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Pool Of Possibilities
December 31, 2007

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #097, December 31, 2007

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· Note From A Reader

· Pool of Possibilities

· Results From The Readership Survey

· It's Rumi's 800th 'Anniversary'


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2007


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Well, it's the last day of 2007. How has it been for you? What do you need to do in 2008 so your life will go in the direction you want?

Every New Year's Day, Elizabeth and I do the "Lifetime Goal Setting" exercise from Alan Lakein's book (no longer in print) "How To Get Control Of Your Time And Your Life". If you would like to do it, you can find it here: We find our goals have changed a bit from year to year as we age, and this exercise is a good way to keep some clarity about what is important, and what we want to accomplish.

My friend Courtney Milne is an extraordinary photographer, and has recently started a wonderful new site called "Pool of Possibilities". You might be interested in it.

There are about 1100 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about three and a half minutes to read.

All the best in 2008,



Note From A Reader

Hello Mr. McNaughton,

My name is Todd and I subscribe to your news letter. I am 54 years old. I find it very interesting and informative, especially in regards to ones feelings and emotions as the aging process develops. As you profess, we must embrace the elder status of our lives.

I guess the reason for my note to you today is that I don't think that I would be single at this point in my life had I had access to the information about oneself that you talk about in your newsletters.

Writing this letter is somewhat therapeutic for me, and I just wanted to thank you for your profound insights. They show that, with all the turns in life, I can still see myself as somewhat normal in how I approach the elder status in life. I'm still looking for the right gal that will 'tolerate' my character and not constantly try and 'change' me....... With the knowledge, I can find the right stuff to give back to keep them happy. Maybe you could share some of your opinions about what men should do in my situation, in future newsletters. Please keep up the good work. I thank you again, Todd


Pool of Possibilities

Courtney Milne is not only a master photographer - he's an artist, author, educator, keynote speaker, and philanthropist. His career has taken him on a global journey that has spanned all seven continents. He has published 12 books of photography, including The Sacred Earth, with a foreword by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. His limited edition collections are held by more than 25 galleries, museums and universities.

Courtney was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan (his home province) a couple of years ago.

Courtney is also a man of depth and discernment, and has gone through his own midlife transition. His story of that part of his life is here: Courtney Milne's Story

Well, recently, my good friend Courtney outdid himself, and YOU get to benefit from it.

Just as in the folk tale about the man who searched the world for diamonds and came home to discover them in his own back yard, Courtney discovered a world of wonder in his own pool on his acreage near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

He has taken more than 40,000 (yes, forty thousand) photos of his pool, in every light condition, and season, and then through his mastery of photo editing, has created pictures of incredible wonder and beauty. You would never know they are pictures of a pool!

Yes, I know I am speaking in hyperbole here, but I am amazed at these pictures.

Some, he has had a special contract printer put onto large canvasses, and sold them for thousands of dollars each.

Now here is the best part: We 'normal' folks can get one of these museum-quality pictures by email every day, and with a click go to his special site, and see a larger version, along with Courtney's daily insights into life as it is reflected in the picture. There is even a section for each visitor to create their own, private, journal entries, if they wish.

I have been receiving these beautiful daily "Mystical Calendar" messages for a couple of weeks now, and look forward to each new one.

A subscription costs about twenty cents a day, and right now, Courtney is making a special Buy One, Get One Free offer. Do you have a special friend you would like to make a New Year's gift to? Give them a subscription, and keep the other for yourself.

Or maybe split the annual subscription with a buddy.

Also, Courtney is offering an affiliate program, so if you sign up for that, and like the Pool of Possibilities as much as I do, so recommend it to a friend (which I am doing now, to you), and the friend subscribes, he will pay you a $20 commission. Got a favourite charity? Why not have it invite its members to buy Courtney's Pool of Possibilities, and make a commission for itself on each sale?

Anyway, enough said.

Check it out here (and if you subscribe, please use my affiliate number - M208): Pool of Possibilities

And may you experience much beauty in 2008!


Results From The Readership Survey

I appreciate all who took the time to respond to my Readership Survey in the last newsletter. (If you didn't, and would still like to, please go here: Men's Wisdom News Readership Survey

A total of sixty two readers filled out the survey (which takes maybe 30 seconds). Here are some of the results:

Ninety percent said they read this newsletter all, or most of the time.

Of those that don't read it all the time, most said it was because they get too much email, and a few said the articles weren't relevant, but unfortunately none suggested topics that would be more relevant.

I said I was thinking about recording it and offering it as an MP3 download. Ninety percent said they would not download it, so I guess at least for now, that idea will be shelved.

Regarding the question of a small fee for a subscription, 80% said they would not pay for a subscription, so I guess I will keep sending it out for free :-)

If you would like to make a small donation, drop me an email through my contact form at and I will let you know how to do that. (I used to have a donation link on my website, but about a year ago, I suddenly started getting all kinds of donations, all from the same IP address, but with different credit cards. It looked as though someone had stolen a bunch of cards, and was testing them out to see whether they worked. As a result, I had to remove the link.)


It's Rumi's 800th 'Anniversary'

Rumi, a Persian who died (he called it his 'wedding day' because he would be united with the Divine)on December 17, 1273 is one of my favourite poets. I think he speaks particularly to us middle-aged folks. His poetry is 'ecstatic', in that he was an enlightened man, and used poetic images to talk about the Divine.

In honour of his anniversary, I thought I would include a couple of his poems, along with some commentary thanks to the Human Values in Aging Newsletter (Dec. 1, 2007)

Rumi wrote about the coming of age in these verses:

Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age
Wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?

Then Rumi offers what he imagines to be God's answer to these questions:

"They put on borrowed robes
And pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
So that you will learn the robe
Of appearance is only a loan."
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

Rumi's final point in this poem is that the whole of life is a kind of learning opportunity, a chance to wake up before we die. The second half of life, from midlife to old age, is a series of reminders that the lamp of our consciousness was actually "lit from another lamp."

Rumi again:

"Inside the Great Mystery that is,
we don't really own anything. What
is this competition we feel then,
before we go, one at a time, through
the same gate."

Rumi's comment on when bad things happen: A poem called 'The Guest House'

This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight . . .
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Travel Site: - This site has a great collection of links to all kinds of travel Web sites including ones to overcome fear of flying, getting a passport fast, finding a trip for single parents, converting currency, cheap travel, and much, much more. At last count, it has 134 categories of travel-related Web sites and hundreds and hundreds of actual, useful links.


Sonja was taking an afternoon nap on New Year's Eve before the festivities. After she woke up, she told Tom, her husband, 'I just dreamed that you gave me a diamond ring for a New Year's present. What do you think it all means?'

'Aha, you'll know tonight,' answered Tom, smiling broadly.

At midnight, as the New Year was chiming, Tom handed Sonja a small package. Delighted, she quickly opened it and found a book entitled: 'The meaning of dreams'.

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Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men , and follow the instructions.

Enjoy! ============================================

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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