Monday, August 31, 2009

Walking on Sunshine!

Tara Made it! Please read her blog below and consider donating to her cause. As of this writing she is at $2,690.00 now, with our help we can get her to $3000!

Walking on Sunshine!: "Screen-capture-1In less than two weeks, I’ll walk 60 miles in three days. This journey all started with a simple idea: tracking how many miles I walk with my dogs over the course of a year. Being someone who thrives on purpose and meaning, I wanted my walking to feed into something bigger. I chose the Breast Cancer 3-Day event as my goal and took on the task of raising donations (tax deductible, all toward the cause of ending this terrible disease; I pay all the cost of training, traveling to, and participating in the event).

My projects list included this: Complete Breast Cancer 3-Day (Sept 11-13). Subprojects were items like “Create plan for fund raising” and “Create plan for training.” During each weekly review, I checked on my progress and added training walks to my calendar. For my fundraising, I used social media and electronic communications almost exclusively (I only sent out two letters by snail mail). I blogged (here and at WomanWhoWalksWithDogs), tweeted, used Facebook, and email. I’m not someone who is comfortable with asking people for donations, yet I learned how to do that, knowing that asking was the key to success.

The biggest success, however, wasn’t from my asking. Someone else, a member of the GTD Virtual Study Group, asked for me. That’s what put me over the top--a kind, generous friend who galvanized an awesome group of GTD’ers on my behalf. This is the power of social media and user generated content: to create a place for like-minded people to come together, support, and encourage each other.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I feel so loved and encouraged and cared about. It’s an amazing experience--I am blessed.

Now, I’m in the home stretch. Next, I’ll map out the logistics, pull out my packing checklist and put the finishing touches on my training before boarding my flight to Seattle. And with every step, I’ll say thank you! No matter what the weather in Seattle, which is famed for its rain, I’ll be walking on sunshine! That’s because thanks to you and so many other generous people, over $2500 is going toward the fight against breast cancer.


Complete Gratitude

I am grateful to God for all I have, I am grateful for the events, the gratifications, the pleasures, the things, and the food. I am grateful for the ability to taste food, to walk, to have an able body. I am grateful for all the strife and grief I don't have and I am grateful for all the strife and grief I have had because I wouldn't be the man I am without it. I am grateful for a loving father who is actually here with me all the time no matter what. I am grateful for my God and what he gives me, which is everything.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Reflection: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16"

I am getting ready for Church and I just got done reading this devotional on It discusses a survey given to people who are over 95.

What would you change about your life?

There were many answers given, but most of them fell into three categories:

  1. I would reflect more. (This was one of the most popular answers.)
  2. I would risk more.
  3. I would do more things that would live on after I'm dead.

What an amazing gift! Things we can focus on now!

Questions I will be asking myself:

  1. What are some ways I can reflect more and what should I reflect on? I would like to reflect more on God's Glory, the gifts I received from him and his will for my life.

  2. What risks am I not taking that I should? This sounds like a new end-of-the-day journal. A list of the risks I took and the risks I could have taken throughout a day. The first thing that pops into my head was, did I have any opportunities to talk about Christ that I missed?

  3. The last question is a tough one for me. According to the Bible the only things we can take with us are faith, hope, and love so if anything I would focus on being a more loving person. If I want to leave a legacy in the world it would have to be loving my neighbor.

Friday, August 28, 2009

G.R.A.C.E. Part 1. - Grounding

I have posted about George Leonard's G.R.A.C.E. technique before but I have been exploring this technique and other relaxation and meditation techniques and wanted to share the way I practice each piece.

G - Ground - what is it be grounded? Being grounded means being level in body and in head, and if your body is in a state your mind will follow. Take off your shoes and follow these steps (These work even better if you record yourself speaking them slowly and play them back while you follow the steps or just have someone read them to you):

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly (never locked) and breathe evenly, with each breath feel your body sink a little deeper into the ground.

With your first breath feel your feet pushing into the ground and feel the ground pushing back into your feet. Concentrate on what the ground feels like, your feet warming the ground and the ground warming your feet.

With each breath imagine energy coming up into your body. Curl your toes up and find a balance using the body of your foot without your toes, then bring your toes down and feel your whole foot hug the ground. Now focus on pushing your weight into your feet with your ankles. With your next breath push down from the knees, then tuck in your pelvis and tighten your core, use your core to push your lower body into the ground. Bend your knees to deepen your stance, use your core to pull your shoulders down your back and relax your kneck. Imagine that there is a string attached to the top of your head holding up your head and kneck and let your shoulders hang, relaxed.

Imagine your feet and legs extending down deep into the earth, knees neither bent nor locked, connecting with the universe and sigh a breath of release as you let go of all stress and anxiety firmly rooted into the ground.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love must be Sincere

I was just reading Romans and I came across the following statement.

Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Wow! I love it when the statement is simple. Meditate on this for 1 minute. Please share your comments.

Simple loving statement

I was just reading Romans and I came across the following statement.

Romans 12:9 - Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Wow! I love it when the statement is simple.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Challenge: meditate on a feeling

TO focus on the moment sometimes it helps to focus on one feeling.

Try this - pick one physical feeling: Touch something and focus on the feel you can also focus of the feeling of your shows on your feet, the skin on your body, the air on your skin, grass under foot, your hand on a counter, etc; it doesn't matter what you choose, just pick something to feel and focus on it and only it for 30 seconds.

When I do this exercise I feel myself grounded in the moment and taken to another place at the same time, I may be shifting my focus to be completely aware of a feeling but I am also thinking about how the rest of me feels at the moment too, I am not just focusing on me feeling the thing but I might as well be what I am feeling.

