highway 80 the salt flats start at the Nevada-Utah state line and it’s only approximately 120 miles from there to Salt Lake City. So if you’re going coast to coast (about 3,000 miles) it’s only a small part of the trip. But the real thing to me was how some people saw things differently.

I was always amazed at the different formations of the salt, the sayings that people spelled out with rocks along the side of the road. Well, I’m assuming that they were done by people; however, I never really saw anyone doing it so maybe it was by some of those ones we are told don’t exist. But that’s a whole different subject.

What I’m referring to is the beauty that’s all around us that we tend to ignore. There’s a beauty to the desert, to the mountains and everything in between. I think that was one of the things I enjoyed the most about my time spent trucking, and that is looking at the diverse regions of this country.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just see the beauty in our fellow man? I don’t mean the outward beauty; I’m talking about the beauty within. I realize that it’s difficult to see the beauty in that fellow that thinks cracking his knuckles in time with the William Tell Overture is a special talent, but I’m sure we all have little quirks that some would find strange.

In the past, when I was talking to others that have a different view of life and events than I do, I would try to convince them they were wrong and I had a better view of it. I think this is just part of human nature, but now I struggle to see their side of it. I say struggle because in reality we endeavor to avoid becoming aware that we might have been wrong. That said I really don’t think it’s about right or wrong – it goes back to the Idaho Indiana thing, or was it the salt flats? Some people see beauty differently than others. Then there are those that just look for the ugly in everything – how sad that must be.

It is my belief that if we would look for the beauty in others, we could begin to change the way things in this world are going. To find the beauty in others we need to look beyond the physical – we have to become aware of their inner beauty. That inner beauty is the energy or the core of a person; some would say their soul or spirit. I think it’s all one and the same.

Energy is, at its core, a vibration; if two people are vibrating at the same rate they will form a kinship for one another without realizing the underlying cause. If we could control our own vibrations then we could synchronize with others. We often do that when we discover that someone whose actions had bothered us were because of some trauma they had just suffered. Suddenly we empathize with them, or maybe we just start vibrating on the same frequency.

Whether you want to call it energy, spirit, your soul or just personality, deep within you know we have to change our outlook if this species called Homo sapiens is going to survive. We can’t continue to fight amongst ourselves. Everybody and every religion has a different name for it, but it boils down, I believe, to one thing and that is we have to love ourselves and improve ourselves first. As the old saying goes: take the log out of your own eye before trying to take the sliver out of someone else’s. Another way to say it would be, get your own energy vibration on the right frequency. Tuning and fine-tuning that frequency is a lifetime process and anyone who thinks they have theirs perfectly tuned, just went out of tune.



Is There A Silver Lining?

by Charlie Phillips

Recently, I was listening to a conversation among some friends and they were talking about how bad the economy is. Listening to them, the theme was that we were doomed and there was no way things could be turned around. All I heard was how bad things were going to get.

Now, I’m not so naïve that I have not observed that most, if not all, indicators are not very promising. There is an Indian proverb that says, “Trust in God, but row away from the rocks.” What it looks like to me is that a great many people are looking more for the rocks than for clear water. Another analogy I thought of was, instead of looking for a silver lining in the cloud they are looking for the cloud in the silver lining.

What I find amazing is that most of the people that I hear all this negativity from, if asked, would profess to be Christians. If you look in the Bible it says to: “ask and it shall be given…”; so just what is it we are asking for? The movie, “The Secret”, says that what you think about, you bring about. I heard someone once say that quote in the Bible about asking should have said, “…ask with intelligence”. “The Secret” adds another dimension: it says, “Ask, Believe and Receive”. No matter which one you want to go with, when we are talking about how bad things are going to be, that is what we are trying to attract.

