We meet or are introduced to people, and after a few encounters we understand who they are, and what they’re all about. Unfortunately, there are those who have a strange habit of changing who they are at will, leaving us baffled and confused. For lack of a better word, these type of people are known as “chameleons.” It could be a neighbor down the street, a coworker at the job, or a personality we see on television. Chameleons really don’t have any point of view….they are too busy taking the temperature and seeing which way the wind is blowing to ever stand their ground and take the heat for an opinion. They are easy to spot….they show up at parties and at the beginning of the evening they have one point of view….yet as you are leaving, they say something that is totally the opposite of what you heard earlier. Sadly, if the world was run by chameleons, nothing would ever get done. They would be too busy taking polls and trying to decide what it is they must do, rather than taking a stand for what they believe.

For me personally I have no problem entering a discussion and having someone disagree with me. I can respect their decision and their thoughts…but when I encounter a chameleon, I never know if they are just telling me what they think I want to hear, or are disagreeing with me just to disagree. Chameleons never stay long enough on any opinion to be pinned down.

In any personal or political conflict, when two sides disagree, they negotiate, and hopefully reach an agreement. If a chameleon enters the picture, chaos reigns. After a while both parties get entrenched in confusion, mistrust, and anger. A chameleon can shake your hand, while stabbing you in the back….or, smile right at your face while they are lying. Strangely, a chameleon, while taking no stand, alleviates itself of history, conscience, and predictability. Most of the severe conflicts in life that are not solved, fall prey to chameleons. They are out there…..having no problem causing havoc.
So how do we handle these chameleons? Identify them, and see them for who they are. It is at that point that we must decide whether to walk away, or confront. A chameleon hides in the shadows….but once light is cast in their direction, they run. A chameleon never wants to be exposed. But once they are, they are rendered powerless. Let’s hope that the problems we are facing worldwide are not left in the hands of the chameleons.

Shine a light,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

The Waiting Game

9/11, Afghanistan, the Enron Scandal, Wall Street’s Bear Market, the Conflict in the Middle East, the Catholic Church Scandal, etc…….over the past eight months this is what has been surrounding us, either at home, at work, or everywhere else in-between. Nerves are frayed, people are confused, and who knows where all this will end up? We are all involved in something called, “The Waiting Game.”

So how does this game work, we may ask? Well, we all sit in a room, watch the headlines come across on a television set, stare at the blank looks on each other’s faces, listen to the silence, until someone gets up and says, “What the heck is going on??” If somebody presented this script a year ago about what has happened to us all in the past eight months, no one would have put it on the screen, because it wouldn’t be believable. As we all well know by now, it is very much real. So here we all are, playing the waiting game, hoping things get better, hoping that there is someone out there who can change the course of current events and guide us to calmer waters. A major money manager on Wall Street was interviewed today and he said the market always seems to know what is going to happen before we do, in some mysterious way. Sadly, even he has to admit the market looks confused. One day up, one day down, and it too, since 9/11, has been in a holding pattern. It too is playing the waiting game.
We all have our opinions of what’s going on….sometimes we are in agreement, sometimes not. But as we sit playing this game, one little secret starts to emerge. Many of the conflicts that have risen in the past few months have been caused by procrastination. 9/11 happened because America’s defenses were down. America had become so complacent that we seemed like the crew on the Titanic, believing we were unsinkable. As it has been shown through testimony, the Enron Debacle was a long time coming…”creative accounting” had become an art form! The Middle East conflict has been going on for over 35 years…it didn’t just start yesterday. The priest scandal in the Catholic Church…it too has revealed how far back it goes. Recently released documents show that some of the problems date back to at least 1972, or further. All these crisis’s have been coming on for years….what is shocking is that they all seem to be arriving at the same time. Could it be that this procrastination has spread through our world like a virus, infecting many different countries, industries, and religions? What did we think….if we leave a problem alone it will eventually just solve itself? We now know that not to be the case. So we wait….and participate in the waiting game.

This game of waiting, over time, can make one feel powerless and insignificant. Nothing could be further from the truth. At some point these problems will be solved one way or another, hopefully in a peaceful fashion, so that when we look back on these times we may learn that it is not wise to procrastinate. While we sit in our room playing the game, the ultimate fear is the unknown. We all wonder how and when this game will end. I am an optimist, because pessimism is self-fulfilling. These are the times when great people come forward with new thoughts and new ideas…to make us more humane and inventive. The unknown doesn’t have to be so frightening….we all have a hand in shaping it. All great things have come from thought. What one person dreams today, may become tomorrow’s reality, and make the world a better place.