  • When I feel my hand on the counter, I am the counter.
  • When I feel the wind on my skin, I am the wind

This is an interesting exercise that can be very rewarding, I challenge you to give it a try. (P.S. my favorite is fresh green grass under my bare feet, watch out for ants though :))

Sunday, August 16, 2009


When I was about 5 I used to wonder what things meant a lot. The specific question, "What does it all mean?" didn't come up much, it was more, "Why am I looking out of these eyes and not someone elses?", "Why am I me?", and "Why can't I be somewhere else at the same time as I am here?"

I spent a lot of time pondering these questions and then just stopped. I just accepted that I was me and it didn't matter why. I remembered recently my childhood ponderings when reading the Bible. I was reading the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Meaningless! Meaningless!"says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless!Everything is meaningless."

Everything is meaningless, Solomon wrote. Solomon wrote that the things, pleasures, and work of this world are meaningless. So does that mean that there aren't answers to my childhood questions? No, the things of this world are meaningless, only God grants us meaning in our lives. So the answers to my childhood questions are:
  • "Why am I looking out of these eyes and not someone elses?"
    Because these are the eyes God wanted me to have
  • "Why am I me?"
    Because God planned me before the world was created
  • "Why can't I be somewhere else at the same time as I am here?"
    Because this is exactly where I need to be

If everything is meaningless unless I have God in my life, why would I want to be anywhere else?

my prayer:

Dear Lord, please help me to get to know you better, to get to know how awesome, powerful, and limitless your love is. Help me to do the impossible and understand how much you love me enough that I will trust your will Lord!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Lord's message deserves Joy!

Church and prayer should be looked forward to with true joy! These should be the exciting times in our lives because we get to spend time with God, the one who not only made us but made everything.

This morning I was reading through my daily devotion on the Lutheran Hour Ministries web site. Today’s devotion was titled revelation and it talked about how people may get bored listening to messages about the Lord’s word and since this is the message of our salvation we should be the opposite of bored, we should be filled with Joy and look forward to opportunities to hear that message.

For me, that is not always the case, I have a really hard time paying attention in church; my mind wanders, and yes I do get bored sometimes. As I sit in church and while I should be wrapped up in the holy spirit, and wanting more I am not, my mind may go to my checkbook, chores I need to do, homework, or work. I may think about what I am going to do after church is over with…over with!

Why do I do this? I have made it clear that I am a Christian and I believe strongly that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and died for my sins! Why do I get bored? It is my sinful self, the fact that I am sinful and imperfect. I need the Holy Spirit. I need to pray to god for help to remove my sinful self and help me to truly bow down and give him the praise he is worthy of as my Lord!

My prayer:

Father God, please help me to be open to your word. My sinful self would rather be in this world dealing with its own priorities and worries. I would rather be trying to plan my own salvation then relying on you. I pray to you Lord, please take my sinful self out of the picture. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and align my will with yours. Please fill my day with opportunities to see your will, help me to have the discipline to regularly read your word and stay in prayer. Help me to see opportunities to spread your word where I can and give me the will and courage to shout your name to the masses!
I love you Lord and I pray and praise you.
Thank you for always being there for me and helping me to know that you are always with me. Amen.

Church is a time that we can stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ and praise the Lord. It is a time where we can be taught and guided through the Lord’s word. It is a time where we can be equipped to spread that Joy to others and lead others to the salvation that Christ has promised. Through prayer the Lord can fill us and renew us and help us to dedicate our lives to him because by ourselves we can’t do it and he is always there to help us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Prayer of and for gratitude

Father God
I can honestly say that I am grateful for my life. I find sometimes that I am not always grateful for all of it. There are times in my life that I have considered bad, negative, or unpleasant and I haven't been grateful for those times.Dear Lord,please fill me with your holy spirit and help me to remember that you are in charge. Please fill me with your love and help me to remember that no matter what happens in this physical world, your holy, eternal, and wonderful grace is ever bountiful and overwhelming to my heart, mind, and body and I can be grateful for my life, my salvation, and your love!

In Jesus name,

Brian Darnell
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Challenge - when was the last time you didn't think?

Can you go 10 minutes without thinking? How about 5? How about 2? Are you able to go 30 seconds without thinking?

Try it. Set a timer, whether it be an alarm, egg timer, phone, waterver. Try to go 30 seconds without a thought entering your mind. Can you do it?

You probably won't be able to but you may find it beneficial to try. Practicing emptying the mind can help with
  • focus improvement
  • stress management
  • prioritization
Try it, no thinking, you may be surprised at how you feel when you are done.

Monday, August 3, 2009

How to make sure what I do is what I should do

To simplify my GTD system I would describe it as being broken up into larger outcomes and next actions.

Larger outcomes are categorized as:
Life Purpose

Next actions are categorized as:
!home - Checkbook

Larger outcomes are anything that requires more then one step or a categorization that is important to me in my life. For example:
Get my bike fixed would be a larger outcome categorized as project because it can be completed regularly quickly (over a week or so), and is made up of next actions - call bike shop, budget the money, take bike to bike shop, followup call, etc

Maintain Healthy Lifestyle is a larger outcome categorized as a responsiblity because in addition to requiring next actions it may require projects, habits, etc.

To make sure i am doing what I should be doing I verify that what I am doing fits into one of my larger outcomes.

When I set a next action it may come from a project or it may just come to mind. If something comes to mind I can decide if it is worthwhile by asking myself, does this fall into one of the larger outcomes that is important to me, or should I set a larger outcome that would add to my quality of life? If the answer is no, the item might not be worth doing. I can also follow the flip side of this and review my larger outcomes (during my weekly review) to verify that I have projects and next actions set for them, this makes sure I am working towards the things I have decided are important to me.