And we’re off to the races!

as

“Feel the left side of your body, feel it sink into the earth..”  (Oh my gosh, what are we going to do if we can’t find someone to tile our bathroom?)  “Feel the right side as it releases all tension..”  (And what if I can’t find a good color-match for the grout?- OH, I hate stupid grout!)  “Become aware of your mouth, your tongue, your teeth..”  (I need to call those countertop people, it’s been two weeks..what is the hold-up..this can’t be a good sign…)  “Nothing matters right now except that you are here..”  (Geez, I wonder how the stock market is faring today..Brexit-shmegzit! )  “You are completely present in this moment..”  (OH NO! The present! I haven’t wrapped that present yet.. where did I put that card?..I did buy a card didn’t I?)

 

If my super-sweet, wonderful yoga instructor had ANY idea how wildly my mind was racing during meditation yesterday she probably would have sent me to the storage closet  just to protect the class from my jittery vibes. The more I tried to reel it in..the further my mind veered off course. My body was present, laying right there on that rubbery mat, but my mind was taking a tour of every crisis (real or potential) not just in my life- but across the entire globe. This lovely teacher had painstakingly crafted such an idyllic mental setting of serenity and openness but my mind just reared up and trampled straight across it like a stallion with its tail on fire. What an agonizing 15 minutes that was as I tried in vain to lasso my runaway thoughts.

stall

It just so happened that my husband and I also had a salsa class later in the evening. The music was loud, the steps were new and unlike during yoga, I had no choice but to stay completely focused on the task at hand. The quick-pace of the lesson with it’s uplifting latin music and complex routines became a surprising refuge, a blessed source of relief, the place where I was finally able to park and unpack my cluttered mind.

sals
so..no- that’s not us…

Which just goes to prove one thing..SOMETIMES when you are stressed out and consumed with worries..actively trying to calm and restrain your thoughts may truly do nothing but exacerbate the problem. You may actually need to engage in a really stimulating activity to kick your brain out of its rut and re-focus on something else.

It’s kind of like getting a puppy to quit gnawing the leg off your favorite chair..You can try to convince the dog to let go, or just offer him a juicy new bone to chew on instead!

 

bone

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

 

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photocredits:meditation-trip.org,www.lovethispic.com,www.dancesf.com,centroveterinariopacaembu.com.br

 

 

“Rate this..”

star

Restaurants, physicians, movies, plumbers, mattress stores.. these days you can find ratings and reviews on almost everyone and everything.

Being new to this area, I have relied on other people’s comments to help me choose a new nail salon,  dry cleaner, tile store, gym ..even a favorite biking trail.

The more I have benefitted from reading reviews, the more I have written myself. I especially feel compelled to highlight great product and service and people who go above the call of duty or who are simply friendly or hard working.

Yesterday I received a hand written note from a “top dog” at the institution where my son is presently in training. This person, whom I’ve never met, wanted my husband and me to know how impressed he was with my son’s work ethic, humility, empathy and devotion to his craft.

I was floored- as was my son.

It reminded me of a note my husband received from the captain of the first ship he was attached to in the Navy. This busy commanding officer took a few minutes to pen a quick message on his official stationary just letting my husband know that he noticed how hard he was working and how glad he was to have him on his ship.

hand

Thirty one years later,  my husband still has that note tucked somewhere under his cuff-links.

Each one of us has the ability to touch lives in this manner. Maybe our positive comments lead to a raise or a promotion for some deserving person..you really never know.

One thing is for certain- recognition and a pat on the back doesn’t cost the giver a dime but to the receiver, it’s often priceless.

 

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photocredit:www.dreamstime.com,www.theguardian.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prism Effect

This is a story about good people. 

Seems an elderly man on a Delta flight to Phoenix last Sunday began having serious heart trouble.  Passengers and crew responded immediately to help; one of the passengers was Tim Tebow.

This is a story about faith.

Tim isn’t medically trained, but while others attended to the ailing man’s physical needs, he consoled the man’s family and prayed with them.

