4 Ways to Know Who Your REAL Friends Are

1) Your REAL friends will return your phone calls. You might cut certain people a little slack with this, especially seniors,  but if someone regularly takes the initiative to get back to you, say, within a week or less, you can be sure they’re a real friend.


talking on the phone

2) Your REAL friends will trust you. They’ll trust your intentions to be honorable. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes things turn out differently then planned. Shit happens. If someone trusts you in spite of inaccuracies or human error you can be sure they’re a real friend.  This only works if your intentions ARE honorable.



3) Your REAL friends are supportive. They say ” great idea! ” They offer constructive criticism that improve  your ideas, or at least nurture  your ideas, instead of  dismantling or rejecting them. Real friends are supportive because you share a passion!



4) Your REAL friends are compassionate when you are vulnerable. First, this  one requires an understanding of compassion, and much harder, a willingness to be vulnerable in a friendship. Your real friends will nurture a willingness to be vulnerable using compassion to create safety in the friendship.  Instead of berating you because you forgot your own, your real friends will share their water with you and appreciate your gratitude. They will feel glad they have enough for both of you.



It’s getting harder and harder to know what is real anymore. Hopefully this helps. May all beings experience real friendship. Real compassion. May all beings be peaceful.


Cloud9 logo

The Brick

The following was an email received this morning by a family member who was known to explode when his day was interrupted by something/someone unexpectedly.  There is always hope people will change for the better.


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down
when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, ‘What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?’

The young boy was apologetic. ‘Please, mister….please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,’ He pleaded. ‘I threw the brick because no one else would stop…’ With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.. ‘It’s my brother,’ he said, ‘he rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.’

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, ‘Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.’

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay ‘Thank you and may God bless you,’ the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: ‘Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!’

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.


Is it Easier to Kill Compassionately or with Hatred?

We challenge you to ask yourself this question; Would it be easier for you to kill someone compassionately, i.e.. assisted suicide, or with hatred, i.e.. self defense?

This rhetorical question is posed with hope of learning something about humanity and our quest for a peaceful world. Please reply with your insights. Thanks. Peace.Cloud9 logo

What is Your Relationship with Your Body?

Is your relationship with your body a dictatorship, democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, pluralism, something in-between or completely different?

I have been struggling with the concept of controling our physical body, the repercussions this concept has had on many Americans, and possibly people around the world.  I am noticing most often the extreme dictatorship where it doesn’t matter if the body’s protest is legitimate or not.  If it does not fit in with the expectations for the day, it gets ignored.  I truly believe that this ignorance of our body’s needs is one of the root causes of pain and diseases we see today.  When we ignore discomfort, which turns into pain, and then manifests as dis-ease, we are killing our physical body much faster than if we had a working relationship with it.

I feel the most important thing for each of us to do is to get to know ourselves.  To know when the body is just being lazy, and when it truly has an unmet need.  I believe we are worth the effort it takes to create a working relationship with our body, and that it is vital for our well being.

I experienced having a poor relationship with my body when I was a child, and suffered the consequences over and over again because I didn’t seem to know any better.  The truth is that I just didn’t listen and respond to my body’s needs efficiently.  For me, it is not hard to hear/notice my body’s needs. The challenge has been to slow down and take the time to make the adjustments  necessary to make life go more smoothly.

The biggest lesson has been to allow myself to be a priority.  I have spent my lifetime putting others needs before mine until I am completely depleted, and then I have to retreat into my shell and practically go comatose for as long as I possibly can (but very rarely as long as really needed after fully depleting my energy), until someone else has a need that I have obligated myself to take care of.  Does this sound familiar?

A result of my realization about my relationship with my body is the downsizing of our animal population. I have spent my lifetime taking in strays, other people’s pets, and animals I just wanted to get to know.   I’m talking hundreds of cats and dogs, mice (fresh raw food for the cats – didn’t go over well with the kids:(), rabbits, finches, budgies, parrots, iguana’s, dragons, ferrets, doves, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, goldfish, freshwater fish, a potbelly pig, miniature goat, dairy cow, meat steer, a lamb, and more.  You get the idea.  All of these animals were taken care of many, many times, before my own needs were met.  At times, I even took care of our animal’s needs before our children’s needs because I had a warped sense from my  childhood that the kids would be fine, and didn’t need me as much as the animals did.  A result of these experiences with animals is,  I know how to take care of many different types of creatures including myself.

I am taking control of my life by developing a working relationship with my body. You are welcome to join me on this journey.  I will share different insights and techniques that I find helpful and where to find resources at minimal or no expense.  In this day and age we have amazing resources at our fingertips.  Finding what is helpful can be tricky and I will do my best to help with that.

Peace and Love to All,