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Colored Sand

This past weekend I visited my family in South Carolina to celebrate my Dad’s 75th birthday. It was one of those trips where you re-connect with family, friends, and many people you have not seen in years. One of my best friends in the world joined us because we met during our first year in college so she knows my family very well. She and I started out as sorority sisters, then became roommates, and over the years have traveled the world together, been through her divorce, the birth of her son, my crazy career moves, death, and much more.

Driving in the car together she shared with me that she and her 11 year son had attended an event in her hometown the day before. Buddhists were in town to create what’s called a Mandala at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC.
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The Buddhists spent days meticulously creating the work of art with colored sand. They often meditate while doing it and visitors can watch the creation come to life. I had seen this done before in North Carolina years ago. I always thought it was incredible.

While that was cool, what she shared with me next made me stop and think. After the Buddhists create the Mandala, they destroy it. You may ask “Why would they do that to something so beautiful? Why would they destroy something they have invested so much time into?”

Since reading the explanation and seeing the picture below, (click on picture to enlarge) my friend and I are applying the principles to many things in our lives. We are looking at relationships, our favorite possessions, even an old sentimental t-shirt she could not let go of even though it was stained beyond repair.

My hope is that you take a minute to look at your life and what you consider your prized possessions, and just for a moment, realize, none of it is ours to own. The people in our lives are there because they want to be. If they leave, you have to let them go. The beautiful objects like jewelry, cars, even golf clubs do not make us happy. It is only a temporary thrill. We will want something else beautiful tomorrow. Letting go of our attachments, living in the now, and accepting that change is inevitable might help us live each day with just a little more gentleness.
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Not about Me

This blog is by no means about me, and at first I was reluctant to write about this topic. Soon, I realized I should share it, because it has a powerful message.

I received an email from a girlfriend of mine that I have known since at least 7th grade. We don’t see each other often. We live in different worlds. She has a family and lives in a small town in South Carolina. I live in Los Angeles with no children, but we love each other and share our life experiences with each other no matter how far apart.

My friend has two sons. She wrote to tell me about her son Frank’s day at school. I have included it for you to read, not because it’s about me, but because it affected me so much. It’s a powerful lesson in how we as individuals can influence other people younger or older by what we do, and what we say.

I sometimes forget that someone is always looking to me for either guidance, advice, even perspective. It’s the same with you especially if you have children. They are watching you. They are learning from you. What are you teaching them? What messages are you sending? It’s the same for your friends and family. They are watching too. What type of lesson are they learning from your words and actions?

I grew up in a very small town in South Carolina. The young girl talked about in the following email is growing up right now in a small town, and she’s got BIG dreams. I did too. I feel truly blessed to be a part of her journey even though we have never met.

Here’s the email from my friend…..
I just had to share a story with you. This past week the Seniors at Frank’s school had Class day where they do this slideshow of them growin up….their wills…..and they also do prophecies. During the prophecies….this one girl came out and they predicted that she would be crowned Ms. USA….and win all these pageants and so on. While she was on stage I noticed she was holding a book….that looked very familiar. I zoomed in on the book with my camera and noticed she was holding your book, Catching the Crown. I about died. Afterwards I went up to her and told her about my friendship with you…the author of the book. She was excited!!! She had heard that you and I were really close growing up. I just thought…what a small world. So, just know…and I’m sure you already do….that your book is being read all over…even in little towns like Kingstree.

I’m attaching a picture of the kids on stage…notice the girl with the crown on…and the book in her hand.
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Posted by on May 30, 2009 in Inspirational, Miss USA 1994

 

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