Dream on,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

God’s Tears

It used to be that we believed that the people with the greatest weapons could secure peace in the world. The country with the largest and most powerful military hardware would have all the answers and deliver such a potentially powerful blow that all in their presence would fear and run. History is beginning to teach us that violence does not bring about long term solutions of peace.

Since the beginning of mankind, man has solved his problems with the sword. In the year 2002, how far have we come from the caveman? With all the intellect, the inventions, the medical discoveries, the technology….are we still just a step away from a club and a savage? Is the general rule still, we sit down and talk, but if we can’t agree, we set out to kill each other? Are we still willing to let each one of our children suffer before we exhaust all other possibilities? Do we allow our egos to grow so large that we can no longer see beyond ourselves? Mankind on planet earth, 2002, still sees the sword as the last form of negotiation.

All the world watches as the conflict unfolds in the Middle East, each side believing they are right. Both sides have legitimate grievances. Regardless of how all this started, this is the cycle of violence that is in play at this point…..a suicide bomber blows themselves up in Israel…Israel in turn retaliates with weapons to strike back…..while doing so, children observing the retaliation become so enraged that they dedicate their lives to being the next wave of suicide bombers. Do you get the picture? Each side believes that they can win within the cycle. Sadly, as we are witnessing, there are no winners, just an escalation to the next level within the cycle. Like most conflicts, each side has its reasons for fighting, but if this is the solution to their problems, they will not stop until either all of the other side are dead, or a horrific event happens that will cause so much damage that the world will gasp in horror.

Two peoples praying daily to the same God….surely, there can be a better outcome? As the experts have said, including some leaders on both sides, peace is the only solution. Unfortunately, violence is being used as a road to peace. The wounds that have already been inflicted are going to take many years to heal….the longer all this goes on, the deeper the cuts. We are all God’s children….equal in the eyes of God. Each breath sacred. As God looks down on His children, He must shake His head in sadness. Each life lost brings a new tear. We have been given all the tools and intellect to make this world a paradise….yet, we refuse to evolve beyond the caveman.

I still have hope….that someone is going to emerge with a cool head and a calm voice….and say, “Enough.” As the saying goes, “sometimes it gets the darkest before the dawn.”

Dry the tears,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

Dinner for Two

Allright. The war in the Middle East is escalating daily…..some members of our government, when asked what will come next, a blank stare comes over their faces and they are left practically speechless. Two groups of people, who are supposed to live in peace, side by side, at this point in time cannot kill enough of each other’s people fast enough. The uneasy trust between Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat has been practically destroyed. Their wounds go back many years…..but now one is left with the question, who will kill the other first? How can a peace agreement be reached in an atmosphere of such chaos and distrust? Perhaps there is a solution, but it’s going to take one of these men to step forward and say, “Enough of the bloodshed.”

To start down the road to peace we have to start with the basics….forget the negotiations, forget the territories, let’s just start with a dinner table with only two chairs. Let’s just roll with this for a minute….what would happen if Ariel Sharon made a trip to Ramallah, walked into Yasser Arafat’s compound and said, “Would you like to have dinner with me?” Crazy you say….but with the whole world watching, Ariel Sharon’s status as a leader would rise tenfold. Or Yasser Arafat, with the batteries low on his cell phone, placed a call to Sharon, and invited him to come visit. For peace to come to the Middle East, it may take some crazy, unrehearsed, unplanned act like this to jump-start the peace process. So what would they talk about at the meal? Eye to eye, they could talk about their wives, families, and what they’ve lost. For if they are to ever live alongside one another they are going to have to restore trust on the basic level, and become friends. This all may seem like a Twilight Zone episode, but the same was said to Anwar Sadat when he boarded an airplane to Israel in the 1970s. Waiting for him as he got off the plane was Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel. Two fierce enemies, who realized enough blood had been shed.

There are many out there who never would want this dinner to take place, or the prospects of a meeting like this they would call a fantasy. Well, if peace is ever to come to the Middle East, some dinner appointments, or something along those lines, must happen. There’s enough Hate to go around. It is at times like these the real leaders emerge. For the Future, for the Children, for Mankind, somebody has to come up with some new approaches to this problem, because so far nothing is working. So who will it be? President Bush? The Head of the Arab League? or the Secretary General of the United Nations?

