Friday, September 4, 2009

When Paths Connect

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born~Anais Nin

Did you ever wonder what twitter is all about? I often hear, "what good is it?"

In my other job I work for a nonprofit organization. Part of my job involves using twitter to get the word out about this organization. For those of you who don’t know about twitter, it is a free online communications tool that allows its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are messages/posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and sent to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.

During the first month of using twitter I listened to a conference training call on the “how tos” of making twitter work. One of the most surprising tips I learned (besides that this form of communication is the way of the future because it gets information out so quickly): Don’t exclude followers whom you may believe think differently than you. Granted a great majority of my followers are of like mind.

I have followed quite a number of people who have different political views, philosophies of life, careers, etc. In retrospect, this was good advice. I didn’t want to simply preach to the choir (I do, however, check people’s profiles and messages they have recently sent because there are some unacceptable crumbs in the twitter world who try to trick you into pornographic sites and some only know how to tweet foul language).

Over the past several months I have tweeted hundreds of positive thought quotes, information about the nonprofit organization, reposted others’ interesting and thought provoking quotes and information about other charitable foundations and causes. Reciprocity is a key in using twitter. This is the means of building relationships and credibility with your followers. I now have over 3000 steady followers and the number is always increasing. And I have managed to surround myself with many, many positive people. This is one reward I’ve found through twitter~I am constantly inspired by others.

All along I’ve been asking people to visit the nonprofit’s website, but recently I’ve added “let us know how you heard about us upon signing into the site.” Not only has the traffic to the site dramatically increased, the majority of the people visiting say they heard about the nonprofit through twitter. All the work (and fun) is paying off. This too, is part of the payoff.

But, I received my best gift ever, just last week. One of my followers, a young man (I’ll call Craig), who remains quiet among the more “poetic” tweeters. He is a DJ for a radio station and sends messages about music, which I believe it would be fair to say, we don’t really share the same taste in music. He is one of the people I followed to have variety amongst my followers.

Tuesday, Craig posted a recommendation to follow me: nannette1094 she's been holding me down for months as a silent motivator. great twitter companion!!! I’d be lying to say I wasn’t surprised. I instantly tweeted back a note of thanks. A moment later Craig tweeted this message: When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dream. I sent a message back: Isn’t it contagious? He wrote back: it's happening to me!! as we tweet!
I couldn’t find the quote I wanted to send to him…I searched and searched. I’ve found it, though not yet sent it to him. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. You have succeeded Craig. What good is twitter?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Practicing Integrity

For the past several months I’ve pondered frequently about integrity in my writing, my job, my love of positive and thought provoking quotes, and even when I’m driving around in my car. Specifically, I want to better myself in “walking the walk.”

It’s not that difficult to find fantastic and inspiring quotes. It’s not difficult to share these quotes in a note to a friend. It’s not difficult to clip a quote from a magazine and stick it to the refrigerator. It’s not even difficult to enjoy thinking about great quotes in a meditative fashion.

Where I am most tested with integrity is in the everyday situation~when I forget my quotes and inspirational thoughts.

Three weeks ago, I drove my car to a coffee shop where you can drive up to a speaker, order your coffee and then drive up to a window where you pay and receive your coffee. The first three times this woman spoke through the speaker, all I could hear was garbled static sounds and then the word “Africa.” I even looked over at my son in the passenger seat and asked him if he could understand what was said and he shook his head. I apologized to the woman and asked if she could speak with her mouth further from the microphone. She did. The question: Would you like to buy a pound of coffee and the proceeds go to help children in Africa? I said, “Sure.” The woman said, “Great! That will be $15.00 at the window.” That was it. She was gone.

I sat there until she spoke through the speaker again. “Yes?” she asked. “I wanted to order a couple of coffee drinks.” The woman laughed and asked me what kind of coffee we wanted. I ordered the drinks and drove forward. I waited behind the car in front of me for several minutes (nearly ten minutes to be exact) while I watched this woman lean out the window and talk with a person who appeared to be her friend.

