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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Well. They Got Him.

By 'him', I mean William Henry "Bill" Cosby born July 12, 1937 (same age my Dad would be) and married since 1964 (that's coming up on a 52 year anniversary, sigh).

He has a warrant against him now and it's official and it's not going away.

For anyone who has not kept up, Bill Cosby has had over 50 women come forward with allegations that he drugged them and had his way with them after promising to 'mentor' them, apparently, since the 1970's. Many women have refused to give their names. Some have. Many have healed. Many are still scarred. Many blame themselves.

It's the last that I say I'm mostly interested in because it's the mindset that many women (and men!) put themselves in when something traumatic happens to them. They blame themselves.

"I should have known better!"
"How could I be so stupid?"
"I should have seen it coming!"
"I never should have trusted that person!"
"I shouldn't have been there!"

Any one of us are capable of "could-ing" or "should-ing" ourselves into shame and blame. We cannot.

Once we begin to point that finger back at ourselves, we have paralyzed ourselves from moving on with Life. It makes Victims the Perpetrators, and the Perpetrators free in their minds to continue to live in good conscience..."They were asking for it."

Not one person who has been harassed, betrayed or abused in any way has ever asked for it. We all have let our guard down at times, placed ourselves in situations that were sketchy, or didn't pay attention to our 'gut feelings' or instincts. None of that is anything to blame ourselves about. It's simply a lesson to pay attention in the future.

We have all trusted someone that has hurt us, physically or emotionally, and can make us not want to trust anyone in the future, including ourselves and our own judgement. If that happens, the Bad Guys win.

In saying what I'm about to, I may receive a tremendously negative response because I'm not expressing outrage today.

Forgive the ones that harmed you whether they ask for it or not.

Forgiving is not for the other person (it's nice if it changes them in some way) but it is for yourself. It allows Peace to reenter your being. It allows Love to remain free in you for yourself and others. It frees you to Live, to move and to Hope.

Not doing so, can weigh you down forever until you see whatever you need to see happen to that person that caused you harm. Even seeing revenge or justice with your own eyes may not be enough. You may find yourself not knowing what will be enough to clear it for you. Meanwhile, the clock has ticked by and obsession with seeing someone 'get it' caused you to miss out on your own life. Then again, I say, they win. Where does it end?

Mr.Cosby (I say with respect for an elder) will have to face women, a judge, jury, and the World for his crimes. He'll face a greater judge, eventually. We don't worry about it. That's not our call.

Today, I pray for all victims/survivors, for healing for the additional pain his family will feel (they lost a son, violently in 1997) and I regret that a ground-breaking illustrious career is being flushed down the drain but I say that ALL comes to light, in time, for each of us.

Reboot Challenge? Make sure there are no skeletons in your own closets. Make soup. Kidding (had to lighten it up a little!). Live well, show love and be good to each other today. Show how Love and forgiveness works to everyone. Clear the list.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pick One, Already? No.

It's been a little quiet on this end of the blog for several reasons. Fortunately, it hasn't kept readers from around the World from checking in. Thank you!

I have been enjoying most recently, a visit from my daughter, preparing for Christmas and the New Year, doing volunteer work and homework learning Korean, catching up on Korean dramas, Twitter hashtag games, keeping up with Facebook, and discovering that after watching a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother, a show I didn't like but gave a chance, only to find that I really hated how it ended.

Then, throw in my writing of 3 books at a time and reading 4 at a time, and I can say I've been pretty busy. As the meme said, don't let Facebook be the only book you read this week.



What is life without busy-ness, though?

We are busy with jobs, life, families, hobbies, and whatever we are obligated to do or do only for fun. I'm glad we are! Life should be active like that. We should have time with family members and friends. We should spend time while we are here doing as much as we want and are able to do. We should be doing the jobs we can, even if it only pays for the fun we want to have. If we sit like bumps on a log, we look back and wonder where did the time go and what did I do during it?

If we can't look back and see that we made differences in others' lives, created something worthwhile (to us!), learned useful lessons, a degree, or learned completely useless skills but we enjoyed it, then what was our life about? I'm about to reveal a little of my inner-Hippie again here.



I may never use Korean language anywhere but in a local restaurant but I like challenging myself to see if I still have it enough to learn,

I may not finish 3 of the 4 books I'm writing and may never publish any, but the experience of writing them are fun to me.

I definitely will not be a violin virtuoso but have been having a blast learning.

I no longer do all of the physical activities I used to, but will challenge myself to see what I actually am able to do within my limitations.

There may be no winning lottery that will allow us to travel to destinations unknown but I can read up on cultures and traditions and live vicariously through others. I may be due for that lottery since I recently won a prize at a Christmas Toy Shop, then another, then first prize at our Church Christmas Dance, all in one day! The wins were so timely that I could only thank God for His hand in it all.

So, Life is made to be lived, is my 'eventual' point.

I don't collect stuff for the sake of having 'stuff' but for memories. And, believe me, there will be no U-Haul behind my hearse at my funeral whenever I'm called home.

This World is being inundated with bad news every day. We can wallow in sorrow over it. Or we can live our lives as well as we can, while we can, praying, and helping where and when we can with love for everyone and joy for each day we awaken.



Reboot Challenge? Do something for someone on a regular basis without expectation of repayment. Take a class completely fun and unrelated to a degree or certificate. Learn a skill or language that doesn't have to have a goal. In other words, enjoy the life you have while you have it.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to Deal with Cowards

Yes. ONE more discussion about the terrorist attacks in Paris, France.

Regular readers had to know I wasn't just going to let it go by, although, I actually wanted to do just that. I just can't speak in the heavier way I would love to here, right now. There may come a time only not today.

Thinking of the attack on Paris this week recalled 9/11 in the U.S. and France being our best of Allies. And I thank them and the World for their response. People are using this as an excuse for personal agendas as in, "Why are we so worried about Paris and not (fill in the blank)?" I find that puzzling because of how the World came together for the US that fateful day when it was attacked by Cowards. To support with changing profile pictures with France was, literally, the least we could do.

I recalled Souls lost in jets blasted out the air, the lost Malaysian jet, and more by Cowards. It reminded me there are people, children, living in fear for their lives daily due to wars and active terrorism by Cowards. It reminded me of children who get little to no food in parts of Africa and are eating GRASS and muddy water because Aid trucks are hijacked by Cowards. It reminded me of Christians in Israel and the brave and faithful Franciscan Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and Parishioners who continue to protect and maintain Holy Churches and sites, even if people come to them just because they are "old". Their numbers are decreasing due to intentional destructions and persecution of Christians by Cowards. I think too much of the Poor of India, in fact, throughout Asia, Latin America and on islands split like Dominican Republic and Haiti, where one side has so much and one side has so very little to nothing because of Cowards. I think of women and children and elderly who are beaten and neglected everywhere by Cowards. If I see one more incident of a death of an innocent due to the evil that is surrounding us whispering in Cowards' ears, sometimes, I think I'll just lose it.

But, I know I won't.

I recognize that Cowards work under Darkness, even if it's not a physical absence of light, it could be any chink in the armor that allows it to operate. Cowards will don a hood, a scarf, a hat, a mask, and take that chance and run with it. Any attempts to harm at a vulnerable point without warning, undercover, because you are bigger, or sneaky makes you a Coward. Call yourself a terrorist because, true, you do cause terror on every scale. Why would someone 'want' to be known for that? It's so twisted in my opinion. But there's more to it.

We are bombarded by an evil we can't subdue without a lot of help and a lot of action on our parts. Now that I've made your day again. Let's get justifiably angry enough to do something about it and not just on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo comment sections. Social Network Sites (SNS) have allowed the World so say all they want no matter who it hurts or offends.

Oops. I may have lost folks to another website just then. I mentioned doing something.

At times like this, those pitiful people I pray for, take opportunities to spew even more hatred and violence, whatever their politics, color or race or nationality or religion. They are able to turn any tragedy to their own agenda, too, on the sites mentioned above and more. I've seen the Paris tragedy tweets where people begin spitting out nonsense against blacks, immigrants from Mexico, Muslims and anything else they think they're doing anonymously. That's cowardly.

The violent attacks on us all are cowardly or it would be done in broad daylight and in a way that one could fight back. THAT is manly. The other ways are less than admirable, idiotic, and weak.