Now, I don’t believe there is going to be some white horse riding in on a prince that is going to save us. If there is to be any change in the direction we seem to be heading it’s going to have to come from within us. We have to change our outlook; instead of looking for how bad things are going to get, why not focus on the positive and how we can turn it around? There is a quote, I believe it’s from “The Secret”, and that is, “It’s not my job to change the world.” I am just one person, so what can I do? Well, start off by looking at yourself and your attitude. Are you like that guy in the comics that walks around with that cloud hanging over your head? If so, then you are part of the problem. Let’s change that cloud to sunshine! As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Of course, that is easier said than done. Looking around, we see a housing bubble about to pop, if it hasn’t already, and we are involved in a war of aggression in a country that never attacked us. Then there is the sub-prime mortgage mess. The list goes on and it’s easy to blame the government, but isn’t this government “of the people and by the people”? So when you’re pointing your finger at the culprit, you’re pointing three fingers back at yourself. We allowed this to happen so it’s time to change our outlook. Let’s begin by taking responsibility for ourselves and stop looking to someone else to solve our problems.

There are always going to be times when we need help, but instead of looking for help from some government agency, look instead to family, friends or neighbors. Not that many years ago it would be a barn raising and all friends, family and neighbors would come to help. I think it’s time to go back to those customs.

Is it possible? The answer to that is within us. Are you going to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Are you going to hang onto that cloud or maybe it’s that security blanket like another comic strip character used to drag around? The first step is to start standing on your own two feet. Next, start looking for that silver lining instead of the cloud. As Aristotle said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” I can’t speak for you, but as for me I would rather look for that silver lining.



Whom Do You Trust?

by Charlie Phillips

What an interesting word “trust” is. According to The American Heritage Dictionary it is a “Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” However, when someone says, “trust me”, we tend to think just the opposite. We have “In God We Trust” on our money, but we don’t trust God in our schools or public buildings.

We even say at times, “I don’t trust myself.” WOW! Now isn’t that something! If we can’t even trust ourselves, how in the world can we trust someone else? Maybe one reason is that word, like so many others, has been overused. When we hear the used car salesman say, “Trust me, A little old lady used to own this car.” we begin to get suspicious. Not to single out used car salesman; in my opinion, they are a lot higher up the ladder than most politicians I’ve seen lately. I guess you could call the last fifty years “lately”.

Let’s examine that statement “I don’t trust myself.” That, to me, is the first step to failure. I know that we all probably use it at one time or another, but what we are telling ourselves is I don’t believe I can do this. As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or think you can’t YOU’RE RIGHT!”

We had a fellow in the White House a few years ago that used the term, “trust but verify.” OK, but is that really trust? If we have to verify then we are not really trusting, are we? If you ask your spouse what they were doing last night and then double check what they said, it means that you really didn’t trust the answer they gave you. Should we just automatically trust someone? I don’t think so; trust is something that must be earned.

Well, what if that other person does something that causes you to doubt whether or not you can trust them? It would probably depend upon the severity of reason for the mistrust; might be a time when you would have to verify, and then again, how much does that person mean to you? If it was something that only happened once and there was a reasonable explanation for it then you should accept it and get on with your life. The old adage “fool me once, etc” applies here, also.

I believe that trust is a two-way street. They have to earn that trust, just as you have to earn their trust. Of course, if you don’t trust yourself, how do you expect others to trust you? I think the first step is to be honest; first with our own self, then with others. Honest with ourselves – let’s see: if we are doing something that could destroy any trust, then we know that it isn’t right.

Honesty is probably the first step we have to take in any situation. If we use honesty as a guide, then we can trust ourselves and others will also learn that we can be trusted. Trusting others and being trusted is a great responsibility and can be shattered with just one misdeed. It’s a lot harder to regain someone’s trust than to never give him or her cause for mistrust.

Life is a lot simpler if you just live honestly, and without guile or secrets. It’s easy to join in with gossip, which is always at the expense of someone, but is that building trust? After all, if you gossip about someone, it plants a seed of doubt in the person you’re gossiping with. If you talk behind someone’s back then what assurances do they have you won’t talk about them to someone else? Brings trust down to a different level, doesn’t it?

Maybe the fellow that said to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ had a much deeper meaning than we really stopped to think about. It’s real easy to say, “trust me”, much harder to develop trust. Trust – it’s something we should all strive for – and especially to trust ourselves to do the right thing.



