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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Power of Prayer


As always, at this time of year, I am reminded to count my blessings, as so many in this world have nothing to count. It is hard to imagine, from my vantage point what having nothing would be like. I only know that I do not really want to find out.

This brings me to discuss using the power of prayer to give oneself over to a greater power than your mortal self. As religion and prayer are very personal choices, I will use the term "higher power", which can be interpreted as God, Buddha, Mohamed, the Great Spirit, and other words that signify "God"for each reader.

I came across a very good article from the book Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life, by Kate Braestrup. Braestrup says that "prayer is deliberate, intensive thought, offered silently or spoken aloud. It's a tool that allows us to be more conscious, like meditation. . . .Prayer is likely to be our default mode for managing the fear and pain that sometimes come with human experience and for engaging the sacred dimensions of that experience."

I like the author Marianne Williamson, who has written several books for women, including A Return to Loving , and a Women's Guide to Worth. From Real Simple magazine, May 2010, Williamson has an article called: 10 Ways to Stay Spiritually Connected. The 10 steps included: Recognizing your Creator, Set time aside each day to spend in spiritual reflection and contemplation, and Bless the world--all very important activities that we need to find time to practice.

It seems to be very difficult for me to stay focused and in the now. I tend to rush ahead getting things done, or problem solving. It is hard to get me to stay still (right Mom!). However, when I do center myself it is a wonderful feeling.

With the Christmas/Holiday season approaching, I find myself running out to get presents, and then more presents. I don't usually stop until I get whatever I have "scheduled" for myself done. The good news is I am almost done! Then I will have time to enjoy celebrations with loved ones. The thing that I look forward to the most.

Have a joyous time this season! Share your love, and spread joy!

Here is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.--" Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

Peace!

Joan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Gather Together!

FOR TURKEY--ETC, ETC!

But seriously, folks, this is the beginning of the season we love so much, because it involves being with our loved ones (and eating!). It is a wonderful time of the year.

In keeping with the season, it is time to look introspectively and count our many blessings. In a state of less than perfect economy (I'm trying to be gentle!), we still have so very much in comparison to many in the world.

Let's take time during our Thanksgiving celebrations to say aloud something(s) that we are grateful for. I personally am thankful for my home, loving family, wonderful friends, food (I know--again!), a fantastic dog, and my health.

I will be with my husbands family in Pensacola, Florida this year. We are traveling tomorrow; it is about an 8 hour drive. I am bringing hot and cold packs for my back and neck, and pillows!

Please keep the season in your heart, and share it with others!

Peace to all,

Joan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Hallows Eve--Beware!

My Other Broom is a Car!

Actually, the car is in the shop due to mine being rear ended Tuesday evening. I'm fine--just some sore muscles, neck, back--but fine! I got a rental yesterday and am loving the freedom of driving. I wish I did have a broom, it would have come in handy!

I have a sack full of candy for the trick or treaters. I always feel a little guilty as a dental hygienist handing them potential cavities! But, the occasion is for some scary fun, and I can't deny the kids that.

It is too bad that the full moon didn't wait for Halloween. Its windy, and that moon would be just the finishing touch!

Here is a poem from the unpublished book Naturescapes. If I were in North Carolina, this would be what I would see.

Have a safe and scary Halloween!

BOO!

Joan

Fall's Last Stand

Late October
And its raining
Leaves!
Brilliant reds, golds
And Yellows
Carpet the forest floor

With winter nigh
Squirrels dash madly
Securing nuts and acorns
Storing their pirated booty
In secret woodland
Treasure troves

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leaftopia


Magnolia and the Fall Leaves


What an awe-inspiring time of the year! I know that I am very blessed to be able to retreat to the mountains of western North Carolina and feast my eyes on the foliage.

We had a nice trip; but, busier than we anticipated being. We did remember to relax a little bit. I so miss sleeping later. I have been dragging this week, trying to get back to "normal".

Here is a poem that I wrote for an unpublished book called Naturescapes. Enjoy and have a lovely week! Spend some time with a wonderful person--that would be you!

Ciao!

Joan

Leaftopia

Its mid-October
And the mountain's trees
Transition their
Leafy jungles
Of jeweled emerald,
Citrine and peridot
Turning timidly, at first
Then becoming
Brilliant baubles
Ablaze with color

Boldly, Mother Nature
Shows off her
Patchwork quilt
Of autumn finery
Dogwood's garments
Will go garnet
Sumac ripens ruby red
Oaks are tiped topaz
And Maples flash
Their royal red robes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Is In The Air!


Oh Those Lovely Leaves!

They are so vivid, yet so fleeting. The foliage and the chill in the air combine to make autumn is my favorite time of year.

Later this week, I am coming up to enjoy the coolness, drink in the beauty, and relax, perchance to write. I am imagining my favorite perch on the front porch--can't wait!

As we enter this invigorating season, let us use the gorgeous landscape to renew our creative souls. I think that it is impossible to ignore this time of heaven on earth. We need to do whatever it is we do to celebrate, be it baking, painting, writing, or giving thanks.

May fall jump start your engine's, dahlings!

Peace,

Joan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Is Your Brain On Menopause

There it is! I knew I left it some place!

Seriously, sometimes I do wonder if I have one! I love to whistle that tune, "If I Only Had a Brain" from the Wizard of Oz.

Menopause does come with some cognitive problems. Some of these are related to having less estrogen; some of them are from not getting enough sleep, or lack of restful sleep.

What's a woman to do? Well, there is hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. This may be risky and should only be decided after talking to your physician. Some supplements may help that contain plant estrogen. Another supplement is the herb Black Cohosh, which may help night sweats. Additionally, Valerian Root may help as a sleep aid, and your doctor may be able to prescribe prescription medications for you.

I have gone to bed with an ice pack under my neck. This does cool me down so I can go to sleep. I used to have a Chillo, but it wore out--it's about the same as a reusable ice pack.

Regular exercise may help to lessen menopausal symptoms. Just don't exercise two hours before bed, as you will energize your body, and get hot!

Also, watch out for spicy foods as they may keep you awake at night--think HOT! Alcohol is another issue, as you will wake up in the night after sleeping for a while. And guess what? You will be hot! Soy foods and other sources of food that contain plant estrogens, like flax, should help your symptoms.

Remember, you are still hot, only now it comes in flashes!

Think cool!

Joan

Sunday, September 5, 2010

GOOD VS BAD PROCRASTINATION?


My Friend Marion Pretending to Procrastinate!

It is amazing to me how quickly technology can squash you. I am rewriting this blog post due to the beastie below. He quite literally ate my text!

Here I was waxing profusely about writing an article about procrastination that was keeping me from working (i.e. procrastinating ) on my query letter. Suddenly, BAM! that little sucker took the text with him when I tried to move him!

I guess there is some justice in that happening. But, seriously, there are 3 types of procrastination, a) doing nothing, b) doing something less important (like errands, domestic engineering--that's cleaning!, and c) doing something more important (like the query letter).

Obviously, I am Queen of "b", with a small amount of "a" thrown in there. I have real trouble with "c". Generally that has to do with not having much confidence in getting said work published or accepted, as it is poetry. All you poets know that aside from poetry chapbooks and contests, how difficult it is to publish a poetry book--it's "just not main steam enough", blah, blah, blah.

In short, I am discouraged from sticking my poetic neck out again, if not plain scared to do it. But, fear not, I will make progress, even is it seems like a snail is working on this book at times.

So take that beastie! May the pen be mightier than the sword! Don't you dare eat my blog this time!

Rotten procrastination beastie!-->

Don't let him get you! Ciao! Joan