This is NOT What I Ordered!

May 25

This is not what I ordered,
Please send my life back!
Erica is the first female paraplegic to climb to over 19,000 feet on Mt Kilimanjaro.

Erica is the first female paraplegic to climb to over 19,000 feet on Mt Kilimanjaro.

There’s been a mistake!
And my life is off track!
This is not what I ordered,
I have plans to unfold,
I see climbing and biking,
And competing for gold!
But life changed in an instant,
When my legs wouldn’t go,
My heart screamed “Get going!”
But my body said “No!”

An inspirational and educational leader, Erica speaks to audiences of all ages and shares her powerful insights while inspiring us all to CLIMB!

An inspirational and educational leader, Erica speaks to audiences of all ages and shares her powerful insights while inspiring us all to CLIMB!

This is not what I ordered!
This is not what I planned,
But this IS what I’m given,
I’ve been dealt a new hand.
But there’s no time for sorrow,
For the life I’ve been handed,
Now my Spirit says “Go!”
Begin where you’ve landed.
There are mountains to climb,
There are races to win,
I can still reach my goals,
As I reach deep within.
World class triathlete, Erica Davis, competes as part of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Team USA.

World class triathlete, Erica Davis, competes as part of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Team USA.

You can climb any mountain,
When your vision gets clear,
You can win any race,
When you let go of fear.
This is not what I ordered,
So I choose a new track,
I am living my dream,
And I’m not looking back!

After hearing about competitive athlete, Erica Davis, I went to her website. Here is a woman who lost all feeling from the chest down in the midst of launching her health and fitness career. This amazing athlete did not lose a beat just because of a little paralysis. Nope. She went out a climbed a frickin’ mountain!

Now, I’ve been known to complain a bit about my own aches and pains or the challenges in my life but after reading this woman’s website and hearing more about her story, I am inspired. I am inspired to ignore the trivial and focus on the dreams. I am inspired to forget the fears and get going with my life. I encourage you to take a look at your life’s challenges, then look at Erica’s. You too will be inspired.

Check out the story of Erica Davis – global athlete, advocate, and adventurer at: Images courtesy of


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How Thoughts Form the World

May 24

Wright Brothers flight

Wright Brothers Thought About Flying – a Lot. Image Courtesy Wikipedia

As Edison envisioned, a world shining bright,
Alexander Bell heard it, ringing that night.
Pharaohs thought of pyramids, rising up from sands,
Lincoln thought of freedom, for every single man.
Kennedy thought of footprints, on the moon up above,
That’s how Gandhi thought it, he fought with his love.
Mandela thought of freedom, from his cold island cell,
Reverend King – thought it in a dream he spoke well.
As the Wright brothers thought it, some said they’re insane,
And they proved them all wrong – turning thoughts into plane.
That’s how Jobs thought it, seeing Apples in your hand,
Our futures are thoughts; they’re not exactly planned.
It’s not thoughts so little, or thoughts unbeknown,
It’s not common logic, of wise men all alone.
It’s not government action, nor following the norm,
It’s simply universal law, using thoughts to trans-form!
So, think highly of your thinking, and the thoughts in your mind,
Think bigger with your thoughts, and what you’ll leave behind.
Limits don’t apply here, where futures are born,
Your thoughts change the world, since thoughts become form.

© Copyright Steve Dahl 2013

What will your thoughts create today? The choice is yours. While working on my Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica,  I learned a powerful process called, “Ideal Scenes.” It is simply the process of writing out your vision for what you want to have in your life. You do so by completing the sentence… “I Am…”

Putting everything into present tense and focusing on what you DO want versus what you don’t, is a very empowering way to use your thoughts to create the world you want. Learn more about USM at 



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View From the Cheap Seats

Apr 24

Image Courtesy

Image Courtesy

In the very top row,
Way up high in the back,
The cheap seats are safer,
At a price I can hack.
And I yell at the players,
I scream for my team,
And I counsel the ref,
If you know what I mean.
I am safe way up here,
I can’t get a bruise,
I won’t miss a ball,
And I can’t ever lose.
But I criticize well,
All the guys on the field,
I’m so far from the game,
That it must be revealed…
It scares me to death,
How they fight for their team,
While my cheap seat is safe,
They are living their dream.

Brene Brown in her studies on shame reminds us that “It is not the critic who counts.” It’s easy to criticize the players from the cheap seats. How long will you play it safe? The real credit goes to those who enter the arena and dare to compete, whether or not they are fully prepared.

Are you happy to be sitting on the sidelines of life while others are out living their dream? Criticism is not exactly a strategy. Why not jump in and contribute to the team? You may win. You may lose. But at least you dare to jump in.

Affirmation for the day: “I am over my shame and jump into the game.”

Get in the game!