So what can we do? We can start growing the spine they don't have and grow in whatever Faith we profess to be. We can go to our Churches, Synagogues, or Temples. We can read our Bibles, our Hebrew texts, Korans or go to a library and LEARN what you profess to be and why you are that and how to handle these situations in the most peaceful and productive ways we can. Take responsibility for ourselves and we can take up the Cause of Peace and Love and promote it to every single Soul we know and meet. We can show our courage by STOPPING and reconsidering immediate reactions and think, not post. We can and do fight back but not in the Coward's way. We can know when is the right time and when is the wrong time to speak hateful remarks amongst others or that negative inner dialogue we have that can usually be expressed incognito online. (That was a test.....there is NEVER a right time for that!)

Yes. It takes work. We must talk with one another, learn from one another, and live with one another in Peace. I'm not saying yell on a street corner trying to convert others or knock on doors but work on yourself first. It's private and communal. You calm down and find ways to face the Cowards of the World that are trying to destroy goodness, kindness, peace, charity and love. We all know Right from Wrong from childhood (yes, even Atheists and Agnostics) but we have a hard time admitting it to our 'peers' who don't think it's cool to even make the distinction. They say live and let live.

That's gotten us to a lovely place now hasn't it? We are responsible for one another whether you want to admit it or not. Take responsibility for your brother to show him the right way after you, yourself, are clear about it.

The Cowards will make their own beds if they don't want to take the hint. No progress? You've planted the seed. Now, shake the dust from your sandals. The Cowards will be dealt with in time, in fact....for Eternity.

Reboot Challenge? Gather your own personal Courage for you, your families, your neighborhood, your Countries, and your World. Do it without fear that you are alone. You are not.

(Dedicated to all who have fought and died, who have been victims or victors in the fights against Cowards.)




Friday, November 6, 2015

This Woman's Hands

In quiet restful moments, he'll tell you his Grandmother had lovely hands.

He likes to tell the stories.  He loves to remember with every sense.

He can still feel her comforting hands on his back as a child. He says they were strong, yet soft. They worked and worked hard, yet were soft and soothing to his mind, heart, and spirit when he needed them.

They took away pain and calmed.

They made the best pancakes, root beer floats, and cakes in the World! They kept a tidy, tightly run ship of a house. They knew how to set a table properly and to Serve in more ways than one. They played piano and organ. They painted. They helped him with his homework afterschool. They held books, especially a Bible, often.

Her hands, as he recalls them, are remembrances of feeling love and being loved. He sighs, gratefully, without needing words to express it further. At these times, as a grown man, he is as content as a well-fed infant after a bath.

That little boy's feelings and his memories are stored carefully away. They come out at precious times. They are special and I feel that much more special and smile. Why?

Because of the times he closes his eyes, breathes deeply and tells me I have his Grandmother's hands.


Reboot Challenge: Mine? To try something a little different today. What's yours?


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

One for the Ladies, I'm a Man Fan



Anyone who has read any of my little blog knows this, already. If you don't, feel free to browse and see.

I love humans, in general. Getting down to brass tacks, though, I like men.

The notion that a man and woman cannot be friends is not one I've accepted growing up. There has been almost a preference to be around them as my buddies, as teachers, as talkers, and as ones to be admired. I was the girl that wouldn't go, "Yuk! That's nasty!" when I was shown a bug by a boy. I like to listen and always found male friends that liked to talk and teach. There are certain traits about men that led me to admire how they think, look, walk, and behave. Many men really do look at the world differently, and it's fascinating to me!

I will never be the one to do the male-bashing and don't like sticking around to hear it done, either. I'm a true fan. I appreciate male-directness. I like that they are not as complicated (or as simple!) as females may believe. My opinion is the fact that a good man will say what is on his mind, when he feels the need to say it, is an attribute, not an attempt to hurt feelings. Likely, it hasn't occurred to him, to do anything but tell the truth, even if one doesn't like it. That's why you have to get to know the man. I like to see hard-working men who know who they are and what they have to do and just do it. No argument. No whining. They just do it.

I even like their scent. It's a pheromone thing.

A man of substance will work for himself, his family, and do whatever it takes to assure a living whether it's sitting at a desk or digging ditches. If you allow one who can make you laugh, shows love and has good work ethics into your life, you've got yourself a winner, Ladies! If that same man can admit to loving you and God, not in that order, you've really struck gold.

It may be true that to have that good one, the Prince, you may have to kiss one or two or 50 frogs. In my lifetime, I found that I never got warts. I got lessons. With eyes open, you learn. You learn what you want, what is a deal-breaker, and what you are willing to contribute, as well. I learned defense. blocking, how to most effectively use my energy, and when to leave myself open to contact. You learn. You grow and survive and thrive, whether he's made his appearance in your circle or not. 

My speech is not to say to go with whatever smiles at you wearing pants. They say when you stop looking is when you meet 'him'. That may be true in some cases but in my experience, it's when you stop looking for the specific height, size, color, finances, employment, style, age, nationality, and car...that's when you see him. Once you've limited yourselves in those ways, you may have just eliminated the one that you were meant to see and was meant to see you.

We will all have our good and not-so-good experiences with a man, or men. Every woman has a situation she'd rather not have gone through. But, if we are as smart as we believe we are, we will always learn, forgive, move on and drop the past and pain. There is always more on the horizon than we are able see with our limited human vision.

We have Hope. We are aware. We value and respect ourselves and each other. We love.

Reboot Challenge? Make eye contact, talk and listen. Don't assume. Make friends and see what happens.





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back to Hippie-Chick

When my husband met me, he called me a Hippie-Chick.

Yes. I wore stringed, woven, macramĂ© jewelry. I wore my hair in long style, even in ponytails. I wore long skirts and boots. I had a passion for my freedom and trying anything and everything at least once. If I fell flat on my butt doing it, I just thanked God I had a generous, uh, cushion to land on and got back up to try something else. I gave my, much more mature, daughter freedoms and choices as she grew. That's come back to bite me in my cushion, of course, as she has her many experiences abroad.

What happened?

I got married and grew up. Or grew old. Or got comfortable.

However I choose to look at it, I became a different person. I own a home. There's a male living in it! I am a homemaker, a wife, a mother of a grown woman! I slowly and without noticing, lost that urge to reach out too far from home. OK...too far from this chair I landed in this morning to type this.

Is this what's called a mid-life crisis? Do I now settle for what's left of my life without the thrills I used to intentionally provoke in my life previously? Or, do I go out and have some fun?

Football season has started and one of the Loves of my life is consumed by that so I have plenty of time to prepare and to start my journey backwards. By the time the Super Bowl airs, Hubby may find himself with a new wife. It will still be me but it'll be the original me and more. Call it Me 2.0 if you want.

I grew up in a world of diversity, with music, people, places, and activities. It's time for a few steps back. We were listening to Time Has Come Today by Chamber Brothers and it jarred that sleeping giant within me. Uh-oh.


That is the 14-minute version if you feel like rockin' out while you finish reading.

Mom and Dad had us watching Midnight Special, going to plays, listening to Classics, Hard Rock, Jazz, R&B and Blues (Dad DJ'ed on the side), catching foreign films or domestic ones. like Tommy and Hair and we LOVED it (speaking of myself and my older brother)! I was fated to become how I am as an adult. I don't like the word "free-spirit" too much because we all have that. Not all of us utilize it, though, and live lives in wanting, in fear, and in misery.

Along with fun and exploration of every culture and every people and every experience, we became survivors of the World, as well. Watching my parents who were never without a job, a home for us, especially Mom, who as my uncle used to say, "could fall into a pile of poop and come up smelling like a rose", we learned how to survive. I learned that sometimes a step backwards will lead to two steps forward. I thank her with all my heart for that or I couldn't have made it raising my child on my own without what I learned, inadvertently, in watching her live. Yes, People, even as a Hippie-Chick, there was a time I held FOUR jobs at once!

Meanwhile, my inner Hippie and my inner Child (who likes to play with matches these days) are battling it out within me. Who will win? My money's on the Hippie. She has more fun.

Reboot Challenge? This isn't a dress rehearsal, it's Life! Decide what you want to do with it and what it takes to get there, then, GO THERE! Time has come today! Tick-Tock, Man! Peace!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't Forget to Breathe

I used to get annoyed if someone, like a trainer, told me that, or in any situation until I understood the reason for it. I would think, it takes a special kind of stupid to forget to breathe. Sheesh.

When learning Kung-Fu and Tai Chi I learned it. Singers know it. Yogis know it. Runners know it. Weight-lifters know it. And, anyone who is now hunched over, sitting with pinched nerves in their back and shoulders and neck or a sick feeling in your stomach or tears forming or headache starting, should know it.

