Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Optimist Creed

The Optimist Creed

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, & prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel like there's something beautiful in them. To look at the sunny side of everything & make your optimism come true. To ...think only of, work only for and expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others, as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past & press on for the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times & give every living person you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, & too happy to permit the presence of trouble."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

May You Always Feel Loved

May you find serenity and tranquility in a world
You may not always understand.
May the pain you have known and conflict you have experienced
Give you the strength to walk through life
Facing each new situation with courage and optimism.
Always know that there are those whose love and understanding
Will always be there, even when you feel most alone.
May you discover enough goodness in others
To believe in a world of peace.
May a kind word, a reassuring touch, a warm smile be yours
Every day of your life,
And may you give these gifts as well as receive them.
Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.
Teach love to those who know hate,
And let that love embrace you as you go into the world.
May the teaching of those you admire become part of you,
So that you may call upon them.
Remember, those whose lives you have touched
And who have touched yours are always a part of you,
Even if the encounters were less than you would have wished.
It is the content of the encounter that is more important than it's form.
May you not become too concerned with material matters,
But instead place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart.
Find time in each day to see the beauty and love in the world around you.
Realize that each person has limitless abilities,
But each of us is different in our own way.
What you may feel you lack in one regard
May be more than compensated for in another.
What you feel you lack in the present
May become one of your strengths in the future.
May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility.
Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.
May you find enough inner strength to determine your own worth by yourself,
And not be dependent on another’s judgment of your accomplishments.
May you always feel loved.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Have You Been Fed Today?

Has anyone told you that you are loved

Has anyone made you feel appreciated and let you know how special you are?

Has anyone assured you , you are exactly who you need to be?

And let you know what you are doing is enough

And simply what you do is enough

You don't come here to prove anything

You are one of a kind..just you..

And are incomparable and original

Without you the world would be a puzzle missing a crucial part

And with out you it would be missing a important piece.

Has anyone told you the regrets of yesterday belong to yesterday ?

Has anyone taken the time to let you know you are infinitely smarter than you think you are?

Has anyone told you , you should never ever doubt your own worth?

This is within every cell...God has placed it there , the day you were born

That's how powerful you are and truly loved..

So I ask you "Have you been fed today" ? If not please let me be the one !

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ocean Lament

Ocean Lament

We hold in prayer and lament this day the suffering of all
life-forms in the Gulf of Mexico. We grieve the marring of
your creation, and the threat to coastal ways of life. Have mercy, have mercy.
Grant wisdom and perseverance to all who
struggle to contain this disaster. Let those who lost their lives in peace. Send your Holy Spirit to create anew the
face of this earth. ~ Teresa Berger

Uninformed Conscience

Paulissa's Note: As part of my mentoring program, I encourage children to challenge established thought and think for themselves. This article illustrates the importance of critical thinking quite well.

Uninformed Conscience

Thirteen years ago, when I started writing this column for America, two of my early offerings dealt with the strategic function of conscience in our ethical lives. As the years have gone by, and especially during the past year with its increased polarization of moral positions in church and society, I am more convinced than ever that we need a clear understanding of just what conscience is and how it functions.

Although there is a range of opinions concerning what conscience is—from an inner voice, a feeling or a sense of shame to the internalized values of parents or culture—I propose that the most effective account is the one offered by St. Thomas Aquinas: Conscience is a particular kind of judgment, a moral judgment, by which we apply our knowledge of good and evil to practical action.

A conscience may be certain, but that does not mean it is correct.
As a practical moral judgment, conscience takes the form: “I ought to do X.” Aquinas points out that when I make such a judgment, I should follow it. But acting on my conscience is not enough. Like any other kind of judgment—business, artistic, scientific or athletic—we base our moral judgments not only on principles but on evidence, data and information. A judgment made without data, evidence or information is a foolish one indeed. Thus, Aquinas thought it is as important to inform one’s conscience properly as it is to follow it. If I refuse to look at evidence or information in forming my moral judgment, I am actually refusing to act morally.

It is this second point that seems most neglected in ethical discourse today. There is little doubt that various religions, nation states and philosophies hold different ethical principles. But whether one’s principles are based on duty, the will of God, submission to Allah, happiness, liberty or the common good, such principles are empty if they are not applied to the specifics of evidence, information and data.

Unfortunately, it is the resistance to evidence and information that marks so much of our present moral discourse. That is why the “marketplace” of ideas, or the “public square” has become so segmented and rigid.

In the world of politics and media, we find an increasing segmentation not only of markets but of convictions as well. Information is edited and selected to conform to the conviction of the viewer or the voter. Thus, information no longer informs or challenges one’s moral judgement; it only confirms opinion, whether that opinion is warranted or not. Spend one evening comparing the programs offered by MSNBC and Fox News. Compare Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz with Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. Whom do they ridicule? What is their presumed moral universe? What information do they never consider? If we listen to only one side of these polarities, we are not forming our judgment, we are propagandizing it.

No matter what the issue, competing ideologies offer plenty of moral judgments; but there is little willingness to address data or information offered by the opposition. Undocumented immigration, tax reform, the Free Gaza movement, the Gulf Coast oil disaster, the financial crisis, all generate fierce opinion. But it is almost impossible to find any polarized antagonist willing to examine carefully data or arguments that challenge ideology.

In the church, things are just as segmented. I regularly receive messages by e-mail from the right and left. Both sides seem totally certain, but they are also totally ignorant of the arguments and evidence on the other side. As Aquinas would say, a conscience may be certain; but that does not mean it is correct. So think of the issues: abortion, global warming, President Obama, the health care bill, immigration reform, the wars in the Persian Gulf. Do you find any true engagement of the issues? Or do you find only assertions?