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Bad Things Will Happen

Apr 24

Bad things will happen,
They happen all the time,
But let’s look for the good,
At least for this rhyme.
Bad things are teachers,
Brutal though they be,
They show up as lessons,
Customized for me.
Now you can poo-poo,Slipping on floor
These things that cause strife,
And try to ignore,
These calamities of life.
Or you could deny them,
As long as you can,
And suffer in silence,
On the de-nial plan.
But bad things still happen,
Can’t hide in your room,
You cannot avoid them,
No one is immune.
Since bad things are lessons,
Just try to complete them,
And learn what you can,
Or you’ll have to repeat them! 
Dang! Why is it that lessons often have to be so painful? But then again, why is it that we sometimes keep repeating even the most painful of lessons? What lessons have you been learning lately that you might recognize from the past? When will you complete the course and move on?  When we don’t learn our lessons and continue to repeat them, some would call that suffering.
And, I don’t remember exactly who said it, but it is very, very true. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Of course, learning doesn’t have to come in bad packages, those are just the ones we notice. They are the ones that bloggers write about. They are the ones that often repeat themselves because the painless ones were, well painless. If that wasn’t profound, I don’t know what is. 
Have a glorious and pain-free day! 
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Don’t Give Him Too Many Chores!

Apr 23

I’m not really lazy,
So why should I try,Boy Doing Chores
My mother will do it,
If I just fuss and I cry.
My parents are the greatest,
And this I can tell,
They do all of my chores,
And I know they mean well.
But the chores that I’m missing,
Teach skills I could use,
When I’m off on my own,
I’ll have much more to lose.
I won’t try solving problems,
With wisdom and grace,
And I’ll likely leave stockings,
All over the place!
And I’ll have to find someone,
To get me to work,
Woman thinkingAnd I’ll often be late,
Boy my boss is a jerk!
And I’ll ruin my credit,
Cause my bills won’t get paid,
And dishes won’t be done,
‘Till I find me a maid.
I won’t know how to manage,
My time or my life,
Hey, I’ve got an idea…

I’ll get me a wife!

Yeah! I’ll find me a woman,
Where my mother once stood,
And I’ll have her do chores,
Like a good woman should!

I will get me a woman,
Who loves doing chores,
And she’ll make us some babies,

Glamour portrait in blue sunglassesWhen she’s not washing floors! 

That’s my future sweet parents,
So thanks Mom and Dad,
There’s no chores in my future,
But you shouldn’t feel bad.
You have let me off easy,
From that chore list of life,
But – could you make me a copy,
I can give to my wife?


Ohhhhh baby! Now this is no doubt going to irritate a few! But, hey, that’s my job on my blog so go tell a hog. Okay, all seriousness aside. The huge issue we have in America, just one of them anyway, is called “Overindulgence.” It’s when we simply allow too much, buy too much and do too much for our children. The reality is, as a parent you only have one primary job in addition to keeping your kids safe. And that is, being their teacher. But not like the classroom, not by home schooling, none of that.

Dr. Jean Illsley Clarke, author of "How Much is Too Much."

Dr. Jean Illsley Clarke, author of “How Much is Too Much.”

Everything we do as parents should be to help our children learn something. So, that’s why we let them learn to do their own laundry. That’s why we let them learn to cook. That’s why we let them learn what happens when they ignore your advice and get burned, scraped, bruised and humbled once in a while. That’s why we DO let our kids have a cell phone and a credit card. And that’s why when they overspend or abuse that parent-given privilege they do LOSE that phone or credit card until they learn to use them responsibly.  That’s called learning. And yes, it’s uncomfortable.

The most successful adults are usually the ones who learned something about personal responsibility while growing up. And that means, letting kids learn to do chores when they’re young so they don’t make someone else miserable trying to avoid them later in life! That’s why we want kids to learn how credit cards work because that’s how our world works.

If you want to learn more about the issues of “Overindulgence,” I highly recommend you take a course from Dr. Jean Illsley Clarke, parent educator. Also, buy her latest book called, “How Much is Too Much?” Eileen and I have been through Jean’s trainings and we’re certified to teach her programs so I know that of which I speak! Or rhyme. Or both. We’re not perfect parents but I think our adult kids will tell you that we didn’t often overindulge them and they learned a lot. Sometimes, the hard way, but usually a memorable and an effective way.

I don’t mean to sound like a hard ass but I am trying to make a big point in a little space. Overindulgence is not just a problem for families while their kids are growing up, overindulgence is a big problem for those young adults and it can continue for the rest of their lives. So, give your kids some chores.

Check out Jean’s website at

Steve Dahl

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She Pulled My Ear (and I deserved it)

Apr 10

Poetic Parenting

She always worked hard,
To keep food on our table,
Encouraged me always,
“Be the best I am able.”
She pulled on my ear,
Yes, it sure hurt like heck,
But was often required,
To keep me in check.
Life sometimes seemed crazy,
It seemed hard as a kid,
But Mom was still there,
No matter what I did.
She didn’t judge me for doing,
Stupid things I would do,
She would laugh at my antics,
Then send me to school.
She made sure I had clothing,
Made sure I had food.
Taught me to be humble,
And to never be rude.
She was always consistent,
She was there every day,
She taught me hard work,
And she taught me to play.
She could arm wrestle anyone,
And everybody knew,
She’s a farm girl with backbone,
And she gave me one too.
Independence she taught me,
My creative made her proud,
She told me “Speak up,”
But not be too loud.
She’s a mother with a big heart,
She’s a mom I adore,
And for all that you’ve done Mom,
Let me thank you once more!
Thank You Mom!
Your favorite (and only) son,
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