So how about it? Dinner for two? Or let’s try some other so-called “crazy” idea….but at least let’s try something different. If you really want to know what “crazy” is, just let this current situation continue as it is.

Break bread,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

The Crossroads

The world is at a Crossroads…each one of us has been affected, in our own way, in the past 6 months. While we were growing up, we were led to believe that the countries with the most powerful weapons had nothing to worry about. Surely no one would attack any nation with that kind of force. After 9/11, all that changed. Could it be that problems and conflicts that were pushed off into the future, have finally arrived at our doorstep? The attack on New York and Washington, DC….the crisis in the Middle East….the sexual charges surrounding the Catholic Church….all erupting within the past 6 months. Each one involving the destruction and the hurt, in one form or another, of the innocent. Yes, indeed, we are at the Crossroads.

What makes a group of individuals so angry that they would fly airplanes into skyscrapers, while sacrificing their own lives? Strangely, I am reminded of a scene from Godfather 2, where Al Pacino’s character, Michael Corleone, was visiting Cuba before the rise of Castro. He shared with his friends something that he witnessed. He mentioned that he saw a young boy throw himself into a police car with a hand grenade, killing all the police officers in the vehicle. He commented that even though the government of Cuba had an incredible police force, Corleone was willing to place his bet with the freedom fighters. As history has shown, Castro did eventually rise to power and take control of Cuba. In Vietnam, we had all the military hardware, but as one Vet shared with me, “What we were fighting was not a traditional war….but Guerilla Warfare. Children would walk up to you with a hand grenade, and you had to choose, do I die, or do I kill the kid? I chose to kill the kid, and for the rest of my life, I have nightmares.” Guerilla Warfare does not involve who has the most weapons or money….it involves who is willing to sacrifice the most.

The Catholic Church for decades moved pedophile priests from parish to parish, settling multimillion dollar lawsuits along the way, putting off today’s problems to the future. Well, the future has come home to roost. Denial and cover-up have been the status quo for many authorities and governments throughout the world. The only problem is that they eventually have to be solved, and time has a stinging way of making them worse. One has to wonder, what other surprises await us over the next six months?

Why am I so concerned about all of these tragedies? Because I have noticed a radical change in the e-mails I have received since 9/11. These tragedies have had a subliminal affect on us all. Some are totally aware of it, with for others, it shows up in the form of health problems, nightmares, or just plain depression. People are being affected by all this. The Crossroads are here….we can’t put things off until tomorrow anymore.

So this is what the Crossroads look like….picture yourself standing right in the middle. Behind you is the past, to the left is Denial, to the right is Acceptance, and in front of you is a sign that says, “The Future,” with a roadblock in front of it. There’s only one problem…in order to get past that roadblock, we have to acknowledge our denial and embrace our acceptance. Only then does the roadblock spring open and allow us passage. You may ask, am I being a little bit too dramatic? Well, ask yourself this question….at what point does a suicide bomber strap to himself or herself instead of explosives, a nuclear weapon? or a plane, instead of just gasoline in its tanks, contains either biological material, or a suitcase nuclear device? This, I believe, is what is really in the back of many of our minds.

So at this Crossroads, let’s pull up a few chairs, open some bottles of wine, soda, or water, throw a potluck meal together, and allow everyone to have a voice. Bring all the points of view out into the light…allow no one to leave until a solution is agreed upon. Why would we be throwing this party at the Crossroads? because each representative would know and understand that the barricade to the future would not be able to be opened unless a solution is reached. No more manipulation, no more games, just the plain simple truth. With all conflicts, there are 50 different opinions. Each one has to be heard, and if we really care about freedom, majority rules, just like any democratic election….the one or the plan with the most votes wins. Otherwise, we will all be fragmented forever, and the barricade to the future will develop cobwebs.

So there it is….some of my thoughts. Do I have all the answers? absolutely not. Maybe you have some better ones than I do. But one thing’s for certain….at the Crossroads, there is no longer room for “Us or Them”….it must now be “We.”

Open Minds, Open Hearts,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon


With so much going on, it’s not surprising that many of us feel exhausted or, sometimes, just plain burnt out. In a given 24 hour period it can almost feel that there are forces at work to rob us of our free time, energy, and relaxation. Over the years, I have searched on a personal level to try to find ways to keep my life as stress-free as possible. I may not have been successful at this every day, but I have come across some practices that have helped me along the way.

First I realized that scheduling was vital. It helped me take back control over Time. Second, trying to eat as healthy as possible. Third, drinking water to flush out the toxins from my system. And last, but not least, I have discovered, like some of you out there, the benefits of Yoga.