This is a story about darkness.

mag

If you click below you can read about the incident and if you care to, link to the disparaging and hurtful comments people left about Tim Tebow ..proving once again that there are truly lost souls searching for ANY opportunity to spread discouragement and darkness.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/tim-tebow-helps-passengers-during-flight-medical-emergency-n599931

This is a story about power.

When people work together as one, each according to their ability as they did on this plane, we have the power to make this world a much, much brighter place.

tt

 

 

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photocredit:www.reference.com,www.colourbox.com,www.wsoctv.com

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting for Fallujahs

fallujah

When Iraq’s Prime Minister triumphantly announced the recent recapture of Fallujah, he told (commanded?) his countrymen to celebrate. As I stared at the photo of crumbled buildings and empty streets  I had to wonder, “Why on earth were people still fighting for Fallujah?”

Fallujah is a small city located about 50 miles west of Baghdad. It’s been around since Babylonian times but its population has never grown beyond 300,000; about the size of Birmingham, Alabama. The city, which has almost 200 mosques, has pretty much been a place for people to stop for gas, prayer, food or to stretch their legs on their way to Baghdad.

While the initial coalition invasion of Iraq left Fallujah mostly unscathed, rampant looting afterwards caused the city to descend into shambles with terrible, long-term consequences.

I’m pretty sure we all remember the scene in 2004 when a convoy of American contractors was attacked in Fallujah;  4 men killed, and their bodies hung from a bridge. Two major offensives to quell the uprising that followed left 100 Americans dead and over 1,000 injured.

Stability was eventually restored but then lost after the US pulled out of Iraq. Fallujah has been a battle ground ever since with ISIS finally being driven away just this month.

Maybe there is some strategic, cultural or emotional reason so many continue to fight and die for what was essentially a popular rest stop. I say “was” because a quick glance at the video coming out of that place reveals the incredible extent of the devastation that has befallen the city.

So Fallujah has been “liberated” -yay, now what?

The more I thought about the insanity of it all, the more I was able to think of example after example of our own personal “Fallujahs.”

Relationships, jobs, ideas and goals..if we think about it, I’m sure we can all identify episodes in our lives when we have expended huge amounts of time, energy, resources and emotion trying to recapture, maintain or save something that was clearly not worth fighting for; something that was crushed beyond repair..

broken,

unhealthy,

over,

finished.

And yet we so often ignore reality, refuse to take a time-out, a moment to re-access the situation as it truly is and change strategies…but why?

Is it fear, embarrassment, pride or stubbornness? Sometimes, the ONLY thing that keeps us fighting for our Fallujahs is the fact that we have already invested so much- too much.

Hardly a good reason to keep at it, and yet this is exactly where we so often find ourselves..sacrificing it all, fighting for what no longer exists.

 

fal

 

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photocredit:www.dailykos.com,www.foxnews.com

BREXIT-MANIA

change-fish

I fell asleep watching TV at around 10pm last night and awoke after midnight to the breathless coverage of this BREXIT vote that clearly went in a direction no one was anticipating. Not surprisingly, the American press was  engaged in their usual journalistic malpractice as they whipped the story into ‘Armageddic ‘ froth. By the time I went to bed at about 1:30, I was ready to load my suitcase with cans of baked beans and head for “the hills.”

I confess I know precious little about this situation, but I will say that I see a common thread running though recent world events.

Politicians across the globe have not been listening to the concerns of their own people.

Over the last year, the globe has experienced what I previously described as a tectonic shift in immigration. The US had its own crush of mostly unaccompanied children arrive last summer and Europe has seen a staggering influx of completely unmanageable proportions. Germany alone has absorbed close to a million refugees.

The lack of consistent border controls and the resulting chaos reminded me of my first rock concert back in the 70s when masses of people surged from gate to gate looking for one that was open wide enough to let the crowd stream into the stadium. The experience was profoundly traumatic.

As the immigration tsunami grew, the citizens of affected countries (ours included) looked to their governments for protection and a plan..what they got was a pat on the head and a stern lecture about loving our neighbors.