Nothing can be accomplished without breathing. Simple statement? Of course it is! But I found myself telling my former patients, "Don't forget to breathe!" and wanting to slap myself. It was for their own good. When in pain or doing a difficult or precise task, subconsciously, people hold their breath. Instead, I decided to tell them to count out loud during repetitions and that would force them to breathe. Clever, right?

Then I would to teach them HOW to breathe and at their age they'd gruffly tell me, "I'm still here at this age, right? Obviously I know how to breathe!" Breath isn't from the lungs pushing out, it's the diaphragm being pushed downward and filling the lungs from the bottom, up. It's what a baby does if you watch their little bellies going up and down during sleep.


You tell a grownup to take a deep breath and watch them imitate Superman!

Breathing is gentle and easy. Taking full breaths is energizing and cleansing. Being aware of your breath is calming and can keep you from strangling your coworkers. Who can feel bad knowing you are alive and able to breathe and live because you can breathe? It can change your outlook by learning and paying attention to your own breaths.

Studies have shown that proper breathing with good posture can lower blood pressure, calm anxiety and works on every body system by providing that dear Oxygen to cells. Even brain activity and eyes can improve! You see better if you breathe better. You understand better if you breathe better. You behave better because you breathe better. YAY for Oxygen! It can heal the World's ailments! OK, maybe not all of them.

So when you have that awful feeling where you are taking little 'wasps breaths' as Patsy Stone would say on Absolutely Fabulous and your shoulders are up around your ears, sit up and take a good cleansing, healing, calming breath. In and out. It's not that hard but beneficial in many ways. I hope you were breathing well while reading this.

Reboot Challenge? Sit up straight and smell the roses and blow out the candle.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

High Anxiety

That's a good Mel Brooks movie. Almost all of his films are good, though.

Anyway.

Since I've been on some uncomfortable topics, lately, I decided to include this one. It's not seen a lot only because people go through great pains to conceal it. That leads to more anxiety, of course, so they just can't win.

I'm not a physician or therapist of any kind, so what I post here are merely observances and research and great empathy for those who suffer in any way. I feel not only pity but a need to help when I see anyone in discomfort or pain.

Therefore, I chose anxiety as a topic today.

Our always useful WebMD has a brief note about anxiety and I chose the most general of the information at hand:

"Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what's called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety.


People who have social anxiety disorder worry that they will do or say the wrong thing and embarrass themselves around others.
Anxiety can cause physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat and sweaty hands. It can make you limit your activities and can make it hard to enjoy your life.
Healthy thinking can help you prevent or control anxiety.
  • Negative thoughts can increase your worry or fear.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that can help you replace negative thoughts with accurate, encouraging ones.
  • Changing your thinking will take some time. You need to practice healthy thinking every day. After a while, healthy thinking will come naturally to you.
  • Healthy thinking may not be enough to help some people who have worry and anxiety. Call your doctor or therapist if you think you need more help. "
Whenever I think of a fellow human being living like this, it brings a sadness to me, especially considering that many think they can handle it themselves without help, that it may increase in seriousness and prevent them from living happy healthy lives.

The first sentence describing anxiety as having too much fear and worry is what I feel I can actually address. Fear is of the unknown. Worry is of the future. We may feel we have no control over the latter but fear, we can attack head-on. Determining what is causing the fear is first. Is it embarrassment? I already covered that one. Is it a real fear or an imagined one? If someone is threatened, that's a real fear. If you think you will fail, that's an imagined one. Action is required for both.

If it's a real fear, obviously you must fix it, avoid it, have it arrested, leave it, and whatever you need to rid your life of it.

If it's an imagined fear, my opinion is that you must face it directly. Once you know what it is, there is support for it everywhere. People have anxiety about speaking in public. Find a speech class, practice with family or friends. Practice where you feel safe. Picturing everyone in their underwear is a trick I've heard. Mostly, it's realizing that whatever happens, it will never ruin your life. It's what we all feel at times. It's part of living together and growing together. I conquered a fear of singing in public with karaoke. Those are some of the most understanding crowds! Everyone will applaud no matter how bad you may sound. It's great but of course, almost everyone is drinking, too.

Many students face anxieties when testing or if a test is coming up. There are methods taught to manage that and are available online or directly with counselors. Fear of one test ruining your life is unreasonable. Once that is realized, fear lessens. As many types of anxieties that exist, there are that many and more ways to conquer them.

Anxiety about driving, take lessons. Anxiety about a relationship, talk. Anxiety is about being alone, gather more people that care into your life.

It sounds as if I'm oversimplifying this topic. I hope no one thinks I consider these things in a flippant or trivial way. I don't.

Serious anxiety issues can be addressed as it shows above. But, you have to be proactive about it and not fearful of asking for help. It's what we do. We aren't here alone. We have each other.

Close your eyes and listen:  Wanting Qu-Anxiety

Reboot Challenge? Kick the monsters under the bed to the curb and reach out. Peace be with you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why Lie?

Five year olds lie.

They lie about if they ate a cookie, if they hit someone, or if they brushed their teeth or washed their hands.

Adults lie. Adults lie about the most ridiculous things.

Adults lie about how much they make, how their relationships are, where they 'are' in the World, having affairs, even about height and weight! It's a bad habit.

Like other things, I believe there is a certain age you learn that lying doesn't help. That age was mentioned before....5 years old. At 5, I told my daughter to consider the consequences of everything she said and did from that point on. And from that point on, most of the time, she did. It was a simple statement made in a way that she, at her age, could understand and relate to it.

Once she knew there was, merely, no 'reason'  to lie, ever, we were on the right track.

You see, she understood that I would not stop loving her if she made a mistake, that she wouldn't drop dead if the Truth were told, and that there were consequences to every one of her actions for which she would be responsible. But, she wouldn't be sent to the guillotine for it!

I'm still trying to figure out why adults lie to me and everyone else. There is truly no reason. Most people will accept the truth and move on. Most people will forgive mistakes. Most people just need the truth from you to determine their next step. Lying makes a faulty foundation in every way.

True Confession time!

Lying is my pet peeve. Yes, I've learned to look at someone with a smile, without comment, and listen while they tell me lie after lie and then I walk away thinking, I can never believe anything they say from now on. That's the consequence. You, as our friends in the East would say, lost face with me. You are no longer honorable or trustworthy until you've proven yourself as otherwise.

That may sound harsh to some. However, when one values the Truth and lives by it, you don't have time for lies. Lies, misconstruing, omissions, whatever you want to call it, distorts not only communication but the connection between us. If we don't see the REAL, we can't see YOU. People who consistently lie can eventually begin to believe their own lies, which can be very harmful. It becomes the Truth to them. Give them a lie detector test and they'll pass it with flying colors! That, to me, is scary. Having a flashback of  George Costanza on Seinfeld saying, "Remember...it's not a lie if you believe it."

Now, that may be your goal. You don't want to be seen for reasons known only to you. That's something personal to work on. What is the fear, the shame, the pride, the anxiety, the past, that keeps a person from showing themselves, as they are, to others?

It's time to be a true grown-up. Lies only result in more lies you have to track and remember. As someone said, you never have to struggle to remember the Truth. OK, I just said it.

The Truth will set you free.

Reboot Challenge? Catch the lie before it leaves your mouth. Be ready to face the consequences. Be a grown-up.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Do YOU Do When You're Embarrassed?

There has been a time in everyone's life when they've felt the shame of embarrassment.

Let's break it down like this. It's an emotion. It's an emotion like any other. It isn't pleasant. It may stay with you longer than other emotions. It may be harder to rid your mind and heart of it but it's not impossible. It may stay in your memory forever.

Now that I've made your day, let's move on.

This is one of the emotions that we experience that must include another person or persons, or the idea of them, to feel. That other person or persons is a witness, a cause, an active participant, at least in our minds to our embarrassment.

To be embarrassed is defined by good ole Merriam-Webster as:

1
a :  to place in doubt, perplexity, or difficulties
b :  to involve in financial difficulties
c :  to cause to experience a state of self-conscious distress <bawdy stories embarrassed him>
2
a :  to hamper the movement of
b :  hinder, impede
3
:  to make intricate :  complicate
4
:  to impair the activity of (a bodily function) or the function of (a bodily part) <digestion embarrassed by overeating>

Since I didn't intend to discuss bodily functions, we'll leave the last one out of this discussion.

Basically, it's a situation where we are, as it says, placed in doubt or into a state of self-conscious distress. And, we've all been there. Here's the bad news. As long as we are alive, we may experience it again.