Is It Just Another Four-Letter Word?

by Charlie Phillips

I was watching an inspirational short movie the other day and it got me to thinking. This video was telling about what people would do different with their lives if they had it to do over again. It really boiled down to one thing. Love more!

Isn’t it strange! We had a fellow about two thousand years ago that said we should even love our enemy! It appears to me when I listen to the news or even my fellowman, that lesson has been vigorously ignored. I hear more hate – or is it fear – than I do love. Could it be that if we stopped to love instead of fear that we might have to make a conscious effort to look at the other person’s side of an issue?

If we were to love our fellowman instead of always trying to judge them, I think this world would be a better place. If we loved them then we could accept what we perceive to be their faults. Isn’t there a quote from that oft-quoted book that says, “judge not least you be judged”? I think that if we were to love and accept one another instead of judging them we might also get rid of some of that fear/hate.

Now, I know it’s always the other guy that we have to watch out for; we do everything right, but we have to be careful of that other guy. We always want to put the blame on someone else. I guess what I’m trying to say is we have to love ourselves first. That can be a hard concept as the first thing you might think of is that other guy that’s always bragging on himself. Deep down you know that’s not what is meant, but you use that as an excuse so you don’t have to examine yourself too closely.

To me, when I think of that term, it’s being able to accept myself: my faults and my strengths as that makes the whole me. It might be a little like a mother’s love; she knows your faults and will attempt to help you overcome them, but her love for you is still there, regardless. Let’s accept our strengths and weaknesses, work on areas we know need improvement, but don’t beat ourselves up over some error. The person who never makes a mistake has never done anything.

Let’s look at another aspect. Quantum Physics says that everything is energy. That means our very core is energy. Now, my understanding of energy is that it is not something that just lies there. It vibrates, so if we can’t love ourselves then our energy is negative and the energy or vibration we will be putting out to the world is negative. Is it any wonder this world is so screwed up? Everybody hating everybody or not being able to love him or herself is just putting out tons of negative energy.

Now, I know I can’t change the world, but I can change myself! The first step is to learn how to love myself. Once I get that down then I can start loving others around me. Now, that will start to change the frequency of the energy. With practice we can then start to change our own environment and from there the sky is the limit. Next thing you know we’ll have a world at peace. That will be the start of what Jesus said when he said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Remember, he also said, “all these things I do, you can do and more.” We can have it right here! Right now!



Lost In The Fog

by Charlie Phillips

Have you ever had that feeling that you were adrift? That whatever you were on was away from any visible shore? I’m not talking in the physical sense, but that nothing-seems-to-make-any-sense emotional feeling. Things just come and go and you can’t even figure out what you are doing or what you have done.

At the end of the day you look around and think, “Now what did I accomplish today?” The truth is, nothing seemed to get started. You start to do something and you get distracted. Or the interest level just sort of lies there like a sleeping dog. All the while you are thinking, “What in the world is going on?” It’s as if you climbed aboard a boat with no oar or rudder and you’re up the proverbial creek.

The thing about it is that, when you get into that state, it seems that there is just one thing after another that keeps bombarding you. The next thing you know you’re in a hole and haven’t got the slightest idea of how you got there. You try picking yourself up, but you’re not even sure of where to grab. And when you do grab onto something it seems to just come into the hole with you.

Now what do I do? As someone much wiser than me said, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is quit digging. OK, so I quit digging. I’m still in a hole. I think when we reach this point it is time to find that friend that can lend us a helping hand. For some of us that is real tough to do. We love to be able to help our fellow man, but at the same time we don’t know who to turn to or how to ask for help. After all, we’ve always been the self-sufficient type. We don’t want to burden someone with our problems.

It’s easy to see why some people turn to a church or club of some sort. At least there they have some semblance of companionship. Then there are those of us who just don’t fit in to any of those groups and even if we did could we then talk to anybody about our troubles? No, sometimes you end up where you just have to solve the problem on your own. That’s when you start to find out just how much inner strength you have. It’s also a time to call upon that higher self, God, the Universe, the Great Spirit or whatever name you want to give it. No one is strong enough to handle every adversity without some help.

