Delightedly Childish

Living in the present is essential to our well-being. Nothing else comes close, and the child in us is what makes all things possible — all things worthwhile. Here, you may find yourself again living in a world of renewed playfulness, without concerns about money, productivity, or being “cool”. Delightfully candid snapshots of children worldwide will teach us that there are no limits to our imaginations and that everything we need is within our grasp. Children make us better adults. Let the child in you give rebirth to the things you once thought were lost forever, while you take them by the hand and follow them while they guide you to the abundant tranquility you will feel by living in the moment.

Every child is an artist, teacher, and healer. Watch them at play and as they dream with their heads in the clouds, while they paint a new world for you to help you regain your sense of wonder and heal your wounds. 

Fickle Mirror

Each morn I greet a brand new day

My Mirrors look at me and say

“You look the same as yesterday”

Can it be my youth won’t slip away?

I’ll always walk with a peppy gate       

And hold my back and shoulders straight

Father Time will have to wait

For I’ll escape the aged’s fate

Awe, fickle mirror what’s that I see…

Tiny lines where taunt skin used to be’

Silver strands that seem to dance with glee

And mock the youth that remains in me

“It’s not so bad” these frail bones sigh”

“To face the fact one day I’ll die”

In the face of death, my heart behaves,

It’s’ peaceful balm my spirit craves…

To escape the vessel that now enslaves

-from the pen and perspective of Carol Wood/ aka Platoon Nana

A Wave Of Unhappiness

Fretting Children 

What is wrong with today’s children? Why does one in four have experienced a probable mental illness”; which means that one in five has had anxiety, depression, or both? Many kids with horrendous anxiety and self-harm are becoming paralyzed. 

The figures are certainly shocking, but what is driving this global “wave of unhappiness” amongst children?

There is obviously something missing, but how do we address it? How can we make things better? 

We can say they’ve got everything; cell phones, this, that, and the other.. but that’s clearly not enough. The answer for parents is simple; Do something. Talk about it, learn about it, and take a close look at what your child does.

Setting boundaries with this age group is just as important as it is with toddlers. As adults we should know that they need boundaries or they’ll behave in even more dangerous ways until they discover them for themselves; then it may be too late. Look for the signs; kids who harm themselves as a result of social media exposure are saying; help me, it’s out of my control. If your kid is pale, tired, and miserable most of the time, they are asking for your help.

Young people today lack meaning; a sense of connection and belonging. The “rituals of togetherness and family life are slowly melting away. If you’ve got kids, spend “positive” time together. Stop just talking about it. Healthy brains are a result of positive and loving memories. Memories are made of “moments”. Make everyone count. 

Independence Day, A celebration of Americas Spirit

Healing and growth through the Stars and Stripes

Shrouded in both history and to some degree the mystery of its creation (even though the story of the American flag has been recounted many times by historians), it’s symbolism is only partly understood.

Deep within the design of freedom, Old Glory possesses the energy to heal the conflicts that have found a permanent place inside of ourselves. With this spiritual power and it’s deep ancestral wisdom, we can break away from these chains of affliction and discontent, and heal our wounds like those who came before us.   

The noble course of America and the divine purpose of God under whom many an American still lives must never be separated. However, as much as she may stray from alignment with this direction, and however much she may become vulnerable to the forces whose intentions are not compatible with her divine mission, in the end, she will be what God intended. That being the full expression of the divine light upon the earth, recognizing this light as the path home, and the fulfillment of our own reason for being. 

From the days that lie ahead, when we see our flag of freedom blowing in the wind, hanging from a pole of righteousness, or draped over the coffin of one of our beloved soldiers, we must always recognize the power she gives to melt away our fears and fill our hearts with hope, healing, and patriotism. 

Vulnerability, the last thing I want you to see is the real me.

We are living in a world that to some of us seems to be a world without connection. I am not referring to the world of being connected by technology, but the world of being connected to each other. My belief is that we are neo-biologically wired to feel connected to one another, but there is one major reason we deny that wonderfully human emotion called love to grow, and that is — vulnerability.

With all this “data without a soul” we seem to seek every day, our perception of if you can measure it, it does not exist, allows us to become disconnected from each other and prevents us from being human.

