Stumbling and Falling


I was reading the book Falling Upward by Richard Rohr and he quoted Carl Jung: “Where you stumble and fall, therein lies your gold.”

That made me stop, put the book down, and think about what I just read. Stumbling and falling will bring us to our gold? Seriously?!

As I pondered what Carl Jung said, I realized that he’s telling us that stumbling, falling, making mistakes, wrestling with problems are a normal and natural part of living.   When we’re having a rough time of it, we aren’t being punished and it isn’t because we’re flawed or worthless.   Challenges are an invitation to dive into the depths of ourselves and discover more about our true selves.

It’s probably a little much to ask and expect ourselves to be joyful when we run into a rough patch, but we can minimize our distress my remembering what Carl Jung said.   Somewhere within that problem lies the gift of deeper understanding and compassion for ourselves and our fellow travelers along the way.

What do you think, have you found that obstacles have helped you grow? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

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Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Using Your Talents and Gifts–Maybe It’s Different Than You Think


A colleague at work is a talented musician. He’s been playing the guitar since junior high school. As you’d expect with young teenagers who played instruments, he and his friends started a band. Of course they had dreams of becoming the Next Big Thing and were sure one day they’d appear on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

They landed a few gigs, mostly playing at the backyard events of neighbors and family, but their band never did take off. Soon college beckoned and the band members went their separate ways.   My friend and one of his buddies continued playing for pleasure, though. And when they settled, they realized they didn’t live too far apart. Several times during the year they’d get together and, of course, they’d jam–my friend on guitar and his buddy on percussion.

My friend didn’t think much of his love of playing the guitar. He never saw it as a gift or as something special because he wasn’t making any money, much less a living, from his music and he’d never won any awards or received any kind of recognition for his guitar playing.

One day recently, my friend received a phone call. His childhood buddy and band mate–the one he would jam with every once in a while–was on his deathbed. His buddy had a rare degenerative disease and his daughter was calling my friend to tell him that his buddy didn’t have long to live–a day or two at best. My friend grabbed his guitar and went to his buddy’s side.

By the time my friend got to the bedside, his buddy wasn’t very responsive. My friend was at a loss for words so instead he sat by the bed and played for his buddy. He played songs from back when they had the band in junior high; he played songs they had written together, he played a few popular songs, and he played songs that were his and his buddy’s favorites–ones they’d always included in the jam sessions.

At one point, my friend looked up and saw that his buddy’s lips were curved in a faint smile. My friend had been teary eyed before but when he saw his buddy’s smile, the tears flowed freely. He found a way to continue playing his buddy’s favorite songs, though, and shortly thereafter, his buddy passed.

Afterward, his buddy’s daughter gave him a warm hug and whispered that his playing “…was the perfect send-off for Daddy. I know he loved it.”

That experience changed my friend. He is no longer flippant and cavalier about his talent for playing the guitar. Instead, he knows he’s very lucky to have his gifts. He’s grateful for the privilege of using them to bring comfort, ease, and a smile to others.

How about you? How are you using your gifts and talents to bring peace, well-being, and cheer to others?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Simple Actions to Counter-Balance Life’s Slings and Arrows

Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs


In light of yesterday’s post where I shared about the disappointing day I was having and the poem I found that helped me cope.

On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about the Buddhist thought that life is suffering and we are here to alleviate each other’s suffering. When I examined this idea, I realized that our days are filled with suffering, from tiny annoyances, such as being in a hurry yet getting caught behind a very slow driver, to the very big things, such as losing a loved one.

As I continued mulling this over, I understood—yet again!—how important it is to notice the “good stuff” that we encounter each day so that we can balance out our daily difficulties.

What I mean is noticing and doing simple things such as smiling.

This is good not only for strangers and others we know but scientists have shown how the simple act of curving our mouths upward stimulates nerves which increases endorphin production which then leads to an improved attitude and outlook for us!

Another simple action is behaving in a pleasant manner.

As part of my job, I often have to make calls to the company’s customers and distributors. As I was doing this task today, I noticed people on the other end of the call greeted me either pleasantly or curtly. Granted, the people who were brusque may have been having a difficult day, but I made a lot of calls and the odds are that a few of the friendly people were also experiencing problems.

The results of my interaction with the two types of people were the same, however, the interaction left me feeling lighter. As a result, petty annoyances and frustrations didn’t get to me; my cheer rubbed off on my colleagues. The Ripple Effect in motion!

