Sunday, July 23, 2017


The scientists in their quest to find the start of life have concluded that it started as a big bang or explosion. This explosion sent an unquantifiable number of sparks into nothing which turned into something, the reality in which we live and breathe.

Each of us is one of those sparks.

Take a moment and if possible look at your hand.
Use your hand to touch your ear.
Imagine your feet and legs.
If you are able, walk one step.

Take a moment to imagine and if possible look at a tree.
Think about how it lives.
Roots for water.
Leaves for nourishment.
An eco system all within itself.

All this and more from a spark.

The Hindu tradition uses the greeting, Namaste as a way to recognize that spark in themselves and in others. The greeting in essence is saying, 'the spark in me recognizes the spark in you'.

Our life purpose is to cultivate this spark into its original form and essence.
Some may say that because the start of life occured in a violent way that our essence is violence and this is what we cultivate.
The evening news tells me that we are doing a very good job with this cultivation.

Violence leaves us feeling fearful, frustrated, lost and abandoned.

We have had many people who cultivated peace, love, joy, gratitude and a concern for the common good of all.

Some of these people can be found in this book called Holy Women Holy Men.

I find it to be a source of inspiration and guidance in working to cultivate the same within me.

It takes work to cultivate anything worthwhile. Our life is filled with opportunities to learn, explore and shift our way of being.

In order to 'be the change we want to see in the world' as Gandhi encourages us to be, we start with our spark. Get to know it. Ask it how to help it grow its light and splendor so that those we interact with recognize it, they can feel our spark connecting with something within themselves. They begin to question and seek to find and cultivate their spark.

And together we will work for unity and peace.
How are you cultivating your spark?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

iPhone iAm

I had a cell phone in the early stages of this technological breakthrough.
<-------  It looked something like that.

It was huge in size and it did not have all the functionality as it has today.

I used the cell phone, back then, for emergencies while on business travel. Most of my friends and family did not have cell phones so it was inactive most of the time which led me to get rid of it.

Today, I have an iPhone and use it throughout the day for various purposes from texting, talking, meeting planning, email to GPS and research.

I did not have my IPhone at work one day and at first I worried that I would be out of touch! It lead me to think about how connected I am to this iPhone and it is to me. I felt a bit lost without it. Almost to the point of doubt in being a fully functioning person!

I found, throughout the day, that I was less distracted and more focused without it. I rested in  knowing that if there was an emergency my family could call me on my office phone. And having internet on my work computer, I could check my personal email.

Phew, all is well!

Or is it?

Where is my faith and security?

It sounds like it is in the iPhone and the Internet.

I read that Steve Jobs' iPhone vision was to create a personal device that would be an extension of its owner.  So much so that when the owner looks at the iPhone they see an image of themselves.
I think he is 100% successful with accomplishing that vision. Me and my iPhone. What else do I need. I feel like a complete functioning adult with it. Lost without it.

Recently, a 60 Minutes news reporter interviewed a Google product manager who said the mobile devices are programing our brain to create habits to check our phones. Here is an excerpt and link for the full interview:

From 60 Minutes:
"Harris compares smartphones to “slot machines” because, he says, “Every time I check my phone, I’m playing the slot machine to see, ‘What did I get?’” He is referring to “likes” on Facebook and Instagram, cute emoji in text messages and more followers on Twitter – powerful reinforcement for staying on your phone. It’s a flood of gratifying information that keeps coming via the so-easy-to-use scrolling method on digital devices – another way to keep us engaged".

1 Corinthians 7:17,20,24; 10:31
Each of you should go on living according to the Lord's gift to you, and as you were when God called you. My friends, each of you should remain in fellowship with God in the same condition that you were when you were called. Whatever you do, do it for God's glory.

God is calling, ready, willing and able to connect with us and help us in our lives 24/7, just like that iPhone is ready (as long as it is charged) willing and able to connect and serve us.

The iPhone is in my hand. I see it and can easily access all it has to offer.
Not so with God.

Or is it?

I learned about God's connection over 20 years ago when I was interested in learning about God and the New Testament's Christian principles through a bible study being offered at my church. At the time I knew about, from my Catholic elementary school education, four books in the bible - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

We discussed some of the 'sins' or disconnection with God in the bible study. One such 'sin' that intrigued me was gossip. I wanted to know if I was a gossiper or not and decided to pay close attention to what I do and say to find out.

One day at work I was sharing my experience of a colleague with another colleague because she was going to work on a project with this person.

Later that day, I felt bothered by what I had said and I ask my colleague if she thought it was gossip. She didn't think so because I was sharing my experience of the person.

That night I had a dream. I saw a book with its pages flipping and the words/numbers - Kings Kings James 369. I woke up in the morning remembering this dream and wondering what it could mean.
I went about my day and at times this dream came back to me. I spent a few minutes wondering what it could mean and then forgot about it. This continued until I realized that the book may be the bible. I thought, 'could there be a book in the bible called James'? I looked in the table of contents of my bible and sure enough there was a book of James! FEAR rose up in me as I thought, 'is this God talking to me'?

I looked into the book of James, found chapter 3 and then looked at verses 6,9.

James 3:6,9
6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  9With the tongue we praise our LORD and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness.

What? How can this be? Really? God was there in the conversation I had with my colleague? Listening and then instructing me in a dream? As I pondered this experience I realized, yes, of course this is possible! Why not!  The creator of all and everything has the ability to connect with us in any way that we will receive it!!! 

Why hasn't this type of interaction happened more often and as easily as my interaction with the iPhone?

What was different in me was my willingness to learn, to question, explore and measure my actions against the Bible's principles and wisdom. 

I was OPEN to receiving, powered up, fully charged!

God is online, connected, fully charged, listening in on our lives. God is waiting for us to acknowledge that with a question, curiosity, exploration and measurement. And when we do, we receive more than we can imagine. We receive guidance and love.

May we receive comfort in knowing without a doubt that God is, I AM, present with us without separation, ever.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Where dreams come true

BMW = Barbara Monahan’s Wheels
Where dreams come true.

I was a tomboy growing up. This means that in addition to playing with ‘girl’ toys such as dolls, I enjoyed playing sports, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, baseball, basketball, football, and with cars.

The cars my sister and I played with were mostly hand me down match box American model cars from our brothers. And occasionally, when we had some money we went to the five and dime store to buy a new car, usually a hot rod!

We played with the cars in and outside our home. We were builders. We liked to build environments to drive the cars. We used the materials we had at our disposal. Couches, chairs, pillows and coffee tables. Outside we used bricks as pavers to pave roads in the dirt. We used dirt, rocks, sticks and grass to make parking garages, offices and homes. And while I played with these cars I dreamt of owning my own car  someday to drive where ever I wanted to drive.

My dad worked in construction as a mason and my mom did not work or drive so my siblings and I had to walk to and from school every day. Sometimes an upper classmate who lived a few blocks away from our home would ask his mom to give us a ride. His dad worked for Ford Motor Company and would get a new car every year. I thought that was the coolest deal in the world and wanted the same when I grew up.

I bought my first car when I was 19 years old. I saved $2,800 to buy a used 1974 Pontiac Lemans with 4 doors, green exterior (green being my favorite color), black interior with front and back bench seats (enabling me to pile in all my friends for road trips). My dad took me to buy the car. I was beginning to date my husband at the time and had to cancel our date. He reminds me of this to this day after 30 years of marriage. Sorry, but sometimes the car comes first! As it did in this case!! It was so exciting to have my own car to make those paved dirt roads of my youth become real!

The Pontiac was totaled when, while driving down a very dark curvy road, I swerved to avoid hitting a 1965 Mustang and the people in it. I can still see their faces in the headlights of my car. The Mustang had stalled as the driver tried to make a u turn in the curve in the road. After I swerved to avoid the Mustang my car hit the guard rail which cracked the engine block. No one was injured.
Mustangs were another model that I thought was the coolest. And the next car I got, from my sister, was a 1972 Mustang with two doors, manual transmission, green exterior and black interior. It wasn’t a 1965 Mustang but I was glad to learn how to drive a manual transmission, something everyone should learn!

I came home from my college classes one day to meet my sister’s friend who I learned through our conversation that she worked at BMW. I asked her, “Do they let you drive their cars?” And she said “yes, we get a new car at least once a year.” I said, “I am going to work for BMW one day.”

My first Accounting position after graduating from college was at Chase Manhattan Leasing Company which was a branch of Chase Bank (now JP Morgan Chase). We managed leasing contracts for large construction machinery to small office equipment. The Accounting Management team consisted of two women as Controller and Assistant Controller. They saw my potential and gave me interesting projects, like relocating the Piper Aircraft back office functions in Lakeland Florida to our New Jersey Headquarters. And helping the Moberly Missouri office with some accounting issues. After a short 5 year career the parent company, Chase bank, decided to sell the leasing portfolio to GE Capital which meant that I had to look for a new Accounting position. The positions offered to me by Chase were not interesting to me so I had to look outside the company. The Assistant Controller gave me a lead from a recruiting firm that was looking for someone with my qualifications. I called the recruiting firm who, it turns out, was working for BMW. BMW, at that time, had a small leasing portfolio that was being managed by GE Capital and they wanted to bring it in house. I felt like KARMA was working in my favor and the aspirations of my youth and young adulthood were coming to fruition. In addition, the position was a perfect fit! At least from my perspective because one of my career goals was to be involved with a startup and here was the opportunity with BMW! I went on the interview and met with several BMW managers who were impressed enough with my qualifications to hire me!

Several years into my BMW career the BMW Roadster was manufactured. The Roadster is one of my favorite models. Mazda had come out with the Miata several years earlier and I dreamed of owning one. I drove the BMW Roadster and fell in love with it! BMW really does make the Ultimate driving machines!

I have had many great experiences in my BMW career because the environment was one that had room for me to stretch my skillset, explore new areas of interest and develop how and what I wanted to develop. My underlining work ethic stems from my philosophy that regardless of where I worked or the position held but especially at BMW (because BMW in my mind stand for Barbara Monahan’s wheels) that I own the company. Receiving a paycheck and benefits is my return on the investment of my time, experience and talents. My BMW story reflects that and an unfolding of my life dreams.
Dreams do come true at BMW!

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Someone who looks like me

I have grown up with white males holding places of leadership in my life as politicians, doctors, lawyers, professors, managers and priests.

I had two female managers in my first Accounting position when I was 26 years old. They saw my potential and provided me with encouragement and challenging projects to help me learn and grow in my field. During my tenure with them my husband and I had our first baby. I had a hard time getting back to work and one of the women mangers noticed it. She asked to speak with me in her office and shared her story of her return to work after having her son. She helped me develop a different perspective than I was holding. I cherish that time because I have not had female managers since. And my experience has been very different in that I do not feel the support and encouragement that they provided.

As women became doctors I shifted from the male doctors I had been seeing to female doctors. It is refreshing to talk with someone who knows what it is like to live as a female.

And last year I attended mass at St. John the Divine Cathedral in NYC where I experienced women priests serving mass and delivering the sermon. I never thought it was possible for a woman to become a priest. Her perspective shared through her sermon resonated with me in a way I had yet experienced. I found a local church with a woman priest. Being able to see someone who looks like me represent Christ is very joyful and elevates my worship.

We made a significant shift in history last night by nominating the first women as a candidate for the US presidency. She is very qualified for the position. And I am confident that she will do a great job for this country. Because she has to work even harder than any male president in order to prove to us that a qualified woman can run this country just as well as a qualified man.

I can imagine that it must be hard maybe even frightening for white males to adjust to the fact that they may have to share more of the leadership positions with someone who does not look like them. How can a woman possibly understand what is like to be a man?  They may be thinking that they have only experienced, like me, white males in positions of leadership. They may see Trump and Pence as a way to keep the status quo and keep someone who looks like them front and center. Anything else just doesn’t look or feel right. 

It has been eight years since we had a white male in the White House. It must be tiring for white males to live this way and they must be eager for it to end.

And the thought of another four years of not only not seeing a white male but a female must be very hard to comprehend and just can’t be because of the need to see someone who looks like me.

Now that I have experienced females in leadership positions, I too want to see someone who looks like me in the White House. And I hope more women will work to become leaders in all areas of our lives so that it becomes just as normal as is was for so many years of seeing white males.