Sometimes that help will come in the form of a phone call or maybe an email. Or you just might meet someone who fills that void. That friendship may be just a brief encounter but it lightened your load. That someone wasn’t even aware you had a problem but came into your life at that low point and helped you turn your emotions around. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The more I’m here on this globe we call earth the less I believe in coincidence.

Everything and everyone has a purpose. The thing is, what is our purpose? Are you going to just wait and find out or are you going to create your own purpose? As I have come to understand it, we create our own purpose. If you just sit there waiting to have someone or something tell you what your purpose in life is, I think you are in for a long wait. I believe we are all here for a purpose and that we should strive every day to make this world a better place. Maybe all you need to do is smile and let everyone see it. You know when you see someone else smiling it picks you up, so why don’t you become the one giving others a pick me up? The great thing about it is, when you smile you pick yourself up, also. Go ahead! Do it!



Where is God?

by Charlie Phillips

Maybe it’s just because of my upbringing but the other day I was talking to a friend and I said, “You have to put your faith in the Universe.” He said, “You mean God.” Well, yes, that’s what I was talking about, but for me when someone mentions God for some reason it implies religion and all of its dogma. Neale Donald Walsch (author of Conversations with God) makes the statement that religion puts God out there, but he says that God is within all of us and is a part of us. God isn’t out there somewhere. However, being raised with strong religious doctrine, I have a hard time getting past those old ingrained teachings. I guess that is why I use the word Universe more often.

The first of the Ten Commandments that the Bible says Moses brought down from the mountain says to …”not have any other gods before Me.” Most look at that and say, “I don’t have any other gods.” I beg to differ. Most people today have put the State as their god. They depend on the State to take care of them. They say we must obey the State, ignoring that same Bible which states that you should obey God’s law over man’s law. If you’re just supposed to follow all the government’s (State’s) laws, why do you suppose the disciples of Jesus ended up in jail? Maybe it was because they forgot to obey one of man’s laws. If a church incorporates does that not say they don’t trust God to take care of them but are relying on the State for protection?

I was one of those that really never thought too much about that commandment because I didn’t have any other God. That is until one day I realized that I had made hot rods and racecars my god. That, I think, is one of the troubles with putting God out there and not having God within. We tend to overlook the fact that there are all kinds of gods we worship because we have put God out there somewhere.

I recall the first time I heard someone say, “I believe that all of us are a part of God and God is a part of us.” I thought long and hard about that. It was a little confusing to me at the time because I had always been taught God was out there somewhere or in Heaven wherever that was. If you actually read the scriptures, Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. When I looked at that, I started to realize that it didn’t mean out there in some future dimension, it meant it was available now. That can be achieved by changing how you view life.

If you keep your outlook on life focused on the positive you will have a much happier life than if all you can see is the doom and gloom presented nightly on the news. Here’s a thought: turn that darned TV off. Watch an inspirational movie, read a book, or enjoy conversation with the ones you love. For my part, I see the TV as the modern Roman games; instead of bread, though, they give them a six-pack. Keep the people distracted from what’s really happening or from finding a true inner peace.

One of the problems with finding out what is really going on is that you are then the outsider and that way-out wacko. Some people, when they find out, really let it get to them and end up going around tilting at windmills. Others can acknowledge it and get on with their lives. One way to accomplish that in my opinion, is to focus on the fact that God, the Universe whatever name you want to call it is on your side; you must look to the light side. Too often we let the dark side control our thoughts and emotions, which is what the dark side feeds on – our fear. Just one example: instead of worrying about the price of fuel, how about focusing on the fact that you’ll either have enough money to buy it or there will be some other way to cope without petroleum. Maybe if that happens alternative energy will come forth. I’m not talking about ethanol, which is just another smoke screen to keep you from being focused on real solutions.

