|Life: An Evolving Adventure||
As the year and the decade draw to a close, I thought some deep wisdom (and humor) might be in order. So, here are a few true insights from my beautiful feline friend, Misty, who is now happily frisking around in heaven after spending 20 years blessing us with her sweet self. I would love to hear your feedback on Misty's marvelous advice, and perhaps you can contribute your own tips on how to live a better life, based on your experiences with our four-footed friends. Dogs may also apply :)
I watched this video clip from the Hubble Space telescope and found it so deeply affected me. It is images of ultra deep space and there are no words to really describe how incredible it is! Please watch, comment, share.
Hello friends! I haven't posted in quite a while. Too much insanity going on in life. But, today I decided that I have to find fun, a sense of balance and some joy in life wherever it may be. The song from the musical Sound of Music which recounts favorite things as a way of distraction from fear seems an appropriate theme. So, I'm sharing some of my favorite things in a pictorial gallery. Enjoy!
These are some of my favorite things. Now, I invite you to share yours!
"Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." – Helen Keller
Life feels dangerous. It feels exposed and vulnerable. And even knowing that security and, for that matter, control over life events is mostly an illusion -- something we humans make up to make us feel better -- the daring adventure of life often seems more like a carnival ride gone completely haywire. How do you cope when the adventure gets a little too daring? Stop the world, I want to get off!!
The bizarre juxtaposition between outrageous, unbelievably tasteless, crass and scary political antics on the US Presidential campaign trail and devastating, horrific terrorist attacks and refugee suffering leaves the mind spinning wildly, trying to find some sense in it. There isn't any to be found. It's easy to let the tide of negativity engulf and take us under. And yet, and yet...every morning there is a sunrise and every evening a stunning, unique sunset like the one I photographed above that soothe the soul and feed the spirit. Nature always does that for me. Just when I start to completely lose my way in the crush of the craziness, God paints another incredible sunset or rainbow on the sky, and I feel reassured, comforted.
This Earth Day, I am reaffirming my commitment to protect our beautiful planet. I've been doing so since I was a teenager, reading Thoreau's Walden and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. I'm letting go of the things I can't change and concentrating on having the biggest impact possible on those things which I can influence. Fighting some of the same battles to protect dolphins and whales, manatees (and panthers and elephants and turtles and wolves and wild horses) that were being fought 30 years ago. Meeting head-on the challenges of global climate change, striving to keep fossil fuels in the ground and create a safe, economically sound alternative clean energy grid. Working against the multinational corporate greed that's plundering our precious natural resources of food and water with no accountability. Promoting organic, sustainable agriculture. Educating, blogging, speaking, doing, changing -- one step at a time. Watching more sunsets to inspire hope and knowing at the heart level, the Earth is worth every ounce of protection we can offer. After all, good planets are hard to find. This is our only home. She needs our help as never before.
This is a very unusual, touchingly beautiful video presentation, featuring the singer, Sissel, singing Auld Lang Syne with a collage of stunning winter scenery and breathtaking mountain views combined with nature videography of animals in winter settings. Beautiful prayers for the new year begin and end this lovely tribute. Wishing all a Happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2016!
Enjoy some holiday musical cheer with the Twelve Days of Christmas a la the a cappella group, Straight No Chaser from Indiana University. Very creative performance with over 18 million views. Get ready to smile!
Last December, the day after Christmas, we said goodbye to our nearly 20-year-old wise kitty, Misty. We were bereft, since she was the last of the six cats who were such a beloved part of our family through the years and she had been with us since birth. Luckily, we did not allow ourselves to be "catless" for very long, since the house was so empty we couldn't stand it. We found these two simply amazing kittens at our local Humane Society and have been enjoying their lively, energetic kitten comics ever since. In a quirk of serendipity, they were each named and had the same coloring as two of our kitties who were gone over the Rainbow Bridge. We knew immediately upon seeing them piled together sleeping in the window, that they were ours.
They are without a doubt the most intelligent, inventive, playful, athletic and adventurous cats who have ever owned us! Our breakable plates, glasses and knickknacks have taken a pretty big hit, (six glasses, four cereal bowls, two cat food dishes, and a crystal basket so far) but we are so grateful that these furry felines have chosen to be with us for their life's adventure. Below, please enjoy their romp through the cushions. They can entertain themselves endlessly with pretty much anything: paper bags, boxes, a crack in the tile floor, their tails, each other. Here's to feline fun!