Earlier this year, I actually heard a  US Senator say they have no idea where most of the underaged South American refugees went once they got here.. to which my reply was “C’mon… really?  They’re all enrolled in our schools and you know it! If you wanted to find them, you most certainly could.” (yes, I was talking to my TV- drives my daughter nuts.)

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t allow immigrants into the US; far from it. I’m also sure that immigration isn’t the only driver of all this anger in Britain.

My only point to these politicians is  you need to really listen to the very serious concerns of your own citizens and for heaven’s sake- don’t lie to them…please, stop lying!

This morning I was happy to see that the UK hadn’t dissolved into the sea. What I did see were stunned intellectual elites (politicians & press) licking their wounded egos and talking with resignation (and no small amount of disdain) about the will of “the people.”

Yup, this is all nerve racking stuff, and the future of the EU looks a bit cloudy.  But one thing – one thing –  is crystal clear:

You can only ignore the voices of your own people for so long.

 

 

 

 

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photocredit:www.riseperformancegroup.com

Carpé Diem

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I have a love-hate relationship with my i-phone, more specifically with its spell check feature. No matter what I’m typing into the thing, my spell check is out to correct me. I may know what I’m trying to say- but my phone acts like it knows what I’m thinking.The resulting texts have sometimes proven to be hysterically funny and nonsensical.

Once, my son and I were texting about some sad incident that had occurred. I ended my message with “carpe diem”…an exhortation to make the most of every moment, to live big.. to seize the day! But when I took a closer look at my message in the speech bubble, I realized it had been auto-corrected to read “carpet dime.”

I had to chuckle at the mistake, but truthfully I liked the way it sounded…”carpet dime.”

doomsday-clock

Lately it just seems as if the daily news is nothing more than wall to wall stories of tragedy upon tragedy. Natural, medical, mechanical, you name it..  Terror in the desert, terror in the sky, terror the office…it never seems to quit. Yesterday I even saw an article about how “scientists” had moved up the hand on the “doomsday clock”..(Did you even know there was an official doomsday clock? ) The press release stated “Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.”

Well thanks for the update fellas and have a nice day!

How are we to handle the constant barrage of depressing and scary stories? My answer is a small act of rebellion- to accept the fact that the bad stuff happens, but to push back hard against the impulse to ruminate on all the negativity… to imagine all the details, to discuss it ad nauseam with anyone willing to listen. I figure I have a role to play in my tiny corner of the world, and while it may be small, I can still try to be a counterbalance to the chaos…to be positive, to be peaceful, to be relevant, to be grateful, to be faithful.…and to seize this day!

Let’s face it, there simply are no guarantees in life. Languishing and obsessing over troubles (potential and actual- mine or someone else’s) is not the answer. As it says in Romans 12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Live, laugh, love…. carpeor as my phone says- carpet dime!

 

I wrote this in January of 2015- Could have been yesterday though, huh?

(Visit the calm.com website I highlighted in “Check this out.” It really is great for frazzled nerves.)

Nope- I don’t get it.

hero

So I actually saw one of these refrigerators broadcasting “live” at Home Depot the other day. This baby can stream TV, act like a phone, produce video from inside the fridge, play music and connect with the internet.

Having had four kids, I’m assuming this pricey piece of equipment is best suited for homes with no children. Visions of ice-cream and peanut butter smeared across the screen come to mind, as well as the thought that slamming the door ten thousand times a day might not be great for this computer’s inner workings.

I personally think the concept of a smart TV embedded in a refrigerator door is about as smart as the the in-the-door coffee maker.

cm

I mean seriously, why not build a toaster into the door?

Or how about a blender or mini microwave?

And just out of curiosity..how much room do these in-the-door wonder inventions steal from the space inside the fridge..you know, that area where you actually may want to store food?

Seriously… the folks who design this stuff probably need to think a bit more about the “whys” of their inventions and less about the “why nots?”

Ok, Ok, maybe I’m just showing my age here..

Maybe there really is something to be said about being able to order pizza from the door of your fridge when the live interior video shows there’s nothing to eat inside.

 

 

 

 

 

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photocredit:plus.google.com,www.moneywatch.us