Having Heaven right here on earth… now doesn’t that sound a lot better than some far off place sometime after we die? I think that is a goal we should all strive to achieve; it sure sounds better than what we have going on now. Lets bring God down here in us and us a part of God. That, I think, is the first step. I am in God, God is in me, and God and I are one. If you feel more comfortable, change God to Universe, energy, or whatever works for you. I believe they are all one and the same. Quantum Physics tells us we are energy and everything is made up of energy. It’s not in the name; it’s in the understanding that we are all related and have the ability to change our life. It’s what is called free will, which we are all given. Sometimes we just get too overloaded and decide to let others tell us what to do.

You actually know what to do. The only thing holding you back is fear. Part of that fear is the realization that if you take that step you are being responsible for yourself. Or is it you’re afraid that your friends might think you’re one of those “weirdoes.” Are they really your friends if you can’t have your own opinion? Come on! Reach for that other colored pill for a change. But most of all – keep a positive outlook on life and remember that God is in all of us and we are in God. I think that makes us all related. Oh, yeah, one final note: while being one of the weirdoes has it’s ups and downs it can also be very rewarding and fun. Come on! Let’s have some fun in this life. At least smile!!



Turning It Around

by Charlie Phillips

I have to confess I have spent most of my life looking for someone or something that would give me success or happiness. When you get on that treadmill, it is just that – a treadmill. You do a lot of running, but you never get anywhere. I always was thinking that if I could just meet the right woman or hook up with the right job, then all would be fantastic…all the while ignoring the fact that if I couldn’t be happy within myself then nobody or nothing could make me happy, either.

When we get caught in the trap of letting others control our emotions, when we depend upon others to make us happy, it always will end in failure. Why? Real simple – the wants and needs of another are not our wants and needs; consequently, we both end up with that empty feeling. You know that feeling, that let down when the other person didn’t say or do what your were hoping for. Mainly because you are looking for the other person to say what only you can say and if you can’t say it to yourself how can someone else say it? For one thing, that other person can’t tell you what you want to hear if you really don’t know yourself.

The other side of that coin is, we are always trying to impress the other person. We tend to do things that are not really a true reflection of who we are. Instead, we attempt to be what we think the other person wants us to be.

Now if you can get tuned into that person and are at peace with yourself, then you may hear what you want to hear. That’s because you already know yourself and are not depending on someone else to create your happiness for you. You both are walking your own path, but walking in the same direction.

I have viewed many motivational movies and read I don’t know how many books on self-help and how-to for couples plus read countless inspirational emails and visited many websites, yet these activities always tend to sort of fade after a time and I find myself falling into the same old trap. “If only!” If only what? That’s the other problem: do we really know what we want? I can only judge from my own experience and that is, most of the time it is really just taking each day as it comes. Everyone says you should set a goal; well, that’s fine, but you know what?…some of us find that very difficult to do. I have tried those “To do” lists, goal setting, etc., and for me none of it seems to work. I’ll be honest here. I really have trouble with conceptual things. Tell me you need to put a bridge across a stream and I will find a way to do it. But if there wasn’t something I wanted or was aware of on the other side, I wouldn’t even think about trying to get over there for myself.

At one point in my life I tried sales and my manager said to me, “How many of these will you sell?” I just looked at him. I was thinking: how do I know how many people will need this item? You guessed it – I didn’t last long at that venture.

About now your probably wondering: where is he going? or what the heck is he trying to say? Well, I’ll attempt to answer that. I still have difficulty setting long-range goals, but one thing that I have been able to do is turn around that negative feeling I get when I don’t find that key person or thing that leads to “success” or “happiness.” You have probably seen it in “The Secret” or other inspirational movies, but it is tough to do in real life. They tell you just to think of something you like or sing a song. Well, that works for a little while but those feelings keep coming back at you – at least they do me. For me, when I get those negative thoughts, I have to decide, “Do I want to wallow in sorrow and how bad life is treating me?” Or get over it and get on with living my life. Yes, that’s the first step if you really want to get out of the doldrums! If you decide you don’t want to wallow in self-pity then think of something to be grateful for. Maybe it’s nothing more than looking out the window and seeing that the grass is green. Come on, you have something to be grateful for. We can all think of someone who’s in worse shape than we are, going through worse trials, emotional/physical/financial hardship, enduring pain, sorrow, or grief. If you’re reading this, then be grateful for eyesight!

