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Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Bees

It started with the stunningly small population of Monarch butterflies returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Then came more information on the massive meat recall and shut-down of Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma.  Followed by a KRON4 News report on the hundreds of foods that contain azodicarbonamide or ADA, a chemical found in Yoga mats and tires. (You can check out the list at KRON4.com).

Then a guided tour through the wonders of Whole Foods (an establishment I have eschewed) and it’s gorgeous organic offerings;  coupled with my wish to replace my lawn with natural habitat, all lead me to bees and CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder.  There is real, immediate reason for concern as three of every five bites of food we eat is courtesy of these busy pollinators.

The common thread: pesticides and herbicides.  Regarding bees, scientists are looking at neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of pesticides.  According to The Huffington Post (March 2013) 40-50% of commercial US Hives have been lost due to CCD.   With the magnificent Monarchs, herbicides and habitat destruction, including the use of Roundup to eradicate milkweed which is essential to their survival, growth of GMOs and destruction of native forests in Mexico,  are all considered causal.

I will be planting milkweed in my garden along with bee and butterfly friendly flowers.  Visits to Whole Foods will become more frequent.  I will be more diligent reading labels and  avoiding refined foods, especially bread products (Oroweat and Saralee are on that list containing ADA).

Lastly, I will, to the best of my ability, patronize local organic and sustainable farms, and back legislation directed toward supporting them and protecting our food supplies.  I invite you to join me.

 

 

 

 

 

Centenarian

…a person who lives a hundred years or more.  Attending a Birthday celebration for an amazing woman who turned 100 on Saturday, got me to thinking.

Born before the commercial application of the automobile, air travel, and the refrigerator; before computers, supermarkets, shopping malls, telephones and Social Security. That, in itself, is amazing to me.  Then the moment arrives.  Stepping from the car with little help, to shouts of ‘SURPRISE’, her face lights up and she acts like she didn’t know a thing. (Commenting to her daughter a few days before, she was wondering why she hadn’t received any Birthday cards.).

No cane. no walker, no wheelchair.  Our honored Centenarian  moves slowly through the gathered celebrants, smiling, acknowledging…savoring.  Seven hours later, after stories, food, cake,  the sharing of Birthday wishes from President Obama and the First Lady,  toasts, tears, laughter and pictures galore, she is still going strong.

Aware  that I have a personal relationship with a Centenarian; I wonder how many others experience this rare gift.  The party concludes and I am invited over to play games and continue connecting, but I am too tired.

It is a gorgeous evening in Pismo Beach.  As I rest from the day’s activities, I reflect on something she said to me, ‘I’ll be around to celebrate your 100th Birthday with you’.  Can’t say I would be surprised.

Target

I didn’t shop at Target during the Holidays.  Imagine my shock when I checked my bank account Monday morning and discovered debits of $935.00 for online purchases that I did not make.

I am at the Bank when it opens.  This is a familiar procedure for me.  It is the third time in ten years that I have gone through the process of closing accounts, disabling cards and starting over.  IBM lost Health Net Data a few years ago; that was a big breach.  The trunk of my car was pried open and my purse stolen while I was hiking at a local park.  And now this.  Add a trip to Social Security to authorize a change in my Direct Deposit, put a ‘hawk alert’ on my credit file, and I spend 15 hours dealing with the mess.

I have changed many things.  I don’t take anything but my driver’s license, AAA card and a little cash with me when I go to parks.  I use my ATM only at selected businesses.  I do buy online, but again, selectively.  I made six online purchases in December using my debit card.  This  is the time period when it is believed my card information was stolen.

A few years ago, I followed excellent advice from Bank of the West.  I started monitoring my bank accounts daily.

So, more changes are in order.  I am going back to writing checks and paying cash.  I won’t use my debit card for online purchases anymore.  It is  inconvenient; but obviously,  much safer.

It is President’s Day.  If you plan on going shopping, beware.   You might consider using a credit not a debit card, or ‘just pay cash’.

Water

The deepening drought brings our relationship with water into sharp focus.  All life is dependent on water.  Like the air we breathe, it is easy to take for granted.

Water has a spiritual element, it cleanses, purifies, and washes awayHoly Waters and Sacred Waters are central to many belief systems and ritual practices.  Although objectified by modern society, water still represents emotion, feeling, spirituality, the primordial unconscious and the womb.

I invite you to bring the value of water, both  sacred and mundane, to the forefront of your conscious mind.

Contact www.scwa.ca.gov for drought updates and water-wise conservation guidelines.

Monday

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Chatterbox

Chatterbox is the name I have given to my negative inner critic.  The badgering voice does its best to disrupt my inner peace and magnify to gigantic proportions my short-comings, failures, inadequacies, fears and doubts regardless of their veracity.

Psychologists call our inner voice ‘self-talk’.  The critical inner voice is not conscience.  It is the saboteur, the negative and well-defended part of ourselves that is opposed to personal growth and healthy maturation.

Twenty-five years ago I began the work of mastering my chatterbox.  My out-of-control, running amok, negative inner voice kept me ruminating on the past and fearing the future.  No present, no peace.