Fortunately, it is not an emotion that should cause anyone to not want to live. Oh, we all say, "I could just die of embarrassment!" but we don't and shouldn't really mean that. It's just part of life.

I say that a lot, I realize it. But Life truly throws a lot at us and it's up to us how we will handle it. Will we be continually slammed in the face? Will we dodge what's thrown at us? Will we run off the field? Or will we hit it out of the park? (That's not bad for someone who doesn't watch anything but tennis, occasionally.)

Once we are in that embarrassed 'state', it can paralyze us because of how much we care about what others think of us and what we have worked so hard to portray ourselves as to them. We work HARD on that outside appearance-I've got it all together-I don't need anyone's help-I know everything costume. So a real emotional breakdown can come from being in an embarrassing situation.

So you weren't as prepared as you thought. So you sat in something. So you have something hanging from your nose. So you split your pants. So you didn't realize your breath reeked of garlic. So you said the wrong thing. So your makeup ran. So you had a run in your stocking. So 'they' found out you don't make that much. So they saw what you drive. So they know you don't drive. So you had spinach caught in your teeth. So you started your period. So 'everyone' knows your secret now.

SO WHAT?

That's the phrase that I say, besides, "Oh, well!" because we ALL go through these things. Animals are NEVER embarrassed and they do a lot worse in public. We are human beings and we have human actions, human reactions, human blunders, human physiology, human feelings, human secrets, human needs and wants, and human emotions. This is just one of them.

So. We feel it. If it needs fixing, we fix it. And, we move on.

Yes. You will remember it. You'll remember it and feel that pang in your chest or that sickness in your stomach as if it just happened again. But you'll live. If you remember it and let it pass and forgive yourself or whoever caused it to happen, you'll live even happier. But, you'll live.

Check the History books and Medical Journals and you will never see that anyone actually died from feeling embarrassed. There is a strength and fortitude you must have for this tough world that has to be learned or it will kick your butt 24/7/365.

Sometimes, that embarrassing situation is meant to bring you to a humble place in your life. Humility is a good thing. Letting other see how you handle situations teaches them, makes them wonder how you got past it and where you got that ability to handle it with such grace.

Reboot Challenge? Don't be afraid to be human and if someone else is there, offer them a hand.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stop. Drop and Roll.

If ever a World needed this advice, it's now.

I was tempted to use this as my answer to Twitter's trending #MakeLifeBetterInThreeWords challenge. I take everything as a challenge, of course. Therefore, this is what came to mind.

It may sound simple. Perhaps, it seems too simplistic. It is and isn't. I use it as reminders every day of how to live my life and hope it clicks with someone else.

STOP...
           Worrying about what others will think of you.
            Thinking others are better or worse than you, especially only due to skin.
            Wasting time on whatever isn't giving you joy or helping someone else.
            Comparing what you have or don't have to others. It's just 'stuff'.
            Being ready to fight instead of listening and talking. Pick your battles.
            Being unkind to your body, mind, and spirit. Build and strengthen them.
            Using your body, mind and spirit as a trash can for the World.
            Stop blaming others, including parents, for your life as an adult.

DROP...
             Whatever you are doing that is causing you pain.
             Whoever you are with that is causing you pain.
             The things that take up most of your time away from God.
             The habit that makes you feel ashamed of yourself.
             Thoughts of harming yourself.
             Thoughts that take you away from Love and Charity and Peace.
             The idea that your life must be the same as everyone else's. It's not.
                It's YOURS.
            
ROLL...
             With the punches Life will inevitably give you.
             Away from what you know is harmful.
             Toward what you know is beneficial to you and others.
             Out of the way when you sense trouble is on the horizon.
             Up your time and effort to benefit others and yourself.
             Out the Welcome Mat for strangers who need to be acknowledged, i.e. SMILE!
             Around laughing. If there's a kid around doing it, join them! If you know them!

What I'm saying isn't the Meaning of Life, won't cure cancer, and doesn't guarantee a pain-free life. It's a start to thinking of our lives in a different manner that may or may not result in a perceived good life. It's a way of thinking of being better, having better, and doing better with our lives that is followed by action. It's not rocket-surgery.

There's a young lady who is doing some soul-searching, learning and trying to help others in the same way on YouTube who is shifting her channel from strictly make-up and hair to more of the above. She is now reaching out to others to help answer questions she, herself, may have already answered.

Her name is Brittney Gray (@BrittneyGray) and she recently posted her intent to do this. I hope it gives her and her followers a glance at the control they actually do have over parts of their lives and acceptance of those they don't. All of that brings a Peace I pray for everyone. Check it out at:


Reboot Challenge? Choose YOUR vibe today. Dig deep.

Thanks, Brittney, and may God bless your efforts.






Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lust and Appreciation

There is a difference, you know?

As I ponder my recently growing fascination with Korean films, (OK, specifically with Jang Hyuk. Google him!), I had to face up to which I've been feeling....lust or appreciation? Hmm?

I can admit he does remind me of one of my first young crushes, Bruce Lee.

My husband knows all about my viewing of almost every movie or television drama or reality show in which Jang Hyuk has appeared. Hubby's not worried. Should I be insulted?

Nah! He knows he has my heart. He knows I'm faithful. He knows I'm in this marriage for eternity. Mostly, he knows I have no chance of ever meeting this person IN person. No worries.

"Hyukkie" (as he's known by adoring fans) is Korean. He is a major star there. Let's say, like Brad Pitt to Americans.

It's been interesting to note his older work compared to his more current acting and see the growth, the maturity, and the improvement. There are a lot of women, myself included, who look at his body and think, "nice". Alright, it's more than nice. He's got the chiseled features, physical attributes, and fine acting skills. He's the whole package. That is something to be appreciated. (Or as we used to say in Chicago, he's all that AND a bag of chips AND a Coke and Snickers!)

In reality shows and interviews found, I see he's also a really nice man. Apparently, he is an intelligent warm person who loves being a family with his wife and children. He is responsible and kind to others treating everyone well. He, also, has a sense of humor about himself, which is always a good thing. He's calm and humble about his skills and treats everyone with respect. He's nearing 40 years old now but acts with women half his age. He's nearing 40 and can beat anyone half his age in physical contests due to his Jeet Kune Do training. He's nearing 40 and is in better condition than many half his age. The man can do push-ups on ONE THUMB for Heaven's sake! He is taking good care of himself.

The King of "Side-Eye"

That being said, it's easy to see why many follow his moves so closely. I will only say that his films and dramas have been worth the watch and I encourage others to do so. (Recommendation? Deep-rooted Tree, The Slave Hunters, The Client, Tazza, Iris 2, Thank You, Robber, The Flu, Fated to Love You....I could go on. A few of these are on Netflix or Amazon.)

We should all remember that in each film, in each photo, on each website, in each club, on each walk down the street, we will always see someone that is attractive in a way that we can either lust after or appreciate. Are we mature enough in our journey to know the difference and to, consciously and often with great difficulty, choose one or the other?

We are human and we are weak. So, we may not make the cut on one day. We have the freedom to think either way and need the strength to choose the right path. Is it enough to think, "This is someone's wife, husband, child, sister, or brother" to make the 'shift' in thought? How about, "This is MY brother or sister in this World"? Use whatever it takes. But use it. For your own sake.

If the line is ever crossed when I start to feel anything other than appreciation, I'll return to Confession and ask God's forgiveness for coveting, as well. Right now, I pray for him and his family, for him to become a Saint (that'll knock the Lust right outta ya!), and for myself to simply appreciate what God created like a landscape or sunset. We all deserve that type of appreciation.

Reboot Challenge? Ask yourself looking at pictures or people, which are you experiencing today? Honestly.

Reboot Challenge #2? Think of how would that person feel if they knew with which eyes you were viewing them. Creeped out or flattered?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Home for Every Child

There should be a home for every child but not just any home.

Children are a gift from God that deserve a loving home and should be treated as gifts.

I read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran when I was 12. I don't say that to brag, only that it made an impact on how I viewed my daughter, later.
 
On Children
 Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He l
oves also the bow that is stable.
 
They deserve a home with parents or guardians that love them and show it through their actions. Their actions, I said, not toys and games.

Children are not toys that parents can sit aside when they get bored with them or bothered by them once they can walk and talk back.

Children deserve more than just a home that feeds and clothes them and tosses money and cell phones at them.

Children need a home that they feel safe within it and safe talking with the adults there. They ask a lot of questions that should be answered if they are to grow properly.

Children need a home that doesn't have to include a 50" inch television but people who are interested in what the have to say about their day and their fears and thoughts.