Simplistic? Maybe, but it will change your mood. That’s your first step; now think of what you can do to make the rest of the day a pleasant day instead of continuing on with the negativity you were feeling earlier. The main thing is to take that first step.

Okay you say, if I take that first step will my life turn around and be perfect? An honest answer, I don’t know. I do know that any journey starts with that first step and you’ll never get there if you don’t take it. It also depends on whether or not you want to continue on the journey to a happier life. I also know that if you’re in the mid-west and want to get to New York, your journey will be a lot shorter if you head east instead of west. So the decision you have to make for yourself is: do you want to wallow in self-pity or set out on a trail of enlightenment? The choice is yours.



For The Money

by Charlie Phillips

I started thinking on this the other day when I stumbled across the term “financial gain” and realized that it brought up a negative connotation. I realized I was saying to myself financial gain is materialistic.

Isn’t it interesting that we tend to view anybody that has made it financially as materialistic or some other such description? The phrase.” he or she is only in it for the money” becomes down right ludicrous because the same people that make that comment will go off (to a job they hate) from 9 to 5. I am not sure why they do it; it can’t be “for the money.” It all boils down to the fact that we are really jealous of the individual who has, in our minds at least “made it”. We are all, to get right down to it, “in it for the money”; some just do it better than others.

Quite often we get caught up in the belief that if we acquire more money than what it takes to keep the wolf from our door, it must be wrong. I’ll admit I got trapped into that same line of thinking myself but really, what is wrong with having abundance? Having an abundance of money isn’t wrong in and of itself; it’s what we do with that abundance. For example I was thinking of a few things I would like to have and realized that in the process of acquiring those things I could be helping several people. The projects I have in mind would involve building a few things and to do that I would have to hire someone to help me, or maybe even several ‘someone’s’. This would give them a little money and I would get the projects completed that I wanted and was not able to do by myself.

Instead of looking at it as how much it is going to cost, I now look at it, as how will it help all concerned. Now when I see someone who appears to have it made I think ‘good for him or her’ and I remind myself that I deserve it (not just because I’m able to sit up and take sustenance) but because it is possible for me to attain it also; not the “what” they have, but the abundance.

Believing that we deserve it is probably the biggest hurdle. We’ve been told all our life hard work will take care of our needs. Why don’t we aim a little higher? As the saying goes “why wish for a loaf of bread when you can wish for the grocery store.” I don’t know why, but we seem to sabotage ourselves when it comes to money. I have talked to several people who say if we focus on money that’s being materialistic. If you wanted money just for the sake of having money, then yes that would be true. Money in and of itself is just a printed piece of paper. It really has no value. You could have a vault full and if there wasn’t any food available you would still starve.

Could it be that we have been conditioned to accept the fact that to want more is just greedy. Maybe that conditioning has been programmed into us for the benefit of the few that want to rule us (and want all the money). Think about it for a minute if you had abundance, what would a politician have to appeal to? Right now they promise to pass this or that law which will save us all and put a “chicken in every pot.” Funny they have been passing three to five thousand laws a year for who knows how long and they still say we need this or that new law. Reminds me of a quote by Plato “Good people do not need laws to tell them how to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Actually the politicians are just doing what they are told to do by the powers that are behind the scene. It really is all about control.

The more of us that acquire abundance the less control they would have. Now wouldn’t that be a good thing? We would no longer be in fear of not having enough to make the house payment or enough for our old age. There are a lot of those ‘what if’ problems out there but with abundance you could put them aside. As long as you worry about all the ‘what ifs’ you are under someone else’s control.

Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to have abundance so that you didn’t have to worry about whether you could afford to give your child piano lessons? As a small example; maybe that same child has extraordinary talent and with special lessons could develop that talent, but those lessons are just a tad too expensive for you. Now wouldn’t abundance be a good thing right about then?

I believe we should focus on what we could do with the abundance, not on financial gain as such. As I said before, money is not what we should focus on but what could we do with that money for others. In this world money is a part of life and without it you have a hard time functioning. So the question becomes why don’t we go for it? I think it’s time to accept the abundance that is there for us.



