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1. Announcements - Katrina
2. Article: Elevator Lessons!
3. Inspiring Quote
4. Professional Services
5. Pass It Along



ANNOUNCEMENTS - Help Yourself & Help Katrina Victims

Feel doubly good about reaching out for help. You know you've been pondering lending yourself an extra hand in working towards your goals. You may have also asked, "What's the best way I can help with this bewildering disaster in Hurricane Katrina?" Well now, you can do both and feel good about helping the victims of the Hurricane Katrina natural disaster, as well as help yourself.

For the next 60 days I will donate 20% of all online service purchases to Luscious' Pantry. Luscious' whole life has been given to serving the poor. He runs The Lord's Pantry here in Indianapolis. My 6yo daughter, Sarah, says "Luscious is my grandpa!" He's a towering teddy bear of a man, always dressed in bibs and serving. His local vocation to serve the poor has always been more than he could really handle, but being the kind of man he is, he's begun a collection center now for Katrina victims. Your money will go directly for food and personal care items for those who are hungry, such as mothers who have no diapers for their infants or

If you'd rather donate a cash amount and don't feel you are currently in need of my services you can go to www.paypal.com and pay directly to my email address at turo-shields@sbcglobal.net. 100% of these donations will go to The Lord's Pantry for Katrina Victims. In the section for a "note" please write "Katrina Relief"

If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to call me at 317-865-1674.



Two weekends ago I had the great opportunity to both present and participate in a men's retreat at a monastery called St. Meinrad in far southern Indiana.

The theme for this years retreat was "Our Prayer Toolbox." I was excited, but like most men, one hope for weekends like these is to simply slow down. So, I wrote the initial version of this article in my journal from a picnic table overlooking two thousand beautiful acres and two lakes.

The monastery is well over 100 years old and our group stayed in an old dormitory called Benet Hall. The priest from my local parish was a resident of this hall over 30 years ago. When our group arrived I was carrying a fairly heavy bag and my laptop case.

Immediately after checking in with Brother Mauras, the retreat host, the small group I had driven down with walked over to Benet Hall and straight to the elevator. We were staying on the fourth floor.

I immediately became aware of that smell which so often accompanies a very old place -- the smell of the old wood floor and a lingering musty smell hung in the air. Actually it reminded me of the grade school I attended as a young boy. It was a nostalgic experience.

Standing at the elevator door one of the guys pushed the up button. Nothing happened. He pushed it again and then several more times. No hum, buzzing, clanking -- NOTHING. So, up floor flights of stairs we all go, huffing and puffing with all our gear.

On our way up the stairs, Tom, the gentleman who drove down said that he recalled from the previous year that the elevator was a bit funky but couldn't quite remember what it was. Then it hit him. He told us that if you don't close both doors when you step out, the elevator will not leave the floor it's on. There was a standard metal door on the outside of each floor and a mesh door on the elevator itself and he said that he guessed that someone had taken the elevator up and hadn't closed the mesh door on the elevator.

Sure enough, as we crested the final steps of the fourth floor and walked down the hallway, there stood the elevator with the mesh door open. We rolled with it, put our things away in our rooms and came back out to ride the elevator down.

Four of us entered the elevator and the first thing I noticed was that with each step a person made as the entered the elevator it rocked and shook. I noted the elevator had been approved by the state of Indiana for 2005 and wondered if the inspector simply slapped the notice on the inside of the elevator and ran away in sheer terror (smile).

Well, now we're all on the elevator fearing it's going to plummet straight down to the basement. Tom is jumping up and down and having fun. He reaches up and pushes the down button. There's an immediate hum, which stops almost as quickly as it began. Tom looked puzzled and pushed the button again. No luck.

By this time were all laughing and I'm looking over the elevator now in detail. The paint is peeling off the walls and whatever they had painted on the floor had long since worn off. There are no floor buttons, just two dimly lit buttons which assume you know what is up and down. I realized I'm standing in an elevator that is likely twice my age. This thing makes a regular freight elevator look like an elevator at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.

Tom has his second 'Ah Ha' and says, "Ya know, if I recall correctly you have to hold the button in for the whole trip until we arrive on our floor." Jim, being the engineer in the group asks, "How do we know what floor to get off on?" Tom say, "You'll see." Sure enough he pushes in and holds the button. The humming begins and this time the elevator, after a very long pause, begins to move down.

An inch worm could have beat us to the first floor. As the elevator moved down and we looked through the mesh door and we could see the inside of the concrete elevator shaft. As we passed each floor we noticed a simple white number was painted on the inside of each door for every floor we passed. Ah, this is how you know what floor your at. Jim was pleased and Tom, the resident barber says, "You see, simple works."

As we arrived on the first floor Tom let go of the elevator button. We opened the mesh door and then opened the steel door on the first floor, only to notice that Tom had stopped the elevator about a foot and a half below the landing. This made for a giant step up to get out of the elevator. Now we're all laughing from that place deep in our bellies.

Tom has his third epiphany and says, "Oh yeah, you have to stop the elevator exactly at the right spot because it doesn't know where to stop on it's own."

As we step up and out of the elevator I'm smiling. I had to admit, I was in love with this old elevator and rode it as often as I could between activities throughout the next day.

You see, our planning committee spent hours and had several meetings to pull this whole conference together. Each presenter had awesome material to present and were quite enjoyable.

But, I have to chuckle when I say that all I needed was that old elevator. That old, musty, finicky and reliable elevator. It made me slow down. In our fast-paced world, I appreciated the sheer simplicity of it. Had I not gotten anything else on the weekend, I had received more then enough just being on that old elevator.

I guess we can never really plan for how life will design the lessons we need the most. All we can do is enter into the adventure of life with open mind and heart and notice the lessons as they present themselves to us.

Thank you old elevator!



""Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which individuals soar..."

~~ Thomas Kempis



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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Written by Dave Turo-Shields, CEC, LCSW, ACSW
President, CounselingPros.com, Kenosis Counseling, Inc.
(c) Copyright 2005 CounselingPros.com, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46217