Thoughts to Ponder

 “The wiser the soul, the greater the simplicity. In everything.”

 The Universe*

That is an understatement if ever there was one, but it seems to contradict our current lifestyles. We hustle about from morning to night shuffling work projects, going to the gym, running errands and fitting school events and medical appointments where we can. Statistically Americans take fewer vacation days per year than any other nationality. Why is that?

Did we listen too closely when our elders told us, “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”? Are we expressing our determination to be the “best” in the world?” The best what? Manufacturer? Money maker? The smartest student? If those are the reasons, we are defeating ourselves with our keep busy at any cost mentality.

I’m not suggesting that we sit idly and wait for prosperity, fame and academic achievement to bless us with bounty. Yet, there is a point when we spend too much time doing and not enough time being. I once heard a wise person say, “There is a reason we’re called human beings rather than human doings.” She was telling us that we must find a balance between our overly rushed schedules and rest and regeneration time so we can resuscitate our souls and bodies.

Our current and past role models have set us a good example. The Dalai Lama spends hours each day teaching but he also meditates, eats good food, exercises and socializes. Mother Teresa was an example of charity in action, yet she found time each day to refresh her body and spirit. Even our presidents have taken frequent vacations from the demands of daily White House activities. They stay in touch with what is important yet, take a break from constant meetings.

If we study history we read that many of our national and international heroes took time to be quiet in the midst of chaos. We can also look at the lives of Jesus and the Buddha, both of whom spent hours teaching, yet also spent time socializing and praying.

Can we do less? I’m not suggesting any particular form of relaxation or meditation/prayer. Nor am I telling you what the ratio should be. I’m simply asking you to evaluate your life for balance and take the necessary action to set your priorities. Determine how much time to devote to your work, family, social activities and personal quiet time.

For a while you may need to pencil relaxation or meditation into your appointment calendar. I’m certain that once you develop the habit you’ll be almost instantly aware when you’ve missed your quiet time. It will be easy to spot. You’ll be irritable, stressed and overwhelmed. That will be your clue to take a few minutes to sit quietly, breathe deeply and remind yourself that calm produces more effective decisions and actions than forcing a solution.


Thank you for teachers who show us how to live balanced lives. Thank you also for giving us unease to show us when we are out of balance. Thank you for reminding us that finding our way from stress to calm is just a few slow, deep breaths and a moment of clearing our brain of its busyness. And, so it is.

*A Note from the Universe, August 12, 2016,

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 18, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.


My personal Prodigal Son

Thoughts to Ponder

 “’Look, dear son,’ his father said to him, ‘you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. But it is right to celebrate. For he is your brother ….’”

Luke 15:31-32*

An event happened recently that focused my awareness on what has and is happening in my own family. Perhaps it is happening in yours as well.

Dan was my first born. He had an outgoing personality, an intelligence that focused on math and science. He was also ADHD. He required much parental and educator attention.

Eighteen months later my identical twin daughters, Linda and Sarah, were born. They were quiet, well-behaved and tended to entertain each other. To me they were a gift that allowed me to spend more time trying to keep their brother under control.

When Dan left home at 18 to become a U.S. Marine I wrote an essay that was printed in the Chicago Tribune. When Linda and Sarah left home the following year to serve in the U.S. Army I did not write an essay. A few years later they asked why I didn’t write anything about them. My response was that the essays would have been nearly identical because my emotions were the same. They dropped the issue and I naively assumed that the situation was settled.

This pattern has continued throughout their lives. Their brother spent his energy visiting other relatives and friends rather than his sisters. He visited me from time to time and his sisters when obligated. He was a spiritual seeker and one of my teachers and advisors. Shortly before Dan transitioned of a heart attack at age 45, I asked him why he chose to ignore his sisters and their families. He said he didn’t know. I don’t know if that was an honest answer or if he had a reason for his actions. Since his passing he’s been my angelic guardian.

The girls have always remained close to me. They welcome me to their family events, balance my checking account, go to doctor appoints with me, do minor repairs at my house and much, much more. They are also my teachers and advisors. I frequently brag about them to my coworkers and friends, but probably don’t tell Linda and Sarah as often as I should.

Their situation hit me full force this week. A friend forwarded an internet posting by Maureen St. Germain, Dan’s spiritual advisor, in which she said that Dan had been her incarnate guardian. I’d always been curious about their relationship, but was astounded to read what she had to say. I shared this information with Linda and Sarah and was underwhelmed by their responses and wondered why.

A couple days later I shared St. Germain’s post and a few stories about some of Dan’s spiritual experiences with my meditation group. They encouraged me to write a book about him. I was flattered that they thought he was worthy of that much attention and that I have enough talent to share his story. I replied that I would consider it but something didn’t feel quite right.

As the conversation shifted to another topic, four words flashed into my mind, “The Prodigal Son’s brother.” I realized that Linda and Sarah feel like the Prodigal Son’s brother felt when his father welcomed his wayward son with gifts and a huge party. I had been doing the same. I always made a big fuss when Dan came to visit because it rarely happened and bragged about his accomplishments. Now, 4 ½ years after Dan’s passing, I was once again effusive about his uniqueness. I made a vow to more frequently express my gratitude for Linda and Sarah’s many kindnesses and to write more about how wonderful they are.

Spirit, Thank you for making me aware that I have not been giving my daughters the gratitude they deserve and for showing me how it affects them. I’m grateful that I have time to rectify the situation. I ask that you continue to remind me to express my appreciation of them and the many other people who have taught and supported me over the years.

*The Living Bible, 1971, Tyndale House Publishers

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 2, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.