Children need reassurance that their lives are stable.

Children need a home where they are comfortable and can sleep at night and dream the dreams of the innocent.

Children deserve a home where they are not expected to be the 'adult', forced into parent roles, and worrying about adult problems and adults over-sharing their business around them. In other words, there should be no one 'dumping' on them.

Children need a home that allows them to hit each stage of their development, not missing a step, so they are emotionally ready for maturity when it comes. I read that the human brain isn't fully matured until 25! We send 18 year olds out into the world with the thought they are 'done', like a baked cake!

Children deserve to feel freedom but have rules and discipline (Not hitting!). The original meaning is to teach, to train, to give instruction (Read: Disciple). Discipline the word began to include 'punish' during the 14th Century. But that's another post.

Children need a home where adults will show them a good, responsible, kind way to live their lives as they grow and encourage them in tasks that will help them later in life and able to love others.

Children need a home that is serious about education and morality, the keys to the rest of their lives.

Children deserve to feel protected from the World and its issues.

And if, God forbid, a serious problem exists in their lives, Children deserve to get the professional attention to help them through it or it stays with them the rest of their lives. We all know that adult or are that adult.

Children deserve to be children for as long as they can be.

Right now there are kids in countries afraid to sleep because of terrorists, unable to play outside because of gang violence, hungry in starving countries, submitted to the stress of their parents trying to earn a dollar or pay the electric bill because they spent money on gambling or hair or the man or woman in their lives, exposing their children to man after man after man or woman after woman, earning a great living but ignoring the children's emotional needs, giving children TMI (too much information) about their lives and troubles and past, making children stress over school with no help at home, pushing children to excel without a loving reason why, neglecting their children for an addiction, allowing them to be sexually abused, allowing their children to run the show in the home, otherwise, to make all the decisions parents should be making, not communicating with them on a personal level at all, leaving them to care for all the children even when they are home, ignoring their spiritual needs and safety and emotions and need for love, and beating them as you wouldn't a dog on the street, as it's said.

Is that any way for sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself to live?

Reboot Challenge? Hug a child today. Speak gentle kind words to one. One of them really needs it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Everybody's Lookin' for Something

I've always liked that line of Annie Lennox's song.

I like it because it is so true, even if the rest of the song is pretty negative, i.e. some of them want to use you.

Now, what everyone looks for varies, exists, doesn't, is unique, is collective, is superficial, selfish, charitable, or soulful. That is what raises the fascination in me for others walking around this rock with me.

There has been no official data collected for this blog, only my observations. My Mom tells me I pay too much attention to others. She also worries that I 'give' too much. Little does she know, that I behave as if I'm an alien on this planet talking to many inhabitants and studying, if you will, behaviors and responses. (Ooh...that doesn't sound weird, at all!)

I observe all from tones of voices, facial expressions, body movements, what's said and what is not said, how smiles reach eyes or if they don't. I look at hands, posture, gaits, and willingness to connect with strangers. It's amazing what you can tell in a public place as mundane as a grocery store.

"I knew you were late because you were somewhere talking to somebody", I hear my mother's voice in my head.

Not everyone gets it.

If you look carefully, people tell their story without even realizing they are doing it. Our lives are written everywhere on us (past and present). It can be in what we chose to wear, or not wear that day. It can be in whether our eyes are willing to meet another's or if we suddenly find our feet interesting enough to keep our eyes downcast (unless it's a cultural mannerism). Are we fearful? Are we ill? Are we healthy? Are we helpful? Do we need help? Are we avoiding asking? Are we lying? Are we lying to others or to ourselves?

Watch, look, listen. It's taken many years to build this form of communication and I, intentionally, first look into the eyes, if they allow it. The eyes are, as said, the windows to the Soul. Are the draperies wrinkled with laugh lines or do people smile with more of a grimace that doesn't reach the upper two-thirds of their face?

I make sure I am not only reflecting what one is showing me but what I want to show to them. I make short comments and ask questions that don't require a simple Yes or No. We love to talk about ourselves. Not to make anyone paranoid, but we talk sometimes and divulge information we weren't intending to, especially to a stranger. How else are we to get to know and trust one another without that kind of interaction? We can't.

I'm proud of my brothers and sisters who see I mean them no harm. I'm not being manipulative, just curious. Rarely, have I actually had someone turn away without a connection of some kind. I've never felt fear of being harmed when I'm moved to approach a person. If I was not in the best of moods, I was the one that felt something or someone was missing from the day. It was Me.

It was Me not caring.

With every gift and blessing I've been given, I have no right, and no desire, to ignore others. If I sense a lie, I forgive and move on to something else. As I've said before, I pick my battles and there is no use walking through this world with a chip on my shoulder waiting for another human being to knock it off. I refuse to give anyone else that sort of control over my day, my feelings, or my life.

It's also said that if you want to know the truth, ask a child. That's why I love being around children. If they feel safe and loved, they have joyous laughs, belly-laughs! They run and sing and play and don't care how they look! They will stop to see if a friend is hurting. They hug. They are as open and honest as we should be as adults. They are more fun and relaxed.

I like to think that if we could keep more of that in us as adults, there would be fewer disputes about flags, race, nationality, money, land, violence, those who prey on the weak, those who con others, feel envy, mental and emotional illnesses, abuses, stresses and lies (Well, only about who ate the cookies!).

Reboot Challenge? Live like a kid today, loving, open, honest, kind and fearless! Note what you get back from others.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What's Happening Right Now?

Everyone has heard this one....

 
Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a Mystery.
Today is a Gift.
That's why it's called the Present.
 
 
This morning, cleaning my free (YEAH!) food dehydrator of all the ickiness the previous owner left on and in it, this thought came to me. Doing the most mundane of tasks actually frees your mind for thoughts and connections to rear their lovely little heads.
 
When that happens, which hasn't been often as I've been so busy lately,  I pay attention.
 
My family is not rich. We aren't able to travel as much as we'd like. We have to pay for repairs on our house, cars, and ourselves. We have some debt but not enough for sleepless nights. We have love in our home. We love our family and friends and they love us. We have an active Faith. We help others, despite our own needs. We take care of each other and others. We have choices of what we eat and when. We are provided for abundantly, in our eyes. Lastly, we take no credit for it.
 
Those who spend their days, struggling for more and more, for bigger, for faster, for better, for riches, for appearances, for the 'ideal', I pity. They are missing out on each day's blessing of just being. Think of all the years given to a job for a promotion instead of with the children, of shopping for cars instead of giving to the poor, of browsing through malls instead of clothing others. It's time spent poorly in the great scheme of things, don't you think?
 
I lack the shopping "gene" so that pleases my husband, but it's a good thing because it allows us to give from our house to someone in need and to many charities. The funds that enter this house take care of us, of course, and of our Brothers and Sisters in the World. Our time is spent enjoying each other but also in helping as many of our Little Ones and Old Ones as possible.
 
This isn't bragging. This isn't just filling up the hours in-between sleep. It's not ambition for it's own sake. It's using our Free Will, daily, to point ambition in a different direction. It's a statement of how Life is. If you think you have what you do, are what you are, or do what you do because of what YOU did, you're fooling yourself.
 
Let's look at it scientifically and logically.
 
If one of the Laws of Physics is true that nothing can be created or destroyed, there must be a Creator from the beginning of all, correct? You can't burn, dissolve, tear, or bury anything without it changing into something else. It never goes away. Field trip to a landfill, Anyone?
 
Buried bodies become ashes and food for other creatures and the earth's plants, water evaporates, becomes gas, condenses, and comes back as rain, every movement uses and produces heat and energy, breathe and you exhale gas that feeds plants using it for growth, rip a piece of paper and you have two pieces, burn that paper and it becomes Carbon ashes, and whatever Man creates (i.e. plastics) came from something else, like petroleum, which comes from the Earth. The simplest life form, or non-living object for that matter, that you can think of has always been in one form or another.
 
Yep. Scrubbing that dehydrator was a good thing.
 
The laundry will have to wait.
 
Reboot Challenge? Perform an act today not requiring your little grey cells. See what happens.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

What Does My Zodiac Sign Tell Me?

Nothing.

As Christians, we are warned not to believe in soothsayers, astrologers, magic, mediums and the like, in the Old and New Testaments, because it's a form of idolatry that goes against our Faith. It's a slap in God's face, basically. Now, I may lose or gain a lot of readers because of that and upcoming statements but sit tight. I have some science to back me up, as well. Unlike what many believe, Religion and Science have, can and do work hand-in-hand. Most of it is just common sense.

