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The spunk and spark of young people is an inspiration to all who can receive the vital energy of a bright smile and optimistic outlook. The vicissitudes of life have a way of sapping it out of us humans as we age, when we are unaware.

On the other side of fifty years of vicissitudes from my high school graduation, I waste no energy on regrets or wishing it were otherwise. Still, what has been learned and would be done differently would fill volumes.

The young people of today are a different breed than my graduating class, if nothing else than because of the interconnections made possible by modern technology. Rather than spout unsolicited advice, I like to hear what others have to say first. But this is my story, prompted by encouragement from Thrive Global, so here goes.

So much of my life would be different if I had learned at a young age to be empowered from within. Who can say whether the path I took was needed to get me to this place? Challenges can be opportunities and all that, yet for certain I would choose a smoother way especially for those hurt by my ignorance and insensitivities.

I would bypass all of the teachings, traditions and belief systems of the world and go directly to the source of empowerment within. I would save myself all the energy drain of study and research, philosophizing and analyzing and learn earlier to be present to the moment, let go instantly of reaction and resistance, center in the heart and ultimately to feel being.

The brain is an amazing tool, but like a dog must know it is not the leader. The emotions make possible a flow of energies but also cannot be left untended or they take over.

If all the teachings of the world, all the advice of elders to the young, were to be distilled into their simplest form of a practical approach for being empowered from within, here is what it would look like to me:


Letting Go
Being Grateful
Straightening Spine
Centering in Heart
Asking and Listening Within
Giving and Receiving Freely
Feeling Being

Just remembering to breathe is a powerful tool for being present in the moment. Relaxing and letting go frees me from tension and stress, allowing more flexibility and fluidity. Being grateful is a prompt for bringing out all the higher qualities, asking and listening within points me to the source of inner wisdom, giving and receiving freely expands my presence in the world, and feeling being is my authentic living.

This is not a typical approach of goal-setting, productivity and accomplishment and is not for everyone. However, in recent travels which included working together with young people, I see that many are already on a course of something new and more authentic.

As young people graduate from their academic world into a life more of their making, they may find as I did that there are many graduations not marked by ceremony or certificates. One of my favorite graduations was from being reactive to being responsive towards life. Another was from a compulsion to satisfy insatiable wanting to following blissfully the longing of the heart.

Whatever path one takes, it is never too late to broaden one’s perspective and learn from any missteps. There are no mistakes, only opportunities for learning and bettering oneself.

Originally published at

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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