What simple actions can you take to counter-balance the “slings and arrows” in your life? Please share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

The Loss is not So Great: A Poem by Edgar A. Guest


I had a tough day today at work and was feeling glum. A project I had worked on for several weeks and completed a few days ago, needs updating already! My team and I knew this would happen, but still!

Then I came home and opened my email hoping for a cheery word from a friend or acquaintance. Instead I found an email that informed me that I did not get a job for which I had applied.

My glumness quickly morphed into second-guessing myself and wondering if I’d find my way to the soul-prospering life I have been trying to create.

When I feel like this, I try to take some small action–it doesn’t have to be the next step toward my soul-prospering life, although it’s great if I can do this. Instead, I take simple actions that will help me process my distress. Some of the things I may do:   cleaning or straightening up; distracting myself with a few chapters in a book or listening to music I love; talking to a friend or loved one; making an origami item.

Today, I chose to read through poems I’ve collected over the years and I came across one that I’m sharing with you in this post. Although my “defeats” today weren’t as bad as what the author of the poem seems to have experienced, the poem pointed out to me that if I can keep my head up, look people in the eye, and rest easy at night, then I am in good shape, regardless what the world might say.

The Loss Is Not So Great

It is better as it is: I have failed but I can sleep;
Though the pit I now am in is very dark and deep
I can walk to-morrow’s streets and can meet to-morrow’s men
Unashamed to face their gaze as I go to work again.

I have lost the hope I had; in the dust are all my dreams,
But my loss is not so great or so dreadful as it seems;
I made my fight and though I failed I need not slink away
For I do not have to fear what another man may say.

They may call me over-bold, they may say that I was frail;
They may tell I dared too much and was doomed at last to fail;
They may talk my battle o’er and discuss it as they choose,
But I did no brother wrong—I’m the only one to lose.

It is better as it is: I have kept my self-respect.
I can walk to-morrow’s streets meeting all men head erect.
No man can charge his loss to a pledge I did not keep;
I have no shame to regret: I have failed, but I can sleep.

~Edgar A. Guest


I hope this poem helps you the way it’s helped me. Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

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Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Are You Making Progress Toward your 2018 Goals?


As the first quarter of the year gives way to the second quarter, it’s a great time to check our progress on the goals we set at the beginning of the year. Here’s a poem to remind us of the truly important things in life:

A Message for the Year


Not who you are, but what you are,

That’s what the world demands to know;

Just what you are, what you can do

To help mankind to live and grow.

Your lineage matters not at all,

Nor counts one whit your gold or gear,

What can you do to show the world

The reason for your being here?


For just what space you occupy

The world requires you pay the rent;

It does not shower its gifts galore,

It’s benefits are only lent;

And o\it has need pf workers true,

Willing of hand, alert of brain;

Go forth and prove what you can do,

Not wait to count o’er loss or gain.


Give of your best o help and cheer,

The more you give the more you grow;

This message evermore rings true,

In time you reap what’er you sow.

No failure you have need to fear,

Except to fail to do your best–

What have you done, what can you do?

That is the question, that the test.

~~Elizabeth Clarke Hardy


How’s your progress so far?   Don’t worry if you’re disappointed by what you find. You can press the “reset button” and begin again!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


A Little Something to Keep in Mind This Week



I was reading in an old poetry book today and I came across this poem. The author puts forth an interesting thought that, although we sometimes do things we regret, it’s really the things left undone that troubles us the most.

The Sin of Omission

 It isn’t the thing you do, dear,

It’s the think you leave undone

That fives you a bit of a heartache

At the setting of the sun.

The tender word forgotten;

The letter you did not write;

The flowers you did not send, dear,

Are your haunting ghosts at night.


The stone you might have lifted

Out of a brother’s way;

The bit of hearthstone counsel

You were hurried too much to say;

The loving touch of the hand, dear,

The gentle, winning tone

Which you had not time nor thought for

With troubles enough of your own.


Those little acts of kindness

So easily out of mind,

These chances to be angels

Which we poor mortals find–

They come in night and silence,

Each sad, reproachful wraith,

When hope is faint and flagging

And a chill has fallen on faith.


For life is all to short, dear,

And sorrow is all too great,

To suffer our slow compassion

That tarries until too late;

And it isn’t the thing you do, dear,

It’s the thing you leave undone

Which gives you a bit of a heartache

At the setting of the sun.

~Margaret E. Sangster


What did you think of the poem? Have you found that it’s the times you didn’t extend a helping hand when you could have that bother you the most?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Inspiring Quotes: 6 for Taking the Next Step


The most important thing we can do is to take the next baby step toward our dreams.