First, let's get a definition of what the Zodiac is supposed to mean.

In it's earliest known history (talking Babylonia, here!), there was nothing to do at night BUT look up at the stars. Wonderful, informative, and useful astronomical observations were made that way. Where it took a wrong turn into telling you how your day will be or how your personality is, that's a jump I can't wrap my head around. For a more detailed definition, please see the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac

I would never ridicule anyone who clings to this manner of living their lives, but I need to warn them that it pulls them away from the best place to be, in God's loving embrace as His son or daughter. I can leave the house without checking a Horoscope. But I wouldn't want to leave my BED without God. That's my belief and I'm stickin' to it. We meet our challenges in life head-on with Faith that good or bad, we have God in our corner. It's the one constant we all have as we turn around on this rock.

As Christians, we trust in God. We are not a superstitious people. I just itch whenever I see a Baptized Christian tossing salt over their shoulder or saying don't open an umbrella in the house! Our Faith is our faith. Old wives tales are just that.

No internet update or newspaper Horror-scope will change my day. I know my own personality and have no need for them to tell me about myself or the one the stars say matched me to marry. They don't know me and can't tell me how to live my day. If I believed in that, I wouldn't even be able to leave the house on a day they say not to leave! I'd spend my day looking for the other shoe to drop and in paranoia of an event to come. Where's the control of my own life in that? Where is the Joy of living with that?

That being said, I find no 'thrill' in being a particular sign. I see nothing but coincidence in meeting others of the same, knowing that the odds are I WILL meet another 'sign' with the same characteristics. We ALL have similar characteristics! We are all human. We all have different characteristics due to genetics, environment and experiences, none of which will make us the same as one who happened to be born around the same time as we were. The nearest similarity are study results of people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is as close as one can get to why a group born during one season, and not another, is affected. The information may help affected people and lead to other research of this type. However, it has nothing to do with Astrology/Horoscopes. I can get on board with this type of study because of the hope that it will help others.

Even the article says, take it with a grain of salt, because there are other factors that may influence the study, like the location of the research far from the Equator.

http://www.iflscience.com/brain/does-season-birth-affect-personality

Faith is not the same as superstition. Historically speaking again, we can back up our Faith. But that's another post. The one and only time I went to a psychic was when I was flailing around in the world and following others in my youth without a voice of my own. I went with friends during a camping trip. We went to town to see this woman. Her husband told us she wasn't home because she was out and had a flat tire. I should have known then to save my ten bucks! How does a psychic not know she's going to have a flat?

Another told my elder brother he'd live to be 81. He was dead before his 30th Birthday.

I'll just keep my Faith in God and live the life He suggests. I'm considering the source, as it's said. It's a source of Love, of Good and, surely, more accurate and trustful than a sponsored ad. He knows His sheep and we know Him.

Done. That's A-to-Z for the month of April, 2015!!! Yeah, me! Met the Challenge!

Hope someone's enjoyed reading this month. Numbers were definitely up! Thank you, All!

God bless you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Being the Best You

Let's say money, time, consequences, and objections were not an issue for you.

What, then, would you do? Where would you want to go? To live? What job? What home would you have and where? What would you create? Who would you want in your life?

Can you answer those questions without using the words "as big as a Kardashian's", "like Beyoncé", or "where Rihanna goes"?

If you can't, you are not searching deeply enough.

I've written a lot about dreams and dreaming and will never knock it. I don't believe we should have identical dreams or the same as those of others that fell ass backwards into extreme lifestyles.

My time was spent  chasing a dog down the street, from my car, because I knew he would, eventually, end up in the street and injured, if not dead. I'm telling this because, I wasn't the only one out there trying to catch this little dog that fearfully ran from everyone. Cars stopped, people got out, people chased him for blocks, I followed him through one parking lot and into another. I tried enticing him with a bottle of water but he wasn't having it!

For a dog, the World on that street, stopped for a while. Despite trying to get home from work, people were taking time out to protect an innocent creature from harm. We all lost him. He escaped and went on the run to who knows where. He's still on the minds of many, no doubt. You don't have to be an animal-lover to appreciate the feeling of compassion.

The reason I mention this is because the experience was bringing out the best of each person that stopped, slowed, asked about him, went out of their way to track him, and are still thinking of him, today. It brought out that humanity for little creatures in us. We were showing the Good in us even for a few minutes. We were black, white, young, old, male and female, wealthy and not so wealthy, out there with one goal. We were trying to be helpful to an innocent creature in need.

It takes incidents like that to reveal just how good we really are, individually, and how great we can be together.

I came home to calls from Mom, ("CNN's unpaid on-the-spot-from-her-apartment Reporter"), asking if I was watching what's happening in Baltimore, Maryland on television. The news was going to bring on tears if I hadn't remembered that little dog and all those people.

Buildings burned, policemen and citizens were injured, there was rioting, looting, brick-throwing, games cancelled, businesses closing, and anger heating. The odd thing is the reason for the anger is because of the death of a man, a black man, whose family asked everyone not to react in this way. This was after the young man's funeral. Sigh. His funeral. If his own family is hurting worse than anyone but reasonable enough to say this to the public, why was Baltimore burning?

That's known as crowd mentality. It doesn't matter what color you are, all humans have behaved this way for a long time when grouped together. Just read or watch the movies of "Lord of the Flies". It's a great example of "groupthink". We can do damage. Or we can do Good when we gather. I thought of the dog again, and then I saw the images, from the light of day. The next day, "crowds" were in the streets, cleaning, and trying to repair their neighborhoods from the Evil that had set in the night before.

My opinion is the kettle finally boiled over because You, and You, and You, and I have not been the best we are capable of being. Because of what and who we are, we should be advocates of Peace and Love every day we step from our homes. We are called to be the Lights in this World. Freddie Gray's family has constantly stated there would be peaceful marches. Clergymen have made it known that they are even gathering gang members discussing Civil Disobedience in the way Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged. There is a way to be heard. There is a way to see justice done correctly.

Baltimore's riot was not the way.

The Personal "I" wanted to gather every child and elderly person who was frightened that night by the yelling, screaming, sirens, flames, pepper spray and crashes and reassure them the World doesn't have to be this way. I want to tell them it will pass. I want to assure them that there are people, of all races, who will take advantage of crowds and anonymity under the cover of darkness and cowardly covering their faces and loot, for no related reason, and there will be those that will take advantage to show it on television to make all people look badly upon and induce fear and loathing.

I want to tell each child to be the best You and it's safe to dream all the dreams you want despite what all the 'adults' are doing and saying.
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xanax, Anyone?

Once upon a time there was a young girl who thought she'd grow up to marry Bruce Lee and live happily ever after riding dragons through China's country over trees and into caves.
Except that little girl was me and I have no connection to Xanax, whatsoever, we're off to a good start. Now, that's out of the way, let's examine that first sentence.

That was a fantasy, not reality, of a young person. A very young person.

There are adults living day-to-day with the idea that they live in one type of reality and it causes them great anxiety because it's not real. Others are quick to remind them of this but they can do enough damage in what they tell themselves.

We live and work next to people who may be having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality and it's causing a lot of problems. As a meme I saw recently noted, and I paraphrase, we used to take LSD to have the fantasies, now we take Xanax to have reality.

If I could get away with it, I'd never take another drug. I have many problems with the taking of prescriptions, especially those that can do more harm than good. I don't claim to say it isn't needed and they do work, only that once a prescription becomes a household name, it's efficacy and integrity is in question, in my eyes. Remember Ritalin?

The product name, Xanax, has become a joke. There are crazy, funny, and horrifying stories of those who have taken it and its effect on them from crazy dreams, to passing out, to losing control of their lives.

Sure, we can say, that their medical provider is handing it out like candy on Halloween, wasn't checking on them properly, that they took a dosage that wasn't appropriate, or that they took someone else's prescription, which also happens. However, when you read the literature on the medication, itself and it warns of everything from being forgetful or drowsy to having clay-colored stools, http://www.drugs.com/sfx/xanax-side-effects.html you gotta balance the scales.

In the old days, people medicated themselves through liquor and still do. The "bad boys" used grass, then pills, then heroin, and still do and more. Older than that in many cultures peyote or opium was used...and still are.

The scariest combination is when you have a person with a true mental illness medicating themselves. A common 'take' is that once they begin to feel good, they stop taking prescribed medications, or they don't like how it makes them feel and stop or add liquor and other drugs to the mix. They spend their lives in and out of hospitals trying to find the balance, knowing the cycle will be repeated until one of the parties gives up.