I know, you say the word “Yoga” to some people, and you get rolling eyes and chuckling, while others come forward and say, “Good for you.” I myself am no expert on Yoga, but please allow me to explain what it has done for me. When I first started, I thought, like many other forms of exercise, that Yoga would become repetitious, mechanical, and boring. In the beginning, I would lay on the floor, follow the exercises, and just go through the motions. Then after a few days I began to feel different. I found myself becoming more relaxed and more limber. My breathing improved. I suddenly realized that for me, Yoga is about stretching the body and relieving it of stress. These were all the benefits at the beginning. I started feeling less stressful in my back, it became easier to run up and down stairs, and I had more energy throughout the day. I was surprised how quickly all of this happened. Fifteen minutes each morning had given me all this. Now, I do it twice a day.

After one month, something extraordinary began to occur. I began to understand what other people who do Yoga were talking about. The same thing started happening to me. This is really hard to explain, but let me give it a shot anyway. When you practice Yoga, after a period of time the cumulative effects start to occur. The mind, the body, and the soul start to become centered. Your whole sense of being becomes synchronized. Your body starts showing you how much you are stressed out on a daily basis, and where you carry that stress. Because of that awareness, you can take care of it. For me, Yoga, combined with prayer and meditation, are potent forces to fight off stress and negativity. The benefits of Yoga improve with time. Age becomes a friend, not an enemy.
Whenever I find something that has helped me, I always try to pass it along, because really, that’s what life is all about. A relay race where one passes the baton to another. Thoughts that help are meant to be shared.

To your health,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

The Code

Each week I receive e-mails that cross the boundaries of demographics, countries, and religions. All with their take and thoughts on what is going on in their lives and in their countries. It’s quite interesting for me to pull back a little, and to just look at how we are all so different, yet strangely, so alike. We all have our beliefs, while believing that our way is the correct way, and all the rest are wrong. But for this planet to survive, different viewpoints must be accepted and tolerated.

It is to this point that I am submitting the possibility of a Code. A series of thoughts and rules that are the foundation for us to consider in our lives, which passes through and acknowledges just about all the religions of the world. Why do I say, “just about?”, because there are some out there who just want us to self-destruct.

Here is the premise of The Code. The Universe is made up of planets, stars, meteorites, etc., spinning through space. In order for all of these to be sustained, there has to be some form of order, otherwise nothing would last. Sure, planets are born and die, and so too do stars, but all are able to coexist together. Here on Earth we as a people constantly debate on who is the most powerful, who’s side God is on, is my God better than your God? And my race is better than your race. What we fail to realize sometimes is that The Code applies to us too, not just the Universe.

If we are good people, do we get rewarded? Does what we do in our lives create some form of energy around us? Do bad deeds go unpunished? Are we in any way responsible for our own successes and failures? If The Code exists, and the Universe is reality, then is it too farfetched to consider that we do have a say in the outcome of our lives? Injustice exists….just as turmoil exists on the Universal plane. But does that mean that because of injustice, we must not strive to evolve and become a better people? Could it be that in God’s Wisdom, there is a series of rules that we must understand and follow here on Earth to be worthy to enter the Gates of Heaven? For if there is a Code, perhaps some have, in the past, given us some clues, like Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Allah, etc. Why did they care so much in how we lived our lives? Many times they came to the same conclusions….

This Code flows through all men and women of Faith and Belief, that their lives matter and have a purpose, to leave the world a better place for having been here. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see or hear at a funeral the words, “The world benefited from this person’s life.” Wouldn’t that be something? What would be wrong with mentioning to children in schools all over the world that Goodness and Kindness is embraced and appreciated…and Destruction and Hate is shunned? Could we all accept just that simple premise alone? perhaps The Code does.
If some form of Code of Conduct does exist, and we do not see it or acknowledge it, what ultimately will become of us? Will people in the future have to go back to the dictionary and redefine the word “Intelligence?” Were the Holy Men from the past trying to tell us something? Or did it fall on deaf ears……I hope not.

Break bread,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

The Fortress of Temptation

Whenever we set off on our goals and dreams, once we decide what it is we wish to accomplish, instantaneously, right before our eyes, we see a minefield with a sign that says, “Don’t even think about it.” For each positive step forward, surrounding that step, like ghosts, are Shadows of Doubt. Shadows tempting us to follow them and cross over into their realm. Once we cross into the Fortress of Temptation we have surrendered our hopes and our dreams to the Graveyard of Failure and Despair.