Life is messy, love it anyway
Don’t jump into discomfort, lean into it
Have the courage to be imperfect
Connection is why we are here, it gives real meaning to our lives
We believe we are worthy of love but fear that we are not worthy of connection
Find that compassion to be kind to yourself first — then you can be kind to others
As a result of our own authenticity, we will gain a compassionate connection to others around us
Fully embrace “vulnerability”, believe that what makes you vulnerable —  also makes you beautiful
Revealing all that we are is not comfortable, but it is necessary. Without it you can never be the “real” you 
Letting someone in so far they could hurt you, will allow them to give you everything
Vulnerability is the willingness to say I love you “first” —  with no guarantees of receiving it back 
We try to numb our vulnerability, but we can’t selectively “unfeel” our emotions
There are no assurances in life, but let yourself be seen, and love with an open heart
Being unprotected is the birthplace of love, life, joy, and belonging to God

I am empty, come and fill my soul with who you are. I am at a loss for words, but in my silence still hear me.

But most of all — believe that you are enough…

Bury The Past? – Never. But stop digging up the bad stuff!

 The New America– A Vision of Promise

Throughout history, conflicts abound (and are of such intensity that they) create so much suffering that humanity, in order to remain aligned with the roots of its conscience and morality, must seek to address the root causes of such conflicts, bringing an end the destruction that their continuance would create.

Such is the time we are now engulfed in; a time in which the latest separation of our ideals upon which our country was founded is fading quietly while rapidly being replaced by fear, hostility, and suspiciousness. Yet, in the meantime, it’s creating great dissension between certain groups of people. There is no remedy for this strife other than that there cannot be a world of peace where one brother fights against another, feels that they are of greater importance than another, or have less of a right to exist than another. What affects one nation affects the world, and the consciousness of humanity must soon grow to incorporate and embrace this truth so that the world as a whole can finally find a resting place of peace and harmony. 

We need not bury the past, it has its rightful place, but constantly digging it up in favor of fueling hatred and anger among its people creates an eternal chasm of unsettled and ongoing separation. 

Love for America has many colors and visible good, and these may be seen to join together when trust is present to work toward a common good.  For America’s virtue is not her might or economic superiority, it is her grandeur in pronouncing the spiritual truths by which all men may live, and her righteousness is creating a path toward the realization of these truths. 

The “new patriotism” that America needs is based on its diversity, not homogeneity of belief. It is based on honor and trust, not on fear of one another. It is also based on a changing view of America’s role in the world toward one in which she stands proudly among nations, wearing the banner of morality and integrity that has to do with faithfulness to her ideals, not to be better or greater than others

The freedoms of yesterday are as priceless today as they were then. It is time for all to awaken to the need to preserve and protect that independence upon which America has been built, so that in unity with one another, America can move forward past the darkness that has descended upon her, into new construction of identity.

This new consciousness will be both a healing and a rebirth for the fundamental principles upon which she has always stood.  They are necessary to the furtherance of the destiny of America and they are essential to the advancement of the positive rights of the people, not to be erroneously mistaken for “negative” rights that permit or require doing nothing. Freedom and self-determination must belong to all or they belong to none. We must find a way of speaking with each other, and of seeking the accord that may only be found beneath the outer disturbances of relationships within the true essence of unity that rests below.

A new consciousness must be established for our children to bring forth for righteous sake and the sake of our nation’s future dedicated to the collection, cultivation, and preservation of her sacred honor.

I am America

I am America.
I am a man of a certain age who still believes in God, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
I am a nation whom the rest of the world must look upon to find answers,
I am picnic baskets waiting to be filled with simple foods prepared by loving hands. I sit quietly and peacefully down by the lake in anticipation of the warm and beautiful sunny days of summer. I am a glorious early spring morning awaiting those who choose to feel and smell me.
I am America.
I am a mother surrounded by many angels to ease my pain and suffering,
I am Jason, a brave heart,
I am a voice who speaks the truth and needs people to lend me their ears,
I am ears waiting to hear the truth,
I am on a distant path waiting for someone to discover me and let me lead them to a beautiful singing pond with the morning dew lighting the way,
I am a land that used to be called “promised”, and I still do promise if you will just hold my hand and together make a stand,
I am a father who understands that the love of God and family alone is worth the fight,
I sometimes long for yesterday, but look towards the end of a perfect day,
I am country music, hamburgers, corn on the cobb, and iced tea,
I am down home and I still love my hometown,
I am Mother Earth’s heartbeat, companion, and friend,
I am the land of the plenty, but also the land of the sad and suffering,
I am America.
I am a river of love seeking an ocean,
I am old, torn, and tattered car tires laying in a field in the shape of a heart with daisies growing around them,
I am children laughing and singing silly songs that are dancing in their heads,
I am a day like none other filled with hope, opportunity, and boundless love,
I am still a melting pot for all of God’s children, and the child in all of us,
I have discovered after searching for so far, that I cannot turn back,
I am a land with arms wide open waiting to embrace you,
I know we can only achieve real peace when we live inside each others’ wounds,
I have discovered that after all my searching, I have found a place of my own in the heart of a stranger passing me by,
I will not walk with my dirty feet in other peoples’ heads,
I will give inner peace a chance,
America I am.
I am a ship of leaders in the night, not a ship of fools,
I am a nation that must begin to replant the seeds of peace, and one by one we shall reap the harvest, singing and shouting the voice of victory,
I am Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer,
I am all the countless wonderful cities, towns, and villages spread across this great land waiting to be re-discovered,
I am Autism, the door that can unlock the love in your heart,
I am Dante, the keeper of the key,
I am the land of freedom, hope, and charity,
I once was blind but now I see,
I am America.
I am home.
It’s time to wake up and be awesome.