We've been seeking to bring ourselves up or down since the beginning of time. Why? Why are we not happy where we are and with who we are? What is that voice that makes us think that "right now" and "this way" aren't good enough? Must we always seek to be somewhere else or feel other than we do. If you really want that, read a good book!

If we don't feel our real feelings and, instead, try to mask them with pharmaceuticals or otherwise, what type of humans do we become? That is what makes us human, too. The ability to feel the feelings and express them in healthy ways is something we, humans, do. Or should be able to do.

If we can't be honest with our own emotional states, how do we expect to with others? Where is the shame in being 'us'?

The 'kids' call it fronting by putting on that appearance that you have the bigger, better, faster, more, than you really do and are breaking down inside or financially keeping the illusion alive. What's the worst that could happen from being 'you' and admitting you don't have it all together? That right there should eliminate a LARGE number of Xanax users.

Free yourself by being true to yourself, and to others, by being truly 'you'.

Lastly, yes, I'll say it. God loves you. YOU. Now, go forth and feel and deal!

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whisper

If you want to get someone's attention....Whisper. 

Does anyone else remember that ad?

It was so accurate that it lasts in my head to this day and it, surely, it was sometime in the 80's when it was out. I believe it was for a perfume? No one else could remember, exactly, when I searched for it. That shows that it was an invalid ad unless the perfume was called Whisper, in my opinion.

But the Madison Avenue guys got it right on target. Who turns around when they hear a whisper? Who leans in closer to understand what's being said? Who will pay more attention to your whisper than your yelling? Everyone! Sorry, everyone.

There is a lot to be said for body language and many have focused on that for personal and business reasons, in modeling, politically, and in advertising, of course. There are plenty of sources written about using the same concept in marketing of the effect of "whispering". It's been shown over thousands of years, it is just as effective in interpersonal communication and in manipulation. It's obnoxious ads that annoy us and can actually cause anxiety and stress-responses. They've figured that out. That's why those cute little cartoons or happy families are in the ads with pleasant music for pharmaceuticals with the gentle voice telling you the drug may cause gastric distress, psychotic episodes and death.

There was a time when the public was convinced we were receiving subliminal messages in advertising, in films, in the music we listen to, and more. Have a look at the John Carpenter movie called, "They Live"*, with the one of the best scenes between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David in an alley. The public may not be wrong. Would we really know how influenced the average Joe is in daily living without closer examination? (I love increasing paranoia in others! Just kidding!)

Manipulation of our senses and our subconscious mind does happen, through media sources, the Internet, in stores with the music they play, where items are placed on shelves, and even in classrooms. You study this in school and actually can receive a degree in Manipulation, I'm sorry, Marketing.

The result is non-reaction. It's as if the Human Whisperer is training us. I'd laugh if it were funny.

I've said before that what we tolerate now, we accept later. That has come true in many ways over years to the point we are no longer surprised by violent or sexual visuals in media forms or art. We've not only become comfortable but our apathy has increased. In fact, we are more likely to scroll past pictures and stories that would have brought shock to us before. The pictures aren't screaming at us. The news is quietly reporting the facts, and then some. We just get used to it because of how it's presented. We adapt. If it only targets our subconscious, we are not disturbed. Yet.

I think we've been whispered to sleep.

There is something to be said for whispering or at least speaking softly. If you do it in a quiet place but glance at others around, insecurities appear and people think you are speaking about them. (This happens when others speak in a different language, also.) If you whisper in a theater it's appreciated, unless the film's rolling. The man in the film whispers into an ear or stares into the eyes, and you get that he's a menacing character. But he's being listened to, isn't he? If you do it privately, it brings about softer emotions. If you do it in response to one who is angry, it may calm them. Or it may make them take your head off, if their meds haven't been adjusted properly. It's a shot in the dark on that one.

At the time your ire is up and you are ready to scream, try it instead and see what reaction you get. We may be able to stop wars with such a simple solution. Too much to hope?

Either way, a soft voice is supposed to turn away wrath.

P.S. Put on the glasses!*

Saturday, April 25, 2015

While My Violin Gently Weeps

Place your pinkie finger like this. Put more pressure on the bow. Your bow is sliding. Push more on that note. Too much extension on that one. Slow down. Speed up through there. And, the more surreal moment of realizing that one note has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It's there. Really. It is. If you listen for it.

I thank my instructor every week for her patience with the student whose left and right sides of her brain are separated, if not divorced. Fortunately, there are no children involved.

I dream of one day being able to play confidently, if not perfectly, for my family and friends. I would love to pass on this love of music and any ability to any young person in my life. Real music requires instruments and commitment, whether a voice, strings, keys, or skins, it doesn't matter. The commitment to build upon basic skills matters.

My search for a beginner's violin was long and arduous (cliche' much?). I went at it as one of those guys taking their sons to their first, ahem, experience with a woman. I've read of such things and seen it in movies. For some reason, Outrageous Fortune with Shelly Long and Bette Midler comes to mind. The first-timer.

Like an inexperienced guy, I cruised the Internet for something nice but not too cheap. I didn't want to have any 'problems' down the road that I'd need a professional to heal. I couldn't afford the Escorts and headed to the old reliable neighborhood of Ebay.

The choices there were from plain and functional to flashy and modern with bright colors and all different shapes and sizes. Some were well-worn and others fresh out of the factory. I decided on a cheap little new one that looked like it was trying too hard to get attention. It offered extras like two bows, a metronome, and rosin all nicely packaged in a cheap cloth case. I felt sorry for it. It was only $50. I decided it was all I needed at this point with absolutely no skills or knowledge.

When it arrived, I was so excited opening my new violin but had no idea what to do with it. Therefore, I unwrapped it and just 'tinkled' with it until I could get more information about it. I put it aside for a while. Even the increasingly dusty case began to look neglected as I passed it daily. Don't worry. I'll find someone to help us.

Voila! A coach was approached and took me on as a student. We finally had our help. The dream could commence. I mean, Youtube and dvd's can only do so much! It's been worth the investment of time and money for me to learn what I have in music theory as well as playing the instrument, itself.

Although there are no 'concerts' in my future, I have finally made my little violin sing a little. She doesn't just sit sadly gathering dust on a shelf. I don't even put her back into the case, most of the time. I like to see her and be able to walk by and pick her up for practice session. It may be a short one but it counts! Those scales I play will enable me to hear the tune I need to hear, to keep my fingers where they belong, to run the entire length of the bow across her strings and hear a wonderful sound emit from pieces of wood and string.

Anyone who read anything else into this...shame on you!



 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Under the Gun

For my International readers, to be "under the gun" is to be under pressure or scrutiny.

I seem to be spending a lot of time under the gun as I attempt to complete tasks I used to be able to do with ease.

I found myself in a t-shirt turned inside out worn all day yesterday wondering what happened to my life?

Today came and went so fast with calls, texts, emails, writing, and thinking that the one thing I was excited about doing today isn't going to happen. It's Friday and everyone I wanted to speak to directly was either away, leaving early, not in their offices, or have mentally 'checked out'. I feel good about having accomplished what I was able to accomplish and reached a stopping point a few minutes ago.

My instructor's last concert of her High School Orchestra is in about an hour and I just cannot see myself getting there. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't even showered yet today, nor have I moved from the chair I've been in for most of the day with my computer, files, papers, pens and two phones nearby. I have had two cups of coffee, one black-no sugar, ginger snaps, raw carrots, and water all day. I'm typing this and haven't even put on PANTS today. Too much info? Well, this is not been a kind day for me, either.

The result will be a hangry, fatigued, broken brained, lump of a body unable to form a thought or make a decision by 6pm. Therefore, as much as I wanted to be at that concert, the thought of showering, dressing, driving, traffic, parking, finding, filming, and, even, applauding, exhausts me.

I will make many heartfelt apologies to Christina tomorrow morning and hope she forgives my absence. She's been so understanding in the past that I'm sure she will.

We all have our stressors. We all have bad days when we feel we are under the gun. When we have days like today, I hope we understand that it's just one day out of many. I hope we don't go home and kick the wife and yell at the dog. Or the other way around.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we get to wake up and have a better day. We have that chance, that hope. In my case, I may be down for the count (pugilism terminology!) for the entire weekend or I may rest tonight and be ready to go by Sunday when the 'crazy' starts again. However it works out, we all should be thankful for whatever kind of day we had and the crazy people in it.

We, at least, HAD a day.