This is where I get frustrated and “forget” that I truly want to be kind, understanding and sympathetic. I start thinking things like “incompetent, rude, time is wasting.” And without fail, once I start thinking about the negatives, the more negatives come my way. The woman in the car in front of me finally leaves. I drive to the window feeling frustrated and then she asks me if I’d like my coffee beans ground. Since I don’t own a coffee grinder I needed to have the beans ground…this could have been accomplished during my ten minute wait.

My quandary is that if I complain, I’m continuing the cycle of frustration…if I don’t, the next person receives the same kind of lackadaisical service and in the end I’m frustrated either way. I remind myself when I am pulling away that I should “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” (Plato), and that the “True measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Do something great for a stranger today” (Unknown).

Just a few days after this experience, I decided to put signs on the backseat side windows of my car. They both say LOVE. Knowing that I have these signs in my windows for everyone to see, keeps my integrity where I want it to be. I am Love and while I’m in my car, I am very aware of this because of the signs serve as reminders.

We are all spirits in progress. Patience is my hardest area. Wayne Dyer says “If you have eternal patience you will experience immediate results.” I will spend more time on understanding and practicing this one.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Maggie is Happy Again

Today, just a few hours ago, my family and I had to put our beloved two year old dog and family member, Maggie, to sleep. She was a beautiful ½ Black Lab and ½ Rottweiler.

Over the past couple of weeks, 100 pounds plus, gorgeous Maggie just hasn’t been acting her normal playful self. Her tail, ordinarily curled up in a “I’m a happy dog” way, drooped straight down with little to no movement at all. She also seemed uncomfortable when b
ending down to drink her water or eat her food. Of course we took her to the veterinarian’s office. As far as the doctor could tell, Maggie had a strained muscle in her girthy neck. He prescribed muscle relaxers and said she should be back to normal within 10 days.

The past few days I mentioned to my family that Maggie seemed sad, lethargic and uncomfortable even with the medicine. When we woke up this morning, Maggie bled from her nose. My husband and brother rushed her to our nearby veterinarian’s office, calling me at home only minutes later. “The news is not good,” my husband said. I told him I would be there immediately.

On my way to the vet’s office, I noticed immediately everything around me was cris
per, more vivid. My senses were hyper aware. The color of the sky was more blue, the leaves and foliage on the trees more green. Everyone I saw, the bicyclists, the runners, the people and their dogs, the woman picking raspberries, seemed more alive, more real.

I pulled into the parking lot and my husband, my brother and Maggie were outside the office. My husband explained that Maggie most likely had a lesion on her brain and that there was no cure. I sat on the sidewalk, held Maggie and cried. I told her that she was going to a wonderful place where she would be greeted by St. Francis and my father
(a man who loved animals passionately throughout his life). Maggie’s big brown eyes stared right into mine. I told her that her tail would soon be back in the air. I told her I loved her.

Maggie, you will always be loved and missed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You May Say I'm A Dreamer...

But I'm not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.

John Lennon introduced these words to the world in 1971~they are as relevant now as they have ever been. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that Yoko Ono would write a brief note to me, Nannette Rogers Kennedy, about anything. Of course, I never thought I'd write to her~but I did~

I'm am in many of you already know from my twitters, facebook updates and emails, about this blessing of having Yoko endorse the petition. To you all, I (along with everyone else at Humanity's Team) am very grateful, more than you can know.

I guess it's important to mention that Yoko has signed the petition and posted the petition to her site On top of that fantastic news, United Press International wrote a story about this Then USA Today ran the story yesterday. If this weren't enough good news, my email box, facebook box, and twitter account have been inundated with requests for more information for different websites, talk radio shows, online magazines, etc. Ultimately, hundreds and hundreds of signatures are continually coming in.

