lookingbackandforth

Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.

My Kaleidoscope of Friends…

UnknownTonight as I read through my Facebook posts and looked at the names on my ‘messenger’ list I just felt compelled to write this down. It isn’t a testimony to anything great about me for sure. It’s just a reflection of how blessed I am to be able to say this. I hope you are also able to say this about YOUR life and YOUR friends.

I have so many friends. Some might be called acquaintances  as I know them more casually than others I’ve known for many years or for a short time and know well. I love having friends, meeting people, developing relationships and growing from those experiences. As I thought about the events of the past few days I kept closing my eyes and ‘seeing’ this great parade of faces that make up my circle of friends…and thanking God that each and every one is part of my life and I am part of his or her life.

I have female friends and male friends. I have gay, straight, lesbian and transgender friends. I have friends that are White, Black, Asian, Indian, African and mixtures of all these races. I have Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic and ‘Not Sure what they Are’ friends. I have friends from too many countries to name in this blog…but to name just a few…US and Canada of course..Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Jamaica, UK, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Algeria, Kenya, South Africa, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, China, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand..ok…I know I’m missing some and so please don’t be upset if I missed your country..we’re still friends. :-).

I have Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Independent friends.

I have Northern and Southern and Eastern and Mid Western and West Coast friends. Friends from almost every State in the US of A.

I have single, married, remarried, engaged, divorced, separated and  widowed friends.

I have employed, unemployed and retired friends.

I have friends who come from stable homes and others who come from dysfunctional homes.

I have rich and middle class and poor friends.

I have friends in great health and others suffering from cancer, Parkinsons, dementia, and many other horrid diseases.

I have Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard and civilian friends.

I have friends who range in age from teens to those in their 90’s.

For every category listed above and one’s I am missing I can put a REAL PERSON’S name beside each one..many people in some cases. I can remember experiences we’ve shared. I can remember shared hugs and laughter and tears and sorrow and conversations.

This world is AMAZING! PEOPLE ARE AMAZING! When we read about those who are full of hate and greed and cruelty it’s hard sometimes to remember that so many others are not that way. I  have a great kaleidoscope of people who make up my circle of friends and how blessed I am to learn from and be loved by each and every one. As I ‘look back and forth’ I get excited to not just remember, but anticipate what is in store in my future and who will be added to this long list of amazing human beings I call FRIENDS.

 

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Taking time to grow….Reflections on Mastermind Summit in San Diego.

I’ve always been interested in personal growth. I was a Psychology major for heaven’s sake!!! Personal growth basically HAPPENS by just living, but when it’s intentional, magic happens. I never want to stop growing and learning and getting better.

When I became a Realtor® I affiliated with a coaching company called Buffini and Company. I could spend an entire BLOG just singing the praises of this company and the impact it’s had on my life both personally and professionally, but today I want to share just a little about spending three days in San Diego at the Mastermind Summit. Each August Brian Buffini hosts Mastermind. Over 3,000 people come from literally across the globe. Most attendees are from the USA and Canada. This was the 19th year for Mastermind.

People ask me…what is Mastermind? I always have the same answer….it’s hard to explain. So as I flew back yesterday I thought hard and long about what it is. And in a nutshell, for me, it’s like combining Church and the Super Bowl and a Broadway play. It inspires, it makes you stand up a cheer, it entertains and it causes all of your emotions to be in play. Some may think I’m ‘overstating’ it just a tad. But I’m not..just ask anyone who was there.

Every year Brian brings in two special guest speakers to share their stories and connect to the theme. This year the theme was, It IS a Wonderful Life. He referenced the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life in several sessions, but the emphasis was on it IS a wonderful life. He spoke about how we are all diamonds in the rough and like George in the movie..most of the time we totally ‘miss’ how our life impacts others. That in itself gave me much food for thought as we were challenged to think about the way people have impacted our lives and how we have impacted the lives of others. Then the special speakers this year were Mitch Albom of ‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘ fame and Olympic Gold Medalist, Scott Hamilton.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a book that greatly impacted my life. I remember reading it when it first came out and weeping. I had many ”Morries’ in my life. Wise people who taught me to love and forgive and who encouraged me to dream and to risk and to believe. To listen to Mitch Albom for over an hour was pretty amazing. My take away from his story was when he shared that writing the book, Tuesdays With Morrie was only done to get an advance to pay Morrie’s medical bills. He said it was the first real selfless thing he had ever done and it turned out to change the direction of his life.

LESSON FROM MITCH ALBOM: Do things for selfless reasons and you’ll find the real purpose in your life. 

Then Scott Hamilton. WOW! I have watched him skate his entire career. I have followed his story and grieved with his revelation of first cancer, then recurring brain tumors. I’ve been ‘taken’ by his infectious smile and positive attitude. I have just always loved Scott Hamilton. And there I was a few rows back from this amazing human being, listening to his story. We all wept when he shared about losing his mother to breast cancer. We became ‘angry’ as he shared about being bullied as a child because he was adopted. We cheered as he shared about finding his soul mate and marrying her and having two ‘miracle’ children. His spirit was infectious just like his smile. He was a winner in life, not just on the ice. So many ‘take aways’ from Scott Hamilton but the most profound was this…

LESSON FROM SCOTT HAMILTON: He fell over 41,000 times in his skating career. He shared that falling does not make you a failure…NOT GETTING BACK  UP is why people fail…SUCCESS is measured in how many time you GET BACK UP. 

And lastly there is always Brian Buffini. Most of you reading this know of Mitch Albom and Scott Hamilton but if neither of them had been there it would have still be more than worth the days spent. Brain Buffini, like myself, is a US Immigrant. I’ll let you Google him and read his story, or better yet, buy his new book..The Emigrant Edge...which just made the NY Times Best Seller list. Brian teaches me on a regular basis through his Podcasts and books and seminars and through my Buffini Coach, but at this Mastermind he helped me remember to BELIEVE that it IS a wonderful life. That there are ALWAYS things for which was can and should be grateful. That we need to learn from those who came before us. That was need to serve others more and ourselves less. That FAITH and FAMILY are what really matter. That we need to  be the ‘first one in and last one out’ in order to be successful. It takes HARD WORK. That we must stay FOCUSED. And from his teaching and that of his wife Beverly we must always PERSEVERE IN THE MOMENT. ….IN THE MOMENT.

I know a blog post can’t capture the essence of my time at Mastermind. I hope that my life will reflect what I learned and that God will give me the strength and capacity to take these and many other lessons and put them in to practice as I ‘look back and forth’ …….

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