Second Coming

by Charlie Phillips

This is ridiculous would have been my reaction a few years ago!

I was reading an article by someone who said their words were from someone not of this world. They were channeling through this person. I now read things like this with a more open mind, because I have found that most of what we have been told is all false. I read an article by a former pastor who said he had a friend in the CIA. Now this friend couldn’t say anything because of quote “national security” but what he did say was “everything you have been told is a lie.”

OK back to the channeling article. As I was reading it I noticed there was something familiar about it. In it the author was talking about how these people from outer space were going to help those of us (who have become enlightened) to clean up this place we call “Earth”. Does this begin to sound like what we have been taught all our lives? I think some call it the Second Coming.

Now I really don’t want to get into a theological discussion about what the Bible says or any other belief. What I am saying is that it is the same theme song, just with different words. Someone will save us. I believe that is because mankind needs that glimmer of hope that something or someone is going to come rescue them. I have been taught since before I could walk that the Christians would be raptured out of this mess and taken up to Heaven. This is not much different than this fellow channeling and saying a star nation was going to come down and save us from this mess we have created.

It seems to me that the real problem is we are looking to an outside force to intervene for us. Some people say the Bible says that the Second Coming happened in seventy AD and others look at the same Bible and say it is yet to happen. Others, as in the above-mentioned article, say some other outside force will appear. I’ll let the reader decide which side they want to be on. What appears to me is we are forgetting the other things the Bible says. You know things like “loving your enemy, treating others as you would want to be treated”. Those words or similar ones can be found in almost all religions and disciplines. If we followed those simple guidelines we wouldn’t have the mess we have here now. We wouldn’t have companies putting out products that poison the water we drink, or the ground where we grow our food with their only motivation “the bottom line”. Nor would countries be invading each other.

The biggest stumbling block I see is that then we would have to be responsible for our own actions. Lets take an example from the Bible: if you accidentally killed someone in Biblical times, you might not be put to death for your actions, but you would have to reside in a city of refuge. It was still your action that caused the death and for that you had to pay. Today we just buy insurance, run over someone with our car, let the insurance company take care of it and we go on our merry way.

I’m not sure how any of us can expect to be rescued when we aren’t living our life by the higher rules: rules of responsibility – taking upon our own shoulders the consequences of our actions and not waiting for a “bail out.” Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. To me that says I can have it now, just reach out and grab it. It is not some far off place, it’s right here. It is determined by our acts and our faith. Other prophets, sages, whatever title you want to give them have said the same thing. Most of them, meaning religions and disciplines, say we will be judged by our actions at some point in time. Why then don’t we live by the guidelines laid down for us? It seems one of the hardest things for us to do is to keep our noses out of other peoples business. We say we are living this way and so should everybody else.

We have let our governing bodies pass laws that only do that. A simple example is the drug law. If someone wants to put a substance in his/her body, harmful or not, why is that anybody else’s business. If they smoke something that some consider unhealthy, isn’t that their business and their body? As long as they are doing it and not harming anyone else why should we get upset about it? Wasn’t one of the laws “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Well, what if someone decided that, (put in your favorite passion in here) was illegal. Now you could be sent to prison for doing something you love, because someone decided you were having too much fun.

Another example you are driving down the freeway with light traffic and you go seventy-five mph instead of the posted sixty-five mph. The highway patrol pulls you over and gives you a ticket. Were you hurting anyone? Well it all boils down to the same thing; we want be able to dictate what another person can do. Isn’t that violating one of the laws in that book, “judge not less ye be judged”? That also violates common law! In common law there has to be an injured party. Who is the injured party in the above examples?

So – is there going to be a Second Coming, or is a star nation going to come to save us? You know what? I hope so. I hope something happens because we have made a real mess of this place. However, I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ve been around for almost seventy years and it hasn’t happened yet. I think the best thing for me is to work toward living my life by the above rules: love my enemy, treat others as I’d like to be treated, and refrain from judging another’s actions. Maybe if enough of us start doing that we can create our own Heaven right here on earth!