(Dedicated to those who needed to hear they'll have another shot at life and change tomorrow.)
 

Try Anyway!


If you feel it'll never work. Try it anyway.

If you think someone will tell you, "No". Try anyway.

When others tell you it's impossible. Try anyway.

When you feel you can't do it on your own. Try anyway.

The odds are against you, they tell you. Try anyway.

Life isn't like in the movies but try anyway.

Everyone and everything is against me. But I'll try anyway.

Success comes from trying. Don't sit out on the dance.

Because, truly, what is the worst thing that can happen.

You might make it. It might work. You might get it. You might get there.

You might get it all.

Others sat and watched. At least you tried.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grown-up Reality Sucks!

I had revelation that if I get out of bed a little earlier, pray, check Facebook, emails, texts, Twitter, play some Candy Crush, and have a coffee, and remember to take all my meds, I might actually get a post done earlier. I might actually get other activities done, also, like dishes, laundry, dusting, more emails, watch a few YouTube videos, water my poor plants, more management of my Twitter account, prepping for dinner, and get notes and calls done. NOTE: I do NOT watch the news.

Then the day will actually begin.

I don't like that.

I mean, I'm glad I got up this morning but in my youth, I'd be up to watch cartoons, play with toys, ride my bike, read comics, take things apart to see what's inside, wait for someone else to feed me, annoy my big brother, and other fun stuff like exploring the World in my mind as a ballerina or a Chemist! I was a kid that actually liked school. That was my job.

How did my Reality get like this? I grew up.

There's a good side to being a grown-up. I can make my own bed-time hour, go into bars, drive, vote (ugh!), have cake for breakfast if I want to, read what I want and...and...well. That's kind of it, isn't it?

The rest is filled in with paying bills, 'discussing' and 'connecting', shopping, cleaning, running errands, getting unexpected calls to fill-in or pick-up or drop-off everything from papers to children. No wonder we adults are stressing and there are more prescriptions being pushed at us for it.

This morning I just found that I accidentally deleted a document. It's raining. I have to plan weekend activities with others (I like the plans but hate the 'planning' part, obviously!). I have to get violin practice in there in the day. A not-so-subtle dinner request was made while I was still half-asleep. I haven't seen friends and family in person in a long time.Tonight's a 'shot' night and not the good kind, so I don't know how I'll feel Friday (which is when the weekend begins). I have home projects and my Mom's projects, and "Mom" projects. They don't stop just because they are grown. Sorry.

Why did I have to borrow a library book this week? I know I'll have to renew or return it unread.

There are days I want to say, "Forget everything!" and color in a coloring book.. Wouldn't it be better to just find the Cartoon Network Channel and spend the rainy day cuddled in a blanket dreaming ridiculous dreams. I'd even do one adult thing and make a cup of tea! No. I'd make hot chocolate! Are you sensing the regression, yet?

Since I was on YouTube anyway, I decided to watch a Lydia Senn vlog and, although, she's stressing with all she does, she gets most of it done with two small children and a husband working out of town a lot! It made me think, I shouldn't complain. Things could always be worse.

It's all in how you handle it. For instance, I must wear Jesus' name OUT in a day, talking to Him and to myself, to my Patron Saint, and others, making lists and trying to remember to look at them again. I rely heavily on Husband to remind me to get some things done, then get annoyed when he does. Poor thing.

I look back on days of single motherhood, picking up, dropping off my daughter at school, working up to 4 jobs once, sleep was a luxury, making sure she ate well and got her work done, traveled all around Arizona for volleyball games, and still had time for friends and think, what was I doing differently?

I take my hat off now to those who have more than one child and work outside the home, as well!
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There are those who have no home, no job, no family, no friends, no Faith, no hope, poor health, and myriad of other problems and they rise and try every day to make the day better. That's why I say I can't complain. That's their reality. And, it sucks even more.

Childhood really is great. I tell every child I know to remain so for as long as they can and not let the World and adults push them through their development too soon. I encourage them to tell me what, if they could do anything, go anywhere, or be anything and nothing could stop them, what would they answer? Ask a child. Their reality isn't stunted at all by being told what's not possible. Adulthood is there and has its joys and pains and tasks. They'll get here. Prayerfully, I hope their realities don't suck now and won't suck, later.

Reboot Challenge? Connect with a child in your Reality and remember how good it felt to be one!

PS: Happy World Book Day!!
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spontaneity vs. Routine

Now that I've spent most of my time watching the ENTIRE Princess Hours Korean drama, I can, hopefully, concentrate on my post for the letter, "S". So far, I write, whenever I write. It can be any time of the day or night. It's probably, glaringly, obvious that I have no plan for the posts I write, no outline, or even an idea until I'm set to type. That's what keeps me amateur, which is fine for now. BUT, if I had a routine, I'd have a few books written by now with outlines, drafts, final drafts, editing done, and a publisher or self-published.

Given my more spontaneous nature, it's been a choice. I have lived without real routine in my life for a very long time. It's worked and it's also been my downfall in many ways.

There is a time for every Season, a time to be spontaneous and a time for routine. If I had a better sense of routine, I would have a uncluttered home and no pile of laundry stacked up. If I'd ignored being spontaneous, I'd never have met my husband. If I was routine, I'd have all of my many books in proper order and in one place.Wait. Maybe, I'm confusing routine with neat?

In the old days, being spontaneous, I missed opportunities and caught a few. I'd run out of gas, miss a payment, take unexpected trips based on a blindfolded point of a finger on a map, get lost or have cars break down on those trips from lack of "routine maintenance", and moved just because. I've missed doctor's appointments and meetings because, although they may have been written down, I don't 'routinely' look at my calendar. I've decided to make a left instead of a right turn and met very interesting people and seen new fascinating places. I stopped wearing watches long before everyone had a phone to tell them the time. I refused to be a slave to Time but just let it happen. Alright. Now it's sounding like I'm confusing spontaneity with irresponsibility or a free spirit. I was told that once and just laughed at the woman. I thought to myself, "Nothing's free in this Life!". As I matured I found out otherwise. Still, I once left my daughter waiting outside of her Middle School because I decided to hit the Drivers' License Bureau for a renewal that day. Irresponsible, I'll give you.

I've been known to watch a craft or recipe or skill and decide I just HAVE to learn that! Ask me anything about Calligraphy, belly-dancing, guitar-playing, painting, decorating, exercising, Chinese cooking methods, Origins of Yoga, how to speak Polish, Japanese, or Latin, or sew a quilt! Ask me! I have all the trappings and a little of the knowledge because something shiny went by and I lost interest and moved on to another. Now, spontaneity is beginning to sound like Attention Deficit Disorder to me.

Where my husband has to have a 'game-plan' before he even gets out of bed, planned the night before, or days before, and restated in the morning (just for clarity), I hardly ever know what my day will bring. I figure, I'm awake, have a sorta plan, I'll take a call or get an email that might bring me out of the house, or not. If I get 3 of the 7 things on the list done in a day, it's a Red-Letter Day! It usually doesn't matter what exact time they get done so I can remain flexible.

I am the one that tells the waiter, bring me what you'd order or get him or her to choose between two of my narrowed-down choices and take a chance. I let Husband pick dinner, movie, t.v. show, whatever because I'll probably like it. If I don't, I know what not to go for again. If I suggest an alternate route, it'll be shot down. If I say, let's stop here on the way home and it wasn't in the game-plan, it takes a little cajoling and a darn good reason to make it happen. I married an opposite.

This has made it possible for me to have the spontaneous life I have and not have to plan every little thing. I have him for that. And, he has me to make him veer off-course, occasionally, and try something new. It's a good fit.

Which one are you? Are you one of the 'normal' people who are a little of both? I truly envy that.

You get places on time, not too early or late. You check your destination before you leave. You have a destination! You plan vacations but leave flexibility in case you discover a fun excursion. You have an orderly life but are able to drop what you are doing without catastrophic results. You probably lay your clothes out for the next day and know what you will eat. Must be nice.

I'm still amazed I've kept up with this A-to-Z Challenge, (www.a-to-zchallenge.com or @AprilA2Z) for blogging. Yes, I missed ONE day but I caught up!

Good thing there's room for all of us on the planet. We serve our functions and live our lives in different ways but we're doin' it!

Scanner!!

That's what Barbara Sher (@BarbaraSher) calls me! I knew I'd think of it. Should I go back and redo this post as Scanners vs. Planners? Nah! I find perfection in imperfection. (Nice save, eh?)

Reboot Challenge? Plan a little more and focus a lot more!