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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Again!

Robins waiting for a bath!

It is spring in central Florida. Actually, it has been for two or three weeks, that is how long the Robins have been here. We have hundreds of them in the neighborhood, and frequently tens of them waiting in non- ending rows for a turn at the birdbath.

I like Robins. They are very beneficial birds, as they eat bugs. Robins are regal and very shy.

Along with the migrating birds, we have a return of pollen, ah-choo! I've had to break out the antihistamines, oh well!

It is getting to be time for a spring cleaning of our homes, and the clutter in our heads. I seem to have accumulated more than usual! I think I'll pop open my ear, and let the brain air out!

But, seriously, if one declutters their home, their life can feel much "lighter". According to an article I recently read from Whole Living Magazine, Susanna Sonnenberg sites excerpts from the book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston.

Sonnenberg quotes Kingston saying: "clutter drags your energy down, and the longer you keep it, the more it will affect you. Sonnenberg decluttered her home with the criteria that you ask four questions when considering keeping something. Kingston's questions were: 1) "Do you like it?, 2) Do you love it?, 3) Do you need it?, 4) Does it bring you peace and easy energy or uneasy trouble"?

Does this pique your interest? Certainly, I have an abundance of "stuff". I love clothes and even though I have spent some time clearing some of them out, I still have more than I need.

What I'm going to start with, though, is paperwork. I have a pile of paperwork that "a show horse couldn't jump over"--a quote from my husband from some unknown source! I'll let you know how the process is going over the next few months.

Meanwhile, back to that spring thing! Embrace it! Grab some sunshine and stop and smell the flowers.

Peace to you!

Joan

Robin redbreast
Stately hops with
Eyes intent, focused
Moving with purpose
Snatches the green beetle
"Gulp"she swallows her prize


Friday, February 11, 2011

My Valentine

Happy Valentines Day!

For all our valentines, our spouses, lovers, friends, parents, or children, let us tell them that we love them today, and at every opportunity. The loves in our lives are what makes everything worthwhile; and although this seems rote, we must not take them for granted. We never know when our last words to a loved one will literally be our last words.

So here is a special "I Love You" to my parents, my siblings, children, grandchildren, and the love of my life, Rob. Here is a poem that I wrote many years ago for Rob.

Work of Art

My lovers hands
Are the hands
Of a working man

They are scarred and roughened
Through being beaten up
By the elements

They are very strong hands
Strong and beautiful
And surprisingly gentle

They are the hands
Of a real man
My man

Here's wishing you a wonderful day, and a wonderful week. Remember to love yourself, too!

Ciao!

Joan

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Striving to be Fearless!

Me without my makeup!


Hello Friends!

I cannot believe that it is February, already! But what a winter it has been! I can't complain, as I've been cocooned in Florida for most of it.

Today I want to write about being fearless. Why is that, you ask? Well. probably because I am such a big chicken! Seriously, I have anxiety issues, and I'm basically shy, so it can be difficult to get out of the rut and step out of my comfort zone. In fact, I have to dare myself to do things, like publish a book. How did I do this? I told a couple hundred people about the book. I knew that I would be embarrassed, and often, if I did not publish it. It worked! I got my fraidy-cat self out from under the bed and self-published.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of my fearfulness problem. So here I am dealing with the same issues as I was four or five years ago. I am telling all of you out in the blogisphere so that you can help to guilt-trip me!

I like these quotes from Terri Trespicio, from January/February's Whole Living Magazine: "The path to fearless living goes straight through the roadblocks, not around them", and "Creativity goes beyond sheer artistry: it takes courage to express your ideas." This is good stuff. I think I should post them where I can see them every day, and drill them into my lizard brain.

If anyone has any ideas on transitioning from chicken heart to dragon, please offer your suggestions!

Meanwhile, here is a poem from the up and coming Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader!, my future book! I know, I know!

Peace to you all!
Joan

The Libra

Here I am
Straddling my life's stream
One foot in the "now"
Deeply planted in necessity
One or two toes of the other
Foot have strayed into the unknown--
The unmodeled clay of dreams
Where ideas are scattered about
Like amorphous clouds--almost
Becoming concrete, palpable
Close to conception
Egg of idea and sperm of intention
On the point of action
Nearly communicate, consummate--still
A breath away, a gossamer veil
Of steel separates these parts that
Must be made whole

Determination drives me
I am purpose, hurtling toward
My goal, shape-shifting until
I become the key
Unlocking the possibilities
Arriving at my future


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magnolia's Birthday

Contemplating the snow!

Today is my sweet dog, Magnolia's birthday. She is 6 years in people years, and 36 years in dog years. If she didn't have those white whiskers, you couldn't tell.

I have had many wonderful moments with this dog. She is a lover and a cuddler. I can't imagine a truer companion. Long may she live!


Oh for the love of dog!

Peace and Happy New Year!

Joan

Friday, January 7, 2011

ACCEPTANCE

SNOWED IN IN NC!

It was a beautiful snow--for about 3 days. Unfortunately, we were unable to get out for 5 days. Except on foot to the neighbors, and walking about in the snow.

We had plenty of food, so no complaints there. Our power went out Christmas afternoon, and we were not able to cook our Christmas dinner. We did have a camping heater and a propane lamp. Hot dogs were cooked on the grill and served with a green salad. That was topped off with pumpkin pie!

The electric came on in the night, and we had lovely hot showers in the morning! I have to say you really appreciate things like running water and heat when you don't have it!

Acceptance is one of the toughest things I struggle with. Being a control person, I tend to want things thus and so--rarely does life go this way, however! Being snowed in, without a way to get out on the roadways, leaves one with accepting that you cannot go out. Obviously, the only thing to do was adjust my attitude and enjoy it!

Below is a passage that mirrors the Serenity Prayer that is used in recovery. I have it posted inside a bathroom cabinet with other inspirational sayings and quotes.

Happy New Year! May we all have a bountiful year in our lives and in our hearts!

Peace,

Joan


Acceptance

Is the answer to all of my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find
some person, place, thing, or situation--
some fact of my life unacceptable to me,
and I can find no serenity until I accept that
person, place, thing, or situation as being
exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world
by mistake: unless I accept life completely on life's terms
I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate on what needs
to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

CAU


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