Here are a few quotes to cheer us on as we take those steps:

Don’t give up now. Chances are your best kiss, your hardest laugh, and your greatest day are still yet to come. ~Atticus

Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find. ~Walt Whitman


Remember, when you feel like you are alone, there is always someone somewhere who loves you and prays for your well-being. Sometimes the person who is secretly rooting for you is the person you lease expect. ~Unknown


It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~Confucius

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson


Don’t watch the clock. Do what it does: keep going. ~Sam Levenson

Take the next step!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Inspiring Quotes: 6 to Help You with Mourning

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Design


This week we’ve been talking about the different facets of loss. We’ve talked about loss, feeling overwhelmed, grief, and today we’re talking about mourning.

These are all things that we may feel from time-to-time, especially when we hit rough patches along the way. We can doubt the future and its promise of better days. If we aren’t careful, this can lead to not trusting ourselves, our judgment, and the choices we make.

We can also feel all these emotions when we’ve left our comfort zone and we’re in the midst of the unknown and unfamiliar. When this happens, we can wish for the “good old days”, forgetting that what we think are good old days were actually times when we struggled and had worries and were unsure of our next steps.

When we’re feeling these emotions, it’s best to acknowledge them. Allow ourselves to feel them without wallowing and becoming mired in them.   Feel them–grieve–give yourself permission to mourn, and then move on; take the next step.

Here are a few quotes to help you do just that:

And yet, I suppose you mourn the loss of the death of what you thought your life was, even if you find your life is better after. You mourn the future tha you though you’d planned. ~Lynn Redgrave


As soon as something happens…everyone begins talking about healing. But before you heal, you have to mourn. ~Edward Hirsch.


We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.   ~Winston Churchill


I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers.   To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. ~Joseph Addison


When it comes to grieving many times, people cut their grieving time short because they believe that it is time to “move on.” The truth is, however, that there is no set time for grieving, and you should allow yourself all the time you need to grieve your loss. Bernice Gibson,


Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us. ~Meister Eckhart



Which quotes did you like the best? Be sure to keep them handy and let their wisdom comfort and strengthen you.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Inspiring Quotes: 6 to Help You Grieve


As part of loss, we grieve.   Grief is the feelings that are inside of us.

We can feel silly grieving if it doesn’t involve the loss of a loved one. We may think that we should buck up, keep a stiff upper lip, and that we should carry on as if nothing happened.

But the loss of a job–even one we hated–or the break-up of a marriage, or any other transition–even ones we’ve longed for such as finally getting out on your own or finally retiring–can trigger grief.

It is perfectly normal to grieve your loss. Here are a few quotes to help you through:

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri J.M. Nouwen


I remember my aunt telling me however I chose to handle this would be the right way.   There isn’t a handbook or a script.   You just take it as it comes, one day at a time. ~Kayla


Loss and heartache do not define you. They are only one part of your story. ~Unknown


The deeper that sorrow cares into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the up that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? ~Kahlil Gibran


The darker the night, the brighter the stars; the deeper the grief, the closer is God!   ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky


What feels like the end is often a new beginning. ~Unknown


A reminder: when you are dealing with a grief, reach out to others.   Counselors, religious leaders, and other professionals are trained to help. Also, friends and loved ones can offer comfort and support.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Inspiring Quotes: 6 Thoughts About Feeling Overwhelmed




Life is nuts.

There’s so much swirling around us and coming at us, and we’re running like crazy trying not to get overwhelmed.   But we become overwhelmed anyway.   Then we’re overwhelmed with how overwhelmed we feel.


The following are a few thoughts to help us press the reset button on feeling overwhelmed:

Many of us feel stressed and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us. ~Marcus Buckingham


I just want to say, if you’re going crazy, take a break. I felt overwhelmed by stuff that wasn’t satisfying me, things I was supposed to do for my career. I stopped and I said, ‘Let me get back to the basics.’ ~Esperanza Spalding


I know each of us has much to do. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the tasks we face. But if we keep our priorities in order, we can accomplish all that we should. We can endure to the end regardless of temptations, problems, and challenges. ~Joseph B. Wirthlin


I noticed every time I felt overwhelmed, I would hold my breath. I had to learn to stop, relax, and take long deep breaths, and within seconds I would feel more clear and ready to deal with the situation in a more loving way. ~Gisele Bundchen


Even from a dark night, songs of beauty can be born. ~Mary Anne Radmacher


You can’t calm the storm…so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass. ~Timber Hawkeye


Which quote(s) did you like the best? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Remember to subscribe to these daily posts so you don’t miss a single uplifting and empowering message!   The sign up button is in the left hand column near the top. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,