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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category

Birthdays

Birthday Season in my family peaks in June with six direct family birthdays, and an equal number of close friends.  Add graduations,  the occasional wedding, baby or bridal shower and it makes for a busy month.

I am blessed to have a large, close, nuclear and extended family and a beautiful garden of friends.  And as the years go by they grow… so do the birthdays, minimally averaging three a month.  I buy a lot of Birthday Cards.

Birthdays are a celebration of one’s entry into the Earthly plane.  Birthdays and birthdates are celebrated in some fashion by virtually all cultures and religions.  Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Gandhi, George Washington, Martin Luther King and the Queen of England are a few of the better known.

Many cultures have rites of passage birthdays.  The US and Canada celebrate Sweet Sixteen; the Upanayana or ‘thread ceremony’ in India; the Quinceanera in Latin Cultures; Japan’s ‘Coming of Age Day’ celebrates all who are turning twenty; and Judaism celebrates the bar mitzvah for boys at age thirteen and the bat mitzvah for girls at twelve.

At certain ages, birthdays confer upon us freedoms and responsibilities: registering for the draft, securing a driver’s license, marrying without parental consent, purchasing and consuming alcohol and tobacco products.  At the age of majority, usually between eighteen and twenty-one, we become responsible for our own decision-making and our own actions.

Birthdays and birthdates are important markers of time.  They are also opportunities to celebrate the company of our loved ones.

Wishing you and your families many Happy Birthdays!

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Enrich

“…to improve the quality of (something), to make (something) better.”  Merriam-Webster

There is so much around us that enriches our experience of living on planet Earth.  And many opportunities to enrich the lives of others.

“You are not here merely to make a living.  You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”

~Woodrow Wilson

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things”

~Nate Berkus

This week I invite you into enrichment.

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Unselfishness

“The man who practices unselfishness, who is genuinely interested in the welfare of others, who feels it a privilege to have the power to do a fellow-creature a kindness – even though polished manners and a gracious presence may be absent – will be an elevating influence wherever he goes.”

~Orison Swett Marden

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May

April showers bring May flowers.   The Earth awakens from winter’s sleep and  moves into action.  The Green Goddess unabashedly displays her beauty,  alluding to glories yet to come.

Gratefully,  winter rain has fed our parched landscape;  the deep, rich colors of Spring vibrate with renewal and regeneration.

May is a perfect time to launch our plans for the rest of the year.  A time of planning and planting.  A good season to shed trite and stagnant energies.  Spring cleaning is not confined to the physical aspects of our existence.

I invite you this week to relish the opportunities for cleaning and clearing making way for expansion and growth.

“The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.”

~Julian Grenfell

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Money

Former slave Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20.00 dollar bill, (Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill) and  six leaders of the Suffragette movement will be featured on the back of the $10.00 bill.  It is the goal of the U.S. Treasury to place these new currencies into circulation by 2020,  coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment

For the past decade the gender pay gap has remained static.  (‘The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap’, ‘Graduating to a Pay Gap’, Forbes magazine’s Lisa Maatz, Michelle Singletary, Washington Post columnist).

The U.S. Census Bureau cites that women working full time, year round, earn 77% of what men earn.  Add to this the ‘pink’ tax or ‘gender’ tax, where women pay $1,351.00 more a year than men for equivalent personal care products and services like dry-cleaning. (According to 1995 CA study.)

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was preceded by the Equal Pay Act of 1963, was first approved in 2009 and  has been on the floor of the Senate four times since 2011.  All four times it has been blocked by Senate Republicans.  It does not appear women are going to get any help there.

According to the National Women’s Law Center long term financial effects of the gender gap are staggering.  Over the course of a forty year career the loss for Caucasian women is $430,480.  For African-American women it is $877,480. and over $1 million for Latinas. These figures are not adjusted for inflation. www.nwlc.org.

I have some ideas.  To balance this economic inequality, women will only pay 77% on the dollar for ALL purchases.  Women will only pay 77% to rent living spaces.  Additionally, women will pay prices for shampoo, deodorant and razor blades that are equal to those of our male counterparts.  For example, women will now pay only $2.00 to dry-clean a shirt (the price men pay) rather than $6.50.

With Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul on the back of the $10.00 bill, and MLK Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson appearing on the back of the new $5.00 bill, perhaps it is time for women to renew the fight against gender inequality and economic injustice.

Placing Harriet Tubman on the face of the new currency is an honor to the resourcefulness, power and dignity of the feminine.

 

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Unplugging

We are a wired world.  The amount of time each day that we are connected is growing as fast as the technology that it feeds upon.

A growing body of research is pointing to the darker side of this phenomena.  Swedish studies show that folks, especially young people, who profusely use technology are at pronounced risk for depression, stress and sleep disorders.  Indications are that the light from our myriad devices reduces the production of the sleep hormone, serotonin.

Kansas State University Researcher YoungAh Park says that not setting good tech/communication boundaries between work and home life creates a serious stress load, and that media multitasking reduces efficiency.

Although still up for debate, Internet Addiction is now a serious candidate for being classified as a mental health disorder.  I am sure this extends to cell phone and texting also.

March 3-4, 2017 is National Day of Unplugging.  You can take the pledge to unplug at the National Day of Unplugging website.

This week I invite you to look at how much time each day you spend plugged in.  Schedule some planned breaks, create good boundaries, unplug and  focus on the moment…BE PRESENT.

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Unknown

As I was preparing for today’s post,  I found a quote I liked.  The author was listed as Unknown.  In hot pursuit of this creative wit, I found a wealth of material.  Below is a sampling, beginning with the quote that inspired my search.

“My life is all about math.  I am trying to add to my income, subtract from my weight, divide my time, and avoid multiplying.”  Unknown

“Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”   Unknown

“You cannot find knowledge by rearranging your ignorance.”  Unknown

“If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”  Unknown

“People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.”  Unknown

“Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway.”  Unknown

I invite you to carry these little pearls of wisdom into the week with you.

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Work

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

~Steve Jobs

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Obstacles

The following quote led me to a glimpse into the life of an amazing man.  Before reading the quote, I had never heard of Orison Swett Marden.

His story fascinates and inspires me.  After a life of much hardship and challenge, he became among other things, a successful author.  His book, Pushing to the Front (Houghton-Miffen 1894), became an instant best seller.  He went on to publish over 50 books.  Among them,  Prosperity: How to Attract It; an essential and seminal work on the Law of Attraction.  He also founded Success magazine in 1897.

“Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them…they are liable to spring on you, but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.”

I love the image of looking squarely at the obstacles we face, both big and small and watching them “…slink out of sight.” Wishing you the power to face your obstacles.

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Spring Equinox 2016

It is the earliest Spring Equinox since 1896.  In Central and Pacific Daylight Time Zones it occurred Saturday, March 19th.

The Spring Equinox occurs… “midway between the sun’s lowest path across the sky in winter and the highest path across the sky in summer,”  Deborah Byrd, earthsky.org.   In other words, Equinoxes occur at the mid-point between the Solstices, and, Solstices occur at the mid-point between Equinoxes; dividing the year into four equal parts, four seasons.

In the Northern Hemisphere the Earth awakens.  In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Autumnal Equinox, a time of harvest and preparation for the coming of sleeping winter.

Four is the number of all things earthly.  In Tarot, four is the Earth Element.  Four represents the natural order;  four represents renewal.  The Spring Equinox is a time of awakening.

I invite you to take some precious moments this week to rejoice in renewal and the blossoming of Spring.

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