As for those who aspire to form the consciences of Catholic believers, they too must do more than make pronouncements. They must engage the evidence and data offered by those who dissent from their opinion.

To refuse to inspect hostile data or listen to challenging information is to reveal a conscience that has capitulated to ideology.

If a nation or church forms its people to accept assertions blindly, without supporting evidence, it will form a community not of moral agents but of menaces. They may be sincere, but they will be sincerely dangerous.

John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., is a professor of philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Rudyard Kipling

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Yellow Shirt

The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape. I found it in 1963 when I was home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom intended to give away..

'You're not taking that old thing, are you?' Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt. 'I wore that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!'

'It's just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom. Thanks!' I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object. The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it.

After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married. When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois . But, that shirt helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 25 years earlier.

That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom. When Mom wrote to thank me for her 'real' gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely.. She never mentioned it again..

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad's to pick up some furniture. Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad's mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, I prepared to move back to Illinois . As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort. In Ephesians, I read, 'So use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.'

I tried to picture myself wearing God's armor, but all I saw was the stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me.. Wasn't my mother's love a piece of God's armor? My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to Mother. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer .

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet.

Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green across the breast pocket were the words 'I BELONG TO PAT.'

Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an apostrophe and seven more letters.

Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, 'I BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER.' But I didn't stop there. I zig-zagged all the frayed seams, then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington , VA. We enclosed an official looking letter from 'The Institute for the Destitute,' announcing that she was the recipient of an award for good deeds..

I would have given anything to see Mom's face when she opened the box. But, of course, she never mentioned it..

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: 'Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother..'

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses: 'I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives.. So don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am.. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me.'

The shirt was Mother's final gift. She had known for three months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig's disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I'm glad I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring in art. And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.

Change Your Exercise Vocabulary

Change Your Exercise Vocabulary

Wednesday May 19, 2010
If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, maybe changing your vocabulary can help. Yes, grammar lessons may seem silly in the throes of exercise disinterest, but there are some common phrases that slip into the mind at such times. Maybe getting rid of them will change how you approach your workouts:
  • As Soon As: This phrase makes you feel like you're planning a future workout without actually having to commit to it. We might say, "As soon as my life isn't so crazy, I'll finally start working out." This can morph into any number of as-soon-as-es: As soon as my kids graduate from college or as soon as my bangs grow out or as soon as there is worldwide peace, I'll get to my workout. Getting rid of the excuses can help you focus on what you want, rather than what's standing in your way.
  • Should: Anything that starts with, "I really should..." is usually a phrase said out of guilt and often involves tasks that we either need to permanently take off our to-do list ("I really should try bungee jumping" ) or do immediately ("I really should get out and take a walk while the weather is nice.") Replacing the word 'should' with will (or will not) instantly changes your commitment level.
  • I'm too (insert feeling here): Many of us use this phrase all the time, especially when it comes to exercise. Too tired, too bored, too stressed, too busy, too confused, too hot...whatever it is, there's always a reason to skip exercise. Taking the 'too' out of it forces you to focus on the problem and do something about it. For example, if you're tired, ask yourself if you're physically tired or mentally tired from a long work day. If it's mental fatigue, exercise can actually increase energy levels, so you can actually solve the problem with the very thing you're trying to avoid. You're welcome.

What's your vocabulary when it comes to exercise? Are negative thinking patterns getting in the way of your workouts? Leave a comment and tell us how, and what, you think about exercise.


Friday, June 4, 2010

I Believe in You

"I believe in you, Mike!"
By Bob Perks

It would have been easy for me to copy and paste
a story today. I had written a few about Mike
through the years.

I can honestly say Mike is the reason for me being
here, doing this.

I won't go into all the details. Permit me to just
simply say that Mike was a great man.

Through the years I have had countless people
write to me to say that something I wrote came
"at just the right time."

My explanation to them has always been that
it was God's timing, not mine.

It was God's timing that Mike came into my life.

Just when I needed to hear it, Mike said to me,
"I've been watching you through the years, Bob
and I know one day you will be successful. I
want you to know that "I believe in you!"

His words came "At just the right time."

I have since opened every one of my talks
with those words hoping that someone there
in my audience needed to hear them, too.

Those are powerful words. Next to the words,
"I love you," they impact an individual in such
a deep profound way, that they can literally
raise someone out of despair and depression.

Telling someone "I believe in you," says I see
what God sees in you. I see what you may not
see at this very moment. It validates that they
indeed are appreciated.

Imagine those words spoken parent to child,
between siblings, co-workers, neighbors and

Imagine then, how you would feel if doubt was
dancing the dance of defeat, if fear was stopping
you from moving forward, if years of negativity
were crippling your spirit and keeping you down.

Mike Pesta made it a point to say it and prove it
as he helped hundreds of people in his lifetime.

Mike died yesterday at 79. Although I wanted
to tell him one more time, I know he knew how much
I loved him for what he did for me.

Please, in tribute to my friend Mike today, say it to
the people around you. Even if you think they
should know it already, you may be surprised to
find out that they really needed to hear it from you.

Maybe even "at just the right time."

So my friend, "I want you to know..."I believe in you!"

And Mike Pesta, "I believe in you!," too.
"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.

If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit

and submit your email address.
"I Wish You enough!"
© 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob