The man, the boy, and the donkey

The moral of this Æsop’s fable is: Try to please everyone, and you will please no one.


A man and his son were once going with their donkey to market. As they were walking along by his side a countryman passed them and said, “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?” So the man put the boy on the donkey, and they went on their way.

But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other, “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

Well, the man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passersby began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at.

The men said, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours − you and your hulking son?”

The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, until at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them until they came to a bridge, when the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the donkey fell over the bridge, and his forefeet being tied together, he was drowned.

Try to please everyone, and you will please no one.

− My gratitude to Michael Port, who introduced me to this story in his book Book Yourself Solid. He also provided an alternative moral that I really loved: “If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.😂😂😂

− Thank you,! This is where I found the fable itself:

-If you are a people pleaser, and you are choosing to do something about it, please know there are many possibilities available to you. Contact me (Sophie) for a private session, either remotely or in person, by emailing or by calling my landline 919-785-0801! 💖


Messages from the LIGHT

I was looking through some of the quotes I have posted on Facebook, and I must admit, I am impressed with my picks and with how relevant they are to the current state of the world 😃


Things are sometimes the opposite of what they appear to be.


Great things are happening! Do you wonder how you can contribute to the world?


What you resist (and judge) will persist. So stop judging. That doesn’t mean, however, that you do nothing. Be peace.


Be light, and be love.


Peace, light, and love to all of you 💖💖💖

The paradox of our time — Wisdom from George Carlin

This is an oldie but goodie!


“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up   too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space.   We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of  two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say,”I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it.

A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, and hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

—George Carlin.

The Acknowledgement Section

I found this story  while cleaning out my email folders, and it’s so good, I chose to post it here.  Big thanks to my friend J for sending it to me originally, and to the author, whoever he/she is!


I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, “This is the Receiving Section here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received here.”

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, “This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.”

I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. “This is the Acknowledgment Section,” my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed. “How is it that there is no work going on here?” I asked.

“So sad,” the angel sighed. “After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.”

“How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?” I asked.

“Simple,” the angel answered. Just say, “Thank you, Lord.”

“What blessings should they acknowledge?” I asked.

“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy. And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.”

“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness …you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.”

“If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 700 million people in the world.”

“If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.”

“If your parents are still alive and still married…you are very rare.”

“If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair.”

The following was also included in the message. It’s more appropriate as part of an email, rather than as part of a blog post, but it’s worthy of being included here:

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

ATTN: Acknowledgement Dept.: “Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people to share it with.”



End of the year reflections and wishes

As I was cleaning up old emails, I came across one I wrote 3 years ago. Amazingly enough, it still applies! 🙂  So I am re-using it, with a few edits, to wish you a wondrous holiday season and a phenomenal New Year:

Dear magnificent ones,

December is here, so I send you my love and warm wishes for a happy holiday season, no matter which holiday or holidays you celebrate: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, …etc. I also wish you a golden and joyful New Year.

In this new year, there will be ever more light and more support for you, no matter what you choose to be or do.


Do you choose joy?  Do you choose abundance? Do you choose to love ALL of you, the light side as well as the shadow side?  Do you choose to be potent? Do you choose to know how potent you are? Do you choose to show the world how magnificent you truly are? 

Do you choose to see/feel God in everything (and in you especially?) Do you choose to not feel separate?  Do you choose to not be right AND not be wrong? Do you choose to not judge yourself? 

Or do you choose the opposite of all that? You could, by the way. You are loved and supported always, always, always. No matter what.

If you choose to shine brightly in all your glory, keep asking the universe: How does it get any better than this, and what else is possible?

Infinite love and gratitude to you, as we celebrate the end of 2015, and dance and sing through 2016.


What else is possible?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s talk about cancer in general. Do you wonder what can be done beyond the conventional chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery?

Please let me be clear: everyone is entitled to choose the therapy(ies) they choose, and I support their right to do so. I am also grateful to everyone who supports cancer research or cancer patients with their donations, their participation in various fundraisers, and/or their volunteer work. Especially if they thought of me as they were doing it. I can’t thank enough all the family members, friends, doctors, nurses, and total strangers who supported me while I was going through the cancer experience 8 years ago! ♥♥♥


That said, IF someone is wondering what else is possible, I’d like to say that yes, there are other possibilities! I have been interested in holistic methods of dealing with cancer ever since my own experience with this disease, and I can tell you that I would have done things differently had I known then what I know today.

P.S. No, I am not a doctor. No, I am not promising a cure. I am simply offering my personal point of view in this blog, and you can ignore it if you like 🙂

The above statements have not been evaluated nor approved by the Food and Drug Administration. I am NOT a physician, and do not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this web site is for general information purposes only. Please consult a medical practitioner for any physical or mental complaints you may have. Services and products offered through this web site are for general information purposes only, and are not offered as medical or psychological advice, guidance or treatment.

Water, water, water!

People often ask me where I get my drinking water from. They also mention how good my water tastes. One person even refills his portable bottle at my house when he visits me 🙂


I am no expert on this matter. I can only tell you what I do, and I am NOT claiming that it’s the best way!

I start with a whole house water filter in my crawl space, which treats ALL the water coming into my house (from the city of Raleigh, NC.) Many years ago I bought an additional Nikken Aqua Pour water filter for my kitchen. So my drinking water is filtered twice.

I also put quartz and rose quartz crystals in the Aqua Pour main compartment to add crystal energy to the water, and I pasted these words on the outside: “creativity“, “guidance“, “love“, “gratitude“, “health“, and “joy“.

In addition, since I am a Reiki Master, I put Reiki symbols in the water whenever I top up the Aqua Pour, and again after I pour the water into a glass.

All this might sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t once the set up is done. The crystals just stay inside the filter compartment. Entering the Reiki symbols in the water only take a few seconds.

Once in a while I do have to clean the Aqua Pour itself, and change the filter part. I’d say that overall it’s not any more work than any other method.

What do YOU do?

Note: I am not a Nikken distributor, and they are not paying me to mention their name 🙂 

Inspirational quotes: Graphics to live by

I have created lots of great graphics (if I may say so myself) for my Facebook pages  Jewels of Light Healing and Tong Ren in Raleigh. They are mostly inspirational quotes from many wise authors. The thing is, stuff on Facebook gets buried very quickly by an infinite amount of newer stuff, and my graphics deserve a longer life! So here are some of my older ones:






Note: Designed with the help of elements. © by Jewels of Light Healing/Sophie Dangtran.

Another piece of Reiki history

This great article came from ‘The Times’, San Mateo, CA, May 17, 1975. I had previously found it on a geocities Web page, but that page is gone now, so I am re-posting it here in order for it to not get lost.

Healing hands

Mrs. Takata Opens Minds to ‘Reiki’ ― By Vera Graham

Reiki! What is ‘Reiki’?

Mrs. Hawayo (which means Hawaii) Takata, 74 of Hawaii, the master of Reiki explains, “Reiki means Universal Life Energy”. It is not a religion.

She adds “It was explained to me this way ‘Here is the great space, which surrounds us – the Universe. There is endless and enormous energy. It is universal’.

Its ultimate source is the creator… it can stem from the sun, or moon or stars, that science cannot prove or tell us yet. It is a limitless force. It is the source of energy that makes the plants grow… the birds fly.

When a human being has pain, problems, he or she can draw from it. It is an ethereal source, a wave length of great power which can revitalize, restore harmony.”

Mrs. Takata ads in her words, “It is nature, it is God, the power he makes available to his children who seek it. In Japanese this is Reiki (pronounced Ray Kee).”

Skeptics may quit now.

It is interesting to note, however, that Mrs. Takata points out the American Medical Association of Hawaii permits Reiki treatments in hospitals, whenever requested by a patient.

Mrs. Takata will teach Reiki at the University of Hawaii this winter for which she has a signed contract. She is living proof that something is done right. At age 74 she plays nine holes of golf daily when at home and participates in 18-hole tournaments.

She is tiny – and mighty, projecting tranquility and quiet strength and power.

She was not always so.

Mrs. Takata recalls when she was 29 her husband died. She was left penniless with two small daughters to rear.

“They alone kept me from suicide,” she recalls. “I would look at their small faces as they slept peacefully. I knew I could not do that to them. I was their mother and their father.”

“By the time I was 35, I had all kinds of ailments, appendicitis, a benign tumor, gallstones and to top it, I had asthma, so could not undergo an operation requiring anesthetic.”

“I went down to 97 pounds. Over a period of seven years I was further emotionally devastated. One dear member of my family died each year.”

“I was a church going woman and have always believed in God. One day I meditated and finally said, ‘God, I am up against the wall… help me.’ I said to myself. ‘If God hears, he will help…’ As far as I am concerned that is what happened.”

“I heard a voice. Today we call that clairaudience. I didn’t know anything about that in 1935… I heard a voice speak after I complained so bitterly. I felt all alone in the world. If I alone had all the suffering, burdens, poverty. I had said, ‘Why am I poor? Why do I have such illness… pain? Why do I have all the sorrows?’”

“The voice which replied was loud and clear. It spoke three times. It said, ‘No. 1. – Get rid of all your illness’ Just like that you will find health, happiness and security.’”

“I couldn’t believe my ears until I heard the same message three times.”

“Within 21 days I was on a boat to Tokyo, hoping to find help there. I went to the Maeda Orthopedic Hospital in the district of Akasaka in Tokyo. That is the finest district in the heart of Tokyo near the Royal Palace. The hospital was named after my friend, Dr. T. Maeda who I went to see.”

Mrs. Takata says that when Dr. Maeda saw her, she had gone down to 97 pounds. He shook his head and said she would have to build up her strength before any thought of surgery. She and her two small daughters stayed at the hospital.

Before continuing with her story, Mrs. Takata explains that Reiki is spoken of in the ancient history of Japan, and the Buddhist Sutras, the sacred writings refer to it. Reiki goes back at least 2,500 years. ‘Its mystery,’ Mrs. Takata says, ‘was unraveled by Dr. Mikao Usui in the late 18th [should be 19th] century.’

After 21 days in the hospital, Mrs. Takata was ready for surgery. She was on the operating table, she recalls, being prepared, when suddenly she again heard the commanding voice.

This time it said, “Do not have the operation. It is not necessary.” Mrs. Takata said she pinched herself to make sure she was both conscious and sane. Thrice she heard the admonition, and suddenly got off the operating table and stood on the floor, causing endless consternation among the nurses.

Dr. Maeda came in to inquire. She told him she was not afraid of dying but wanted to know if there was any other form of treatment. Dr. Maeda asked how long she would stay in Japan, when she answered two years, he told the nurse to dress her and to call his sister, Mrs. Shimura, then the hospital dietitian.

Mrs. Takata later learned Mrs. Shimura some years previously had been in a coma, dying of dysentery, when a school mate of her daughter pleaded with her to seek help for her mother from the Reiki master, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. She did so, and to everyone’s amazement, Mrs. Shimura came out of the coma and began to recover.

Mrs. Shimura took her to Dr. Hayashi’s offices. “Two of his practitioners worked on me,” she recalls. “One on the eyes, head, sinus, the thyroid, thymus glands; the other on the rest of the body. I can best describe it as it is referred to in the Bible, the ‘laying on the hands’. The Maeda Hospital is where they checked and conformed [confirmed?] my progress.”

“I am a very curious woman. I said to myself, ‘I am going to investigate how they are doing this. What makes me feel first the warmth then actual heat emanating from their hands?’ I looked under the table, at the ceiling, everywhere. I could find no cords or instruments. Then I thought, ‘ Aha, sleeves.’ Dr. Hayashi’s assistants wore the Japanese kimono with the long sleeves, which hold pockets. They worked so silently. There was no talking.”

“My moment came. When I was being treated I suddenly grabbed the practitioner by the pocket.”

“He was startled, but thinking I needed some Kleenex thoughtfully handed me some. I said ‘No, I want to see the machine in your pocket.’ He burst into uncontrolled laughter. Dr. Hayashi came on to see what the commotion was about and was told.”

“…He smiled and shook his head,” Mrs. Takata recalls. “He proceeded to give her the explanation of a Universal Life Force. He said, ‘Whenever you feel the contact, all I know is that I have reached this great Universal Life Force, and it comes through me to you. These – he held up his hands, are the electrodes… That force begins to revitalize and restore the balance of your entire system.”

Mrs. Takata nodded, yes, in answer to a query. “Reiki can help a person, who is sincere in a desire to stop drinking excessively, smoking, to lose or gain weight, and establish a normal balance of good health.

In time Mrs. Takata became convinced she too should learn more and became a student of Dr. Hayashi’s. She spent months and was sent into the field to help others. Unbeknownst to her they made full report back to Dr. Hayashi. “I passed my examinations perfectly.”

Besides the treatments, she adds, there was a tatter of special diets, some included sunflower seeds, red beet juice, grape fruit [sic], almonds… (Edgar Cayce, the late extraordinary psychic about whom much has been written of recent years has reported to have been able to diagnose and prescribe treatments while in a trance from a distance of many miles. Treatments included special use of natural food and herbs in numerous instances.)

“I speak with confidence about this” Mrs. Takata notes, “but it should be understood I do not speak as ‘I… I… I’ I speak because it is of God’s power. He is the one who makes it available to us. Who doubts God?…”

Mrs. Takata is the only teacher of the Usui system of Reiki in the world today and is recognized as its master.

[Notes in brackets and in italics are from the author of this blog.]

An old newspaper article about Reiki

I am starting this blog with a post about the first energy healing therapy I learned: Reiki. Reiki was my first love, and opened up many possibilities for me, for which I am infinitely grateful. I did include the article below in another blog I had, but hardly anyone knew about it, so I am choosing to preserve this bit of Reiki history here as well.

Healing hands

It is believed that this article was published in a Chicago newspaper in 1974. I had previously found it on a geocities Web page, but that page is gone now.

Reiki – Japanese method of healing could spark public interest similar to Chinese acupuncture  ― Author Unknown

When Mrs. Hawayo Takata lays her hands on you, you’re aware of only a subtle touch at first, but shortly there after you feel a subtle reaction somewhere underneath your skin. Mrs. Takata’s hands emit the healing of Reiki.

A Japanese origin, Reiki may prove to create many problems for the medical profession as the Chinese art of acupuncture. Already there is a growing interest in Reiki among the weak and ailing.

The classes consisting of both men and women, conducted by Mrs. Takata in Park Forest, recently learned from Hawaii’s only master of Reiki that it “is cosmic energy giving life to us all. It is the dynamic force that governs the universe and it is available to anyone who wants to be an instrument of healing.”

She’s a petite, energetic lady of 74 years and has been a Reiki healer for three and a half decades and she is the third master of this healing art, which means she can implant Reiki in others so they may heal.

Mrs. Takata is fond of reminding everyone she meets for the first time that she wasn’t always the capable, healthy woman she is today. When she was 35 years old she was stooped and miserable, the victim of not one but several ailments leading in severity, asthma and a stomach ulcer. She had fearfully agreed to receive surgery in Tokyo when she heard of Reiki, and decided to forego the operation until she had tried this less painful method.

She remained under the care of Reiki Master Chujiro Hayashi for four months, at the end of which time she was cured. Within a year she had become accomplished in the art of Reiki.

At that time, however, Reiki was guarded by the Japanese who hesitated to share this particular national art with others, but Mrs. Takata convinced Hayashi, a retired naval commander, that the world must have this knowledge. He agreed, taught it to her and she returned home to Hawaii to begin her four decade career in healing.

Reiki’s origin is in Zen Buddhism, its secret key was gleaned from the Sutras (an Eastern philosophical format) by Buddhist monk, Dr. Usui, its first master. But, says Mrs. Takata, it doesn’t matter what religion you profess, Reiki is universal. Calling it as it is – it is God’s power made available to those who desire to be free of suffering and to see their fellowman similarly unburdened. It requires only the gentle laying-on of hands that have received Reiki initiation through a master’s mediation, in this case, Mrs. Takata.

Her lectures are injected with humorous and earthy antidotes such as the story of her students, Hawaiian ranchers, who successfully made infertile sows or cows very productive. “Why shouldn’t animals benefit from Reiki? Even your plants will grow better from your touch” promises the healer.

A question often asked is “Can Reiki help one quit smoking or lose weight?” To this Mrs. Takata answers, “Of course, but don’t forget that it isn’t a substitute for good sense and will power. Loss of weight is facilitated by Reiki stimulation of the sluggish metabolism and in such cases I treat every day until the weight drops. There are no problems with sagging flesh and wrinkles when weight is lost with the aid of Reiki.”

In a more serious tone she cautions that terminal cases of cancer or tuberculosis may not respond – except that pain will be alleviated. That is a large “except.” First or second degree cases of these diseases will definitely show improvement, even cure, she asserts.

The diseased organs literally drink up the Reiki that is in the hands of the healer, the vibrations penetrating deep into areas that need it, Mrs. Takata explains. Often we’re not even aware of where our trouble actually lies until the reaction is felt beneath the healer’s touch.

When Mrs. Takata or those trained by her heal, they give advice on diet. It is simple and sensible: never eat when worried or upset and choose fruits and vegetables. However, everything is allowed, including meat and liquors. Moderation in all is the rule. “We must have health and happiness in this world so we can fulfill the purpose for which we came. Good sense and Reiki energy make this possible,” assures Mrs. Takata.

Hawayo Takata’s parents immigrated to Hanamaulu, Kauai from Japan; they named her “Hawayo” after the territory of Hawaii. Her husband (“My guiding light”) died of a heart attack in 1930, five years before she was cured of her numerous ailments.

In 1955 Mrs. Takata owned a health spa in La Jocinta, Calif., “A beautiful place except that the swimming pools I had built for therapeutic water treatments and recreational swimming completely filled up with desert sand during sand storms. My maintenance man didn’t appreciate this, nor did I.” Consequently she returned to Hawaii where she’ll construct a health center in Olaa, Kurtistown, when she retires from healing in 1978. Her work will be carried on by successors she has trained.

“No one will say it’s a shame that Takata took her secret with her. I want to see many doctors and ministers trained in Reiki so that they will not continue to do just half a job for their patients and flocks.” In November, Mrs. Takata will begin teaching at the University of Hawaii.

Reiki could become the importation of the century. Presently those who attended Mrs. Takata’s classes here in the southwest suburb, are as those elsewhere on the mainland, eagerly anticipating their healing results for they remember her sincere, convincing statement, “Reiki is available to anyone who seeks it.”

“Remember the source of the power and give thanks.”