Each time we set off on a new mission, we are trying to improve upon someone else’s idea or create one of our own. Upon the quest to fulfill the mission, we bop and weave around and through barriers….some easy, some extremely hard…until one day we reach a point where we feel we can go no further. That is when, before us, we see the Doorway to Enlightenment on one side, and the Fortress of Disillusion on the other. It is at this point where failure occurs….or miracles happen. Faith and Belief must live in every bone of our bodies so that we can overcome the obstacles before us. If we accept, refuse to quit, do our homework, something extraordinary happens. The entire Universe starts to work with us, not against us. Our dreams become elevated to a level beyond us. Just about every invention, cure, and accomplishment in life has gone through this process….all have fought through the Naysayers, the Fearful, the Disbelievers and the Fortress of Doubt. Somewhere along the way the inventors enter the Doorway of Enlightenment. What they started takes on a life of its own.

Each day we must ask ourselves, “Where am I on my mission?” Forward motion is key, until one day we reach that point where miracles happen. As any inventor will tell us, something beautiful always springs forth. And as my Grandma used to say, “A thing of beauty lasts forever.”

Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

Journey to the Center

Through life, we cross over many different types of terrain. As far as we may journey, it is when we return home that we take account of what we have learned in our travels. Home is our center, where peace, purpose, spirituality and knowledge resides. Anger, insecurity, fear and hate….take us away from that center. Home is where we feel complete. While storms may rage around us, within the eye of life winds are calm.

Each day we tackle tasks, while in the evening we sit back and try to make sense of it all. Then we close our eyes and see the center beckoning for us to come for recharging, to face another day. The further we stray from that center of well-being, the more confused and baffled life becomes. Many of us have met people who are totally focused and within that center. They have a look in their eyes…a sense of peace around them. We sometimes pause in wonderment and envy, and we ask ourselves, “How do they do it? What is their secret?” While other times, we meet people engulfed in rage, trying to bite off as much as they can, traveling at an unsustainable pace. The center is where everything makes sense.

To find the center, and stay within it, takes that tricky little word, “Discipline.” The temptations to take us from the center are vast. As a wise man once said, “There ain’t no free lunch.” Once we journey away from our center, everything has a price. The woods of life are an easy place to get lost. After awhile, one cannot tell where they are going or from where they came. Then lo and behold, in the darkest night, a beacon shines to guide us home.

There truly are no mysteries….we are born, and eventually we die. The center is there for us to make sense of it all. In physical terms, the world can look, at times, like a sea of madness. Well, the wheel to sail and guide us through that sea is at the center, where the mind of God prevails. God is greater than man….though man may not think so sometimes. In the mind of God, the peaceful seas ebb and flow upon the shores of Love. The center is our island of hope and tranquility.

Head for home,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon

The Best is Yet to Come

This time of the year, many people tend to get a little gloomy after all the festivities of the holidays. Some of us look at January as the beginning of another ladder that has to be climbed. For me, I look at each year as a new beginning, untouched, waiting for me to contribute.

If one was to constantly look at the bad side of Life, and the mistakes that are made, we would never be able to go forward and strike out for new territory. I choose to place mistakes on the side, learn from them, and chart ahead towards the sunnier side of life. I don’t believe we are here to beat ourselves into the floor, and to think that the best days are behind us. That doesn’t always have to be the case….the best can truly be yet to come. Many times that outcome lays in our hands.

Here in the northeast of the United States they call January the “dead of Winter.” I would like to call it the “birth of New Ideas.” As we huddle down, fight back the snow, right in front of us is a notebook and a pen where we can plan what we want to accomplish this year. Yes, there will be setbacks, but no good ideas can spring forth and grow without the occasional diversion.
So is the best yet to come, you ask? Why not? For every negative thought, there is a corresponding positive one….we choose which one to embrace. The library of our lives must develop each year…through our experiences we contribute to the shelves. With time we accumulate knowledge that we draw upon to bring us to the next level. The size of the library is determined by us….it is there for us to learn from our mistakes, and formulate new successes. Planning is everything. One who plans, can decide which direction the ship of life sails. In reality, there is no such thing as failure….it is just a way to learn and improve.

The best is yet to come….believe it, see it, seek it, embrace it, work towards it. When the positive forces prevail, the winds of tomorrow will carry you…..

Ride the wind,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2002 Jennifer Avalon