This new video features Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and many others singing a heartfelt love song to our Mother Earth. Beautiful!
"When I get a little money, I buy books; if any is left I buy food and clothes." ~Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
I admit it. I'm a serial reader. An unapologetic bookworm and one who revels in discovering new ideas and insights through the elegant expressions of the written word. My home is strewn with books in various stages of consumption and deciding which books to carry with me on vacations has always been a dilemma. Thankfully, in our world of digitally available books and reading devices such as Kindle, I can carry a vast array of reading material with me wherever I go. My back is very grateful for this miracle of technology!
And, yes, like Desiderius Erasmus as quoted above, books can be considered a form of addiction. However, if one must be addicted to anything, I think being a book-a-holic is one of the more benign and beneficial ones.
Recently, a friend asked me for some recommendations of books that focus on creating optimal wellness and using various techniques of positive affirmation and creative visualization to bring about desired life changes. In other words, to learn how our past experience, current frame of mind, intentions and words come together to create the reality in which we sense our world. Well, it took me a week to narrow the list so I wouldn't overwhelm my friend!
Here are some of the books that have guided and changed me, enriched my life, deepened my understanding of my own empowering choices, and helped me to create a rewarding and fulfilled life. I share them with you in hopes they may bring any who are seeking wisdom and direction closer to creating a beautiful, abundant and optimally healthy physical and spiritual life.
The first is a book that introduced me to the concepts of creating optimal wellness in all areas of life: self-responsibility, breathing, sensing, eating, moving, feeling, thinking, playing & working, communicating, sex, finding meaning, and transcending. It is the Wellness Workbook: How to Achieve Enduring Health and Vitality by John W. Travis, M.D. and Regina Sara Ryan. This book came into my life at a time when I was poised on the precipice of a major life change. It allowed me to truly understand where much of my thinking about health and wellness originated, how to make balance and optimal wellness in all areas of life a priority, how to analyze what was not working and why. It empowered me with tools by which to affect the changes I so desired. Looking back, I can see that it was nothing short of miraculous in the impact it had on my life. When I say this is a life-changing book, I mean it! Now in its third edition, it packs a great deal of information and help into this interactive, workbook design in a way that leads to self-discovery and balance in all aspects of life. You can explore it using the link above at Amazon.
Another book that made a significant difference in my life is Alan Cohen's Daily Dose of Sanity: A Five-Minute Soul Recharge for Every Day of the Year. This book has a magical way of bringing clarity and insight, with humor, warmth, personal anecdotes and stories, as well as inspiring quotes and questions which prod the reader into taking action. It distills so much wisdom into one-page daily readings that one can use it year after year, finding new meaning, depth and application to our ever-changing lives. Alan is a gifted teacher, with an engaging style, bringing his wisdom and insight as a nationally-known author, speaker, and life coach to uplift, encourage and empower readers to become their best selves.
One of my favorite authors is Oriah Mountain Dreamer, whose poem, The Invitation, went viral and inspired the augmentation of her beautiful prose into a book, then a series of books, with breathtaking honesty, integrity and eloquence. She paints the inner workings of our hearts with her stories and embodies gentle wisdom and vision to cut through the outer trappings of life to the core of our emotions. It's difficult to choose one of her books as my favorite because they have all been dependable, well-loved companions on the journey, but I think The Dance is the one that speaks most directly to me now. From the cover: "What if the question is not why am i so infrequently the person i really want to be, but why do i so infrequently want to be the person i really am?" And, the back cover brings it even closer to home: "Don't tell me how wonderful things will be...someday. Show me you can risk being completely at peace, truly okay with the way things are right now in this moment, and again in the next and the next and the next..."
So, there you have it. Three of my most trusted companions on life's journey. What books have you found completely captivating, that speak to your heart and open the eyes of your soul? Please share in the comments. We can all use some inspiration!
I've created a special tribute to my friend, Becky King (1958 - 2015). Fly free, dear friend!
I am a singer, a writer, a craftswoman, a student of life and of Spirit, a wife, a friend, an inquisitive adventurer on the learning path. Seeking, sensing, sifting and now connecting! Please join the fun by leaving a comment or passing on a favorite post via your social network. As you can tell from the category list, my interests are varied and somewhat eclectic. I am seeking all that brings joy & excitement to life, purpose & passion to our daily round. I am curious about pretty much everything.