I launched an inner personal campaign to change my thinking style.  ‘I can’t’,  ‘I should’, ‘I have to’, ‘I shouldn’t’ were traded for ‘I can’, ‘I choose to’, ‘I want to’.  Like boundary setting for two and three-year-old children, every time I caught my chatterbox using negative words, I changed them to positive.

I used mantras, repeated over and over to derail this powerful locomotive of negative thinking.   One of my favorites, which I still use, is “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want….”  Initially these efforts were not enough.  I got a pair of headsets, plugged them into my bedside boombox and listened to Kitaro’s “Silk Road” for weeks and weeks.

Today my inner life is changed.  Although my chatterbox is still with me and gets really turned up by any emotionally charged situation,  it is no longer dominant, no longer able to rob me of present moments.  This is really hard work, but diligent effort pays off.

I have inner peace to a degree I never imagined possible.  I can actually be still and meditate without the obnoxious intrusion of the chatterbox. 

 

 

Miserable

Until recently I had a copy of The 7  Habits of Highly Effective People.  Now sitting on my desk is The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People, an article by Cloe Madanes in Psychotherapy Networker.  I read it as satire, a well-done spoof.  But then again….

1.Be afraid, be very afraid, of economic loss.  The author points out the advantages and strategies that will contribute handsomely to your misery.

2.Practice sustained boredom.   Not as easy as it may sound.  But using the techniques outlined in this section should have very positive results.

3.Give yourself a negative identity.  Whatever negative identity you choose, play the part to its fullest.

4.Pick fights.  Be unpredictable.  Throw tantrums out of the blue.  Make mountains of mole hills and then deny your responsibility by claiming the other party is misunderstanding your intentions.  Express how hurt you are.

5.Attribute bad intentions.  Believe that no one wishes you well, that no one likes you or your opinions.  Hold grudges.

6.Whatever you do, do it only for personal gain.  Resist the temptation to help others.

7.Avoid gratitude. There is nothing in life to be thankful for.  Remind people of this constantly.

8.Always be alert and in a state of anxiety.  Nothing will ever work out for you. Cultivate pessimism.

9.Blame your parents. Your unremitting misery is someone else’s fault.

10.Don’t enjoy life’s pleasures.  Constantly remind yourself the world is a horrible place full of suffering. You don’t deserve pleasure.

11.Ruminate. Maintain a state of constant worry.  Focus on your personality defects and personal problems.  Give free reign to negative thinking and feeling.

12.Glorify or vilify the past.  If you had a wonderful moment as a child it is gone forever.  Or, your whole life has been a terrible ordeal.

13.Find a romantic partner to reform. Be selective.  Choose someone with real behavioral defects.  Perfect scenario for living as a miserable martyr.

14.Be critical.  Be critical of everything.  Get creative about what, when, where and who to criticize.  Offer these opinions to all you meet.

This article can be read in its entirety at:

http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/magazine/currentissue/item/2324-the-14-habits-of-highly-miserable-people.

Update: Rain.  Mendocino County has officially declared a drought.  Sonoma and Marin Counties are asking for voluntary reductions in water usage.

Rain

We need it!  This weather year (from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) is shaping up as a record-setting dry year across most of  California.  Santa Rosa has received 8.71 inches of rain to date compared to an annual average of 32.22 inches.   There are as yet no calls to restrict water usage and the dreaded word ‘drought’  is seldom mentioned in reports on our current predicament.  But it is a looming reality.

Several small, local municipal water systems are running dry.  The  Sierra snow pack is 20% of normal.

There are other consequences.  Air quality is fair to bad, and ‘spare the air days’ are setting records too.   Fire danger remains high as the normally (by now) green rolling hills remain brown and crisp.  Today an unseasonal wildfire is raging in Northern California.

I recently read an article by Peter Crutchley, “Did a prayer meeting really bring down the Berlin Wall and end the Cold War?  Got me to thinking about praying for rain.  

The weather year is not over.  The majority of our rain often falls January through Spring.  Whatever your belief, I invite you to join me in praying for rain.  A wet New Year would be very welcome.

 

New Year 2013

It’s that time again – time to change calendars to 2014;  time for making and breaking resolutions; time for retrospection and introspection; time to rest.

As we continue in the labor of birthing a new age it is vital to take time for ourselves – time to renew, to ground, to pray and meditate, to nurture and heal; to allow joy; to connect with Spirit.

Wishing you all the ‘gift’ of time in the coming year.  

 

Christmas 2013

It is Christmas eve eve.  I momentarily got a little frantic as I realized how unprepared I am for Christmas this year.

Stepping back from the shopping, baking, cards, visits and other activities of the season, I settled into ‘I don’t have to….’  I don’t have to let my type ‘A’ energy hook up to the onslaught of commercialism that pounds on the door of my Christmas consciousness.  I have choices.

I played Christmas music and baked with enjoyment.  I eschewed the shopping hordes.  What I have done is what I have done.  With the aroma of cookies filling the house and the Hallelujah chorus making me tingle, I wrapped a few gifts, made a few calls and relaxed into the moment.

Our tree is beautiful, our neighborhood festive.  I look forward to enjoying family and friends and especially the unconditional love of the Spirit of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!!