How to Play the Harp

May 24

Take the right-hand position,
How to Play the Harp
Harp, courtesy of
And prepare it to strum,

Anticipate the note,
Let your left hand have fun.

Then close your eyes gently,
And with a little bit of luck,
An Angel will assist you,
With your very next pluck.

You see playing God’s music,
Must come from the heart,
Each note is life-giving,
When playing your harp.

Don’t try make it perfect,
Let melodies flow,
And the Angels will guide you,
If you just take it slow.

We all must make music,
In our own heartfelt way,
So embrace your harp angels,
And start playing harp today!


Letting it flow… What an easy way to live life! Playing the harp certainly takes a lot of talent but consider this. Does everything really have to be so hard, so fast, so competitive?

 Maybe not. Think about a piece of music that makes your heart sing. The musicians who are performing it are enjoying it. They have enough mastery over their hearts desire that the music simply flows.

Whether you want to play the harp or any instrument is irrelevant. What is important is that we look at what our heart is asking us to perform. If it doesn’t flow, it doesn’t go. What is also important is slowing down enough to enjoy what’s in front of us in this single instant. What’s important is recognizing we need not do anything alone. There are always good people and excellent angels around that we can ask for assistance.

And, while I’m harping on you, here’s one final point. The last line of the harp-hype above, “And start playing today,” means, just start playing.

I was inspired, while listening to Christine Magnussen’s amazing harp music to write this piece. She’s a talented musician and great harp teacher! Check her out at

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Let Ending Begin

May 23

That end-of-life chatter,Door to End of Life
We’d like to ignore,
Is never that easy,
As we head toward that door.
That door we all open,
While treatment transpires,
When medicine fails,
And breathing expires.
But we wait and we wonder,
When do we say,
Time is up – it’s now over,
And hope fades away?
Our hope is not wasted,
As we struggle for words,
But this talking ‘bout death,
Is still for the birds!
We fear talking, fear dying,
We fear one final breath,
Too much hesitation,
On this topic called death.
But discussion gives courage,
Let us say what we must,
Through discomfort and pain,
We simply must trust.
We must trust our intentions,
And seek strength from above,
This end-of-life chatter,
Is a topic of love.
For if love is your message,
Then fear cannot win,
Trust yourself and start talking,
And let ending – begin.



The Mayonnaise Metaphor and a Free eBook

Yes, we all have this in common, blah, blah, blah. We’re all going to die, yadda, yadda, yadda. I work in palliative care so the topic of pain and end-of-life-suffering is a common topic of discussion in my line of work. Yet, most Americans would prefer to avoid discussing the joyful topic of expiration. Wow, I can’t even say it myself. Maybe that’s it! Maybe we just look at ourselves as a jar of mayonnaise!

Then we don’t need to use the D word! “Hey honey, I won’t be good for two weeks after my expiration date so maybe we should put those Advance Directives together!” (You can get a free eBook I put together with Advance Directive checklists and guidelines  at .

My wife often opens that jar of mayonnaise a few days after the expiration date and will ask me to give it the sniff test to see if I think it’s still good. So, while you’re still “good” have a chat with someone you love about your expiration date.

Discussing death before it’s pounding on your front door is a lot better than dealing with it during crunch time. We’ve all got that expiration date on the back of the bottle so I encourage you to spend some time with loved ones chatting about what you want towards the end. Who is going to be making decisions if you can’t? Who will manage your affairs? What is your password for Facebook? And important stuff like that.

I know what you’re thinking. “Really, Steve – a mayonnaise metaphor?”

What say you?

© Copyright Steve Dahl 2013

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You are the Oak

May 20

Oak and Pine Trees
You are the oak,
I am the pine,
I need the light,
You need more time.
We both will reach,
For light above,
We both need space,
To grow this love.


Okay, maybe this is a little sappy but some days there’s a point to this mush. The oak tree cannot grow in the shadow of a pine. The pine needs space to branch out and thrive. Couples need space as well. We’re all growing and it’s usually at a slightly different pace. Allowing each other the light needed to grow individually allows more growth together.

How are you casting a shadow over someone you care about? How can you give them more space to thrive? How can you ask for more space to grow? How can the two of you let more light in? Not easy questions to answer… but not that hard either.

When is the best time to plant an oak tree?


Knock on wood,


Image of oak and pine trees courtesy Wikipedia.

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Happiness – Here and Now

May 15

Happiness ModelBut of course we have plenty of reasons for being upset about the past. And, yes, there is ample evidence of impending doom in our future. Yet, all the Xanax in the world won’t resolve issues from the past and all the Prozac in America will not stop the future from arriving.

News flash, the present is truly a present. And that is where happiness lies. Well, is doesn’t actually lie nor even fib a little, it’s just right here and now. What will you do today to let go of the past and relax about the future?


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