Thank you for your service

Thank you for your service,
we’ll sleep sound because you’re there
someone needs to guard our freedoms,
and show the world we care

those of us with babes in arms
or frail from golden age
look to our bravest and our best
when there’s a war to wage

many can’t defend the cause
but we will keep watch and say
we hold you close in thought and prayer
we’re grateful every day

so thank you for your service
for standing in our place
for serving with such dignity,
devotion, pride and grace

© Carol Wood aka Platoon Nana

“Patriot” – The true meaning

There is a word that needs to circulate more within America to establish the credibility and morality of those who should claim it. The word is “Patriot”. Those of us who claim to be patriots are proud of this allegiance to which we ascribe.

It is considered to be aligned to what is morally right. Such things as a moral value, goodness, kindness, and courage to seek the truth, lie deep within the conscience of a patriot.

Much of the meaning of the word patriot belongs solely to those who honor its true meaning, and does not belong to those who disagree. Today this exclusion of others not considered to be patriotic seems to play a role in polarizing the American way of life today. If we are to move forward we all need to move toward the true meaning of patriotism.

We must build on what it means to be a patriot which has become to be a variety of things to different people. Some attributes are stronger in some individuals than in others. Some of the things that the word patriot has come to include:

  • Love for one’s country
  • Willingness to defend her
  • Understanding and commitment to the ideals upon which she was founded
  • Desire to rectify the mistakes that were made in the past
  • Commitment to obey with respect the founding documents
  • Faithfulness to the constitution

Although we may disagree with these principles and the practices of past and present governments, we must respect everyone’s point of view. America is not one thing, but many things. Patriotism is not one thing, but many things.

Trust and belief in the good that lies within all Americans will re-establish her might. Love for America has many colors and we must join together to work toward a common good.

The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it. Hope is the last thing ever lost. 

Seabiscuit – American Horse Of The Year 1938

There is a distinct similarity between the lack of hope that existed in 1938 during the Great Depression, and the lack of hope that exists in the United States today. Back then, a horserace changed everything.

It was a match race between the undersized Thoroughbred Seabiscuit against the mighty thoroughbred War Admiral who was considered a shoo-in to win Triple Crown. by 4 gaping lengths. A great example that life sometimes seems like a horse race, where we always seem to be racing to our own finish line.

Seabiscuit didn’t look like much-small in stature, inauspicious, and the butt of stable jokes. He did however possess the heart of a champion that held the hope of the sea of humanity that watched the race that day at Pimlico from both sides of the track. Forty thousand hopeful Americans and millions all over the globe were glued to the radio.

This one event was the most electrifying and popular event in sports history in 1938, making it the most popular news story of that day ahead of FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini.

What happened at that racetrack that day was not supposed to happen. War Admiral, one of the quickest break-away horses of his day, was supposed to take the early lead and finish the race with Seabiscuit only getting a glimpse of Admiral’s hindquarters. Instead, it was Seabiscuit who took the early lead and when they were neck and neck in the home stretch, the famed jockey George Woolf took the lead knowing Seabiscuit would not yield his destiny.

He turned and looked back at the heavily War Admiral and coined the iconic phrase “so long Charlie”. Seabiscuit would not yield his destiny. It was his heart that took him across the finish line by four gaping lengths.

Seabiscuit secured the hope for all Americans that even a small person can overcome the odds and skepticism of the few, and find the heart and endurance to win the big race. Maybe today we will need another great horse race to bring us the hope we need because it seems a Presidential race will not foster the leadership that will lead us to the finish line as the immortal Seabiscuit did.

Today it seems more like a neck-and-neck “rat race”. 

Our own destiny will show if we are winners.