Thank you everyone for supporting this important declaration, and thank you, Yoko Ono for your support in this project and everything you do to increase the world's awareness of our connectedness and desire for peace.

Before I even finished this post, I received word that Yoko has moved the petition to the most prominent place on her site.

Peace to all....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Open to Suggestions ~ We Are All One

It's all about all of humanity being connected ~

Tell me how I can make this petition more successful?

I know so many like-minded people ~ we share the belief that all of humanity is connected ~ I need suggestions from you ~ fr
om my place of abundance ~ we have nearly 12,000 signatures on this awesome petition ~ Could you please find the moment to add your name if you haven't already ~ I'm setting the intention for more exposure and more excitement in signing this petition ~ please make suggestions ~ help me brainstorm ~

Please share on your facebook page and/or RT all U like mindeds:12K pp + including Archbishop Desmond Tutu have signed the Oneness project To share on facebook go to Nannette Rogers Kennedy and make a friend request! If there is anything I can do to help you spread the word, please let me know! We are doing this, with your help.

blessings and love,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Deeper into the Forest

I experienced death for the first time in my life when I was eight years old, the death of my father. My father had what now is considered a fairly curable cancer. In 1956 when my mother was six months pregnant with me, the doctors told my father he had six months to live. He clearly wasn’t ready when the doctors said he would be.

Thankfully, both of my parents were two very spiritually enlightened individuals. My mother didn’t refrain from the truth about my
father’s situation as I grew. What my mother did, something for which I will be forever grateful was ingrain in me that death was no less miraculous of an event than birth.

My father was going to a marvelous place where he’d see the face of God, his grandparents and his parents. My mother assured me (and my three siblings ages 6, 4, and 18 months) that when the time came my father would board a ship and while those of us on this shore would wave good bye for now and say “There he goes!” that those on the receiving shore would wave hello and
say “Here he comes!” This painted a non-fearful picture of a journey. This is not to say I wasn’t profoundly saddened, but the brush strokes my mother used made death another chapter and not the end.

My mother, half Irish half Scottish, and my father, half Italian and half Scot/Irish both came from strong Catholic backgrounds and especially for Catholics at this time period they were very open minded. Two months before my father’s death, on Halloween, my 6 year-old brother and I visited my father in the hospital. During this visit, nurses rushed my brother and me from the room. What we didn’t know for a few days is that my father’s heart had stopped. As many who have experienced near death, my father’s experience was fairly typical. It was a place of intense love and comfort, but for four young children, he told us that where he was going you could eat hotdogs for breakfast, fish all day, swing on a tire in the moonlight, ask God anything you wanted, and best of all my father’s soul would watch over us all always.

A few nights
before my father died, my mother sat in the hospital in a sitting room adjoined to the room where my father slept. My father’s voice in conversation distracted my mother. She rose from her chair and stood in the door way of the dimly lit room. My mother felt certain that someone else was in the room with my father. He spoke in answer to someone my mother could not see. His eyes followed the unseen presence around the room. It became clear at one point that the presence was standing right next to my father’s bed. My father held out his arms and cradled something which my mother could not see. Later my father explained to my mother that St. Anthony of Padua had visited him. He carried the Christ child. They spoke of many things, and during their conversation, St. Anthony asked my father if he’d like to hold the Christ child. My father accepted the invitation. While my father held the Christ child, St. Anthony told my father, that very soon he would begin a new journey, the pain would cease, and his family would be all right no matter what.

The morning after my father died, my mother shared this story and others in a way that cemented our universal view that life is eternal. Although my mother remarried a wonderful man several years later, and we were therefore blessed with a second father, and two more siblings, my mother often told me that my father was with her always. She told me she regularly dreamed that she would stand in a forest calling to him. He would come from behind a tree and embrace her. She would tell him she loved him and he would tell her that when she was ready, he would be waiting near that tree in the forest.

Five years ago today my mother walked deeper into the forest holding the hand of my father.