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Author Archive

The Rise and Fall

“To me, the irony if this involvement with size, as I observed earlier, is the unwillingness or inability of so many Americans to identify themselves with something as vast as the United States.  Bigger cars, bigger parking lots, bigger corporate structures, bigger farms, bigger drug stores, bigger supermarkets, bigger motion-picture screens.  The tangible and the functional expand, while the intangible and the beautiful shrink.  Left to wither is the national purpose, national educational needs, literature, theater, and our critical faculties.  The national dialogue is gradually being lost in a froth of misleading self-congratulation and cliche.  National needs and interests are slowly being submerged by the national preoccupation with the irrelevant.”

~J. William Fullbright

 

99 Percent

So many are struggling in our current economy.  Recovery clearly appears to be  favoring those in the top financial tier, including Corporations which are now considered ‘persons’ (http://www.npr.org).   I think I might like to be considered a Corporation, with all the perks and benefits allowed (www.washingtonpost.com).

This quote by Confucius is an insightful look at the reality we share. “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of.  In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

 

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is not a moral issue.  It is an energy dynamic….  Forgiveness means that you do not carry the baggage of an experience.  When you choose not to forgive, the experience that you do not forgive sticks with you.  When you choose not to forgive, it is like agreeing to wear dark, gruesome sunglasses that distort everything, and it is you who are forced every day to look at life through those contaminated lenses because you have chosen to keep them.”

~Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul

If you can’t forgive, you open your garden to receive the seeds of bitterness.  I invite you to reflect on the power of forgiveness.

Different

The definitions of different I like are: distinct, unusual and special.  We are all unique.  Like fingerprints, no two exactly alike.  The conflict as it appears to me is between the desire to belong and the longing to be authentic, to express our true self.  Accomplishing this harmony within creates successful social harmony without.

I like being different.  I like being special.  I am pretty comfortable most of the time being unusual.  I accept being who I am.  But I never stop working to grow, to mature.

I like this quote from the remarkably diverse talent, Johnny Depp.

“If there’s any message to my work, it is ultimately that it’s OK to be different, that it’s good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.”

This week I invite you to celebrate your different self.

 

Pain

We all experience pain in many ways.  It is part of being human.  There are a plethora of remedies to help us manage painSome more effective than others.  When suffering is chronic, intractable or intensely psycho-spiritual, management is often challenging beyond comprehension.

I came across this quote recently, and I find myself in strong resonance with its message. I felt compelled to share it with you.

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”   ~Joseph Campbell

Blue Moon

“The moon does not fight.  It attacks no one.  It does not worry.  It does not try to crush others.  It keeps its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences.  What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore?  The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”

~Ming-Dao Deng, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony

Friday July 31 we will enjoy a Blue Moon, which occurs when there are two full moons in one month.  I invite you to reflect on  the moon’s magic.

Conservation

Coming through the drought of the mid 1970’s, I brought many water-saving tricks into the present day.  Most of us don’t have to put bricks in our toilet tanks and install reduced flow shower heads because low-flow products are pretty much standard now days.  And many of us are experts at the 5 minute or less shower.

However, the current extreme drought has reminded me to be even more water-wise.  My car is a color that displays every little spec of dust as if they are part of a brightly spot-lighted art exhibit.  Nixing the weekly car wash, I bought a dust mop made just for the job.

I catch warm up water in the kitchen and bathroom for use elsewhere.  I wipe most of my veggies with damp to wet wash cloths that I purchased just for the kitchen.  And I scrub potatoes with a wet brush and wipe them clean with those kitchen cloths.  I thought I was doing a pretty thorough job.

Reading an article by a local food writer really got my attention.  She decided to experiment with a bounty of vegetables by using only one pot of water.  She filled the large pot with water and some salt.  When it came to a boil, she tossed in green beans for four minutes, then removed them with a flat slotted spoon.  Next came potatoes, simmered til tender.  Then spaghetti, cooked al dente.  Then she placed eggs in the still hot water, covered the pot and let them sit for 20 minutes.

Not done yet.  Next she set a colander in the top of the pot, brought the water back to a boil and steamed zucchini.  Then followed  sliced carrots and broccoli spears.  Tasting the remaining water in the pot, she ‘deemed it delicious’.  She strained the cooking water added new potatoes, some left over pulled pork, and peppers.  Cooking them together, then pureeing it all with an immersion blender.  Quite an accomplishment with one pot of water.

I have learned to cook many veggies in my microwave with just a spoonful of water.  They are as delicious as the many veggies I oven-roast, using no water. But now when I boil potatoes or cook pasta, you can bet I will find creative uses for the ‘leftover’ water.

For water-saving tips and drought status check out www.saveourwater

 

 

Foundation

My Merriam-Webster gives as one definition of foundation…”the basis upon which something stands or is supported.”  My question to you is, “What is your spiritual foundation?”

In these days, as the dark forces rise, it is ever so important that we have a strong spiritual foundation enabling us to weather the growing storm of man’s inhumanity to man.

Zig Ziglar said that, “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

Napoleon Bonaparte gave us a very insightful look into spiritual foundation.  He said, “Alexander, Caeser, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires, but what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force.  Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”

I invite you to a thorough check of your spiritual foundation.  Is it strong, sturdy and reliable?  Is it supporting you through the tumultuous winds of change?  If not, time to shore it up, streamline it, and perhaps even to remodel.

 

 

Independence

The Fourth of July, like Passover, is a very moving Holiday for me.  I love hearing our National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.”   Old Glory waves  at me from every corner.  I ooh and aah like a 5 year old, as the night sky flashes and sparkles with shiny glitter that twinkles and winks at me.

I think of the men and women, and their families, who have given so much to preserve my independence.  I am grateful.

I found a quote about Independence that I really resonated with, and I want to share this gift with you.

“Independence is a heavy draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does.  It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing.  It is addictive and with each drink you want more.”   ~Maya Angelou

Inviting you to let the energy of Independence Day linger in your consciousness like the last burst of fireworks fading from the night sky.

 

Highly Sensitive Person

I am one.  So are many of you.  According to Jane Ganal, ‘Heightened Sensitivity: Help For The Overstimulated’, (Spirituality & Health, July/August 2015),  we make up about 20% of the population.

In her book, The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron PhD. describes the characteristics we all share.

  • We feel things more deeply.
  • We are emotionally reactive and brimming over with empathy for the plight of our fellow humans.
  • We take longer and we struggle to make decisions.
  • We are detail oriented to the extreme; we notice subtleties, and tend toward perfectionism.
  • We are more prone to depression and anxiety.
  • We are not all introverts.
  • We are sensitive to violence, loudness, and criticism.
  • We are better mannered than most.

We often feel out of step with our families, our friends, our culture and our times.  But a wonderful gift that comes with the ‘curse’ is that we are also very creative.

Keys to learning how to manage being an HSP:

  • Get your creativity in full gear.
  • Turn off the news.  Don’t watch movies, dramas, etc. that evoke your empathic nature.
  • Learn how not to absorb and hang onto the negative energies of others, be it anger, depression or excessive drama.
  • Connect with your fellow HSP’s.
  • Find and seize alone time!  It is critical for HSP’s to find activities, space and quiet that help them to retreat, re-charge, and feed their souls.  We cannot give to ourselves or others from an empty tank (heart).

Learn to control the inner critic that tells you that you are too sensitive, too inadequate, and not perfect. Centering into the truth of who you are is a path to inner peace.