Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mockingbird in the neighborhood Saturday May 18, 2013

Mockingbird in the neighborhood Saturday May 18, 2013

I didn't do a great job of videoing the fast little thing but I did get a short clip. You can hear it singing. 

He was busy all afternoon. I got a few clips and tried to upload to laptop. 

Then I ran into trouble with bluetooth: 

Error: "Bluetooth peripheral device driver not found" drove me crazy. 

Had to go to Asus and download drivers, update, restart the computer before I could transfer the files from my phone to my computer. Got that fixed tho.

Then I couldn't upload the video to blogger. Oh well. So I'll try putting it on youtube and see if I can link it here. 

So I'll be checking on the mockingbird again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Facing strength and weakness

All that things that happen in people lives to pull them together and split them apart.

Million little events, coincidences, outside forces.

I realize that my mom's breakdown when I was 19 was my opening to be strong. My husband's strength and accomplishments scared me and were my opening to breakdown.

I have to keep on this thread of self-awareness, it's leading to a breakthrough, I can feel it coming.

Hero of our own narrative

Is it true that we're always a hero in our own narrative? Not exactly. Sometimes, we fail the hero test and we're the bastard in our own narrative. Being the bastard in our own narrative is not a good place to be but it may be a true place. Shame [ and repentance become ] is the gateway to grace, as Blayne said in The Unit. Recovering from the shame so that we can rise from our cowardice and wounds to fight another day is the important measure of living out the narrative.

I've been the hero of my family, and my family didn't have enough sense to recognize my heroism, and so I didn't recognize my own qualities. I've been the turd of my family, too, and boy, my family didn't fail to recogize that, so I was made supremely aware of my turdishness.  Boo hoo.

So which do I dwell on? I guess I get to choose. Both are in the past now. I can learn from both and I can be a better person. I can never take back those failings. I can face them and embrace my humanity and try for forgiveness.

I can become the human in my own narrative.

Part of the problem is we all live and believe our own hero narrative, from the cruelest dictator to the most generous philanthropist. We cling to the hero in ourselves, even while living immoral and debauched lives, probably. Probably. Definitely. Without the hero, we can't stand being the bastard. I think. Everything is too complicated. Without the feeling of being adored and loved, how can we live with being kicked around.

Being the hero allows us to accept the adoration. Otherwise, it's hard to accept the love. So all hail the hero. 

I've been getting high on taking bee pollen and royal jelly for the last few days. It makes me feel wonderful, energetic, not hungry and at peace.

Attaching to a community and crafting a community vision

Communities attach people through it's sense of openness and welcome to residents and outsiders.  Beauty in the parks and meeting places make a community something the residents can take pride in and enjoy bringing visitors to. Yet, what happens when young people don't feel attached that way? What happens when outsiders become insiders and don't really care about keeping the community "nice"?

Crafting a community vision must include plans for those issues that attach people to their community. The aesthetics of both the Imperial Marketplace and the Market Creek Plaza offer great attachment value, which was a big element of allowing the big box Home Depot and the 24 Hour Fitness into the community. Those nice looking retail outlets didn't solve all the ills, but it works well the character of the community as it has grown over the last 40 years.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fighting for the soul of our community and maybe country

Yesterday, I wrote about organizing principles, esp. with regard to community. I realize I'm realizing how now is a time of struggle, not for civil rights per se, but the bigger struggle is for the soul of our community and maybe our country. A community needs a soul, Pope John Paul said, if it is to become a true home for human beings. "You, the people must give it this soul." How do we do that?

Today, I ran across a saying (Thuto Ke Thebe, motto of University of Botswana in the Setswana language "Education is a shield.") and learned the word botho. I looked it up on Google and found a lot of worthwhile info, esp. the following. I already knew a bit about Botswana, but I came away with a very great admiration of this country and the progress it has made to turn it's economy and society.

The word 'Botho' is derived from Tswana, the national language of Botswana. Botho is Botswana's fifth National Principle and it defines a process of earning respect by first giving it, and to gain empowerment by empowering others. The Botswana people use the term botho to describe a person who has a well-rounded character, who is well-mannered, courteous and disciplined, and realises his or her full potential both as an individual and as a part of the community to which he or she belongs. Botho is an example of a social contract of mutual respect, responsibility and accountability that members of society have toward each other and defines a process for earning respect by first giving it, and to gain empowerment by empowering others.

Below are a few examples of Botho that will be highly appreciated by the locals ...
  • Taking your hat or cap off when speaking to an elder - sign of respect
  • When an elder is in need of seat and none are vacant, it is botho to offer the elder your seat...
  • When entering a house or any building (especially government buildings) taking your hat or cap off (men) is a sign of Botho..
  • Greeting before beginning a conversation or asking for something/ a sign of politeness

Morero (Consultation and Consensus Building) : The Batswana believe in consulting each other, within families, between people, and at government levels. This is called morero, and is an important way of reaching agreements. Even the President regularly travels all through the country to meet people and consult with them about government programs or issues that concern the people. Even though this takes up a lot of time, it creates much good feeling.

Belifes, Values and Practices
Botho (Humanity)

Setswana society expects and requires its members to have "botho", which is derived from "motho" (a human being). Botho refers to the possession of the good attributes associated with a good human being, in other words, qualifying one to be called a human being.

Any person, regardless of his/her social standing, who is found wanting in any of those positive attributes that constitute a motho, is regarded as having 'no botho'.

The yardstick for botho is a package of positive human attributes, including good-manners (maitseo), kindness, compassion, humility, respect, and living up to the expectations of society and one's particular role.

In short, botho can be referred to as a yardstick for good behaviour which is consistent with the expectations and cultural norms of Setswana society. That code of behaviour includes good manners, helpfulness, politeness, humility and consideration for others, respect for older people and many more positive attributes expected of a human being.

Morero (Consultation and Consensus Building)

Batswana strongly believe in the value of consultations within society. The process of morero (consultation) at inter-personal, family, and community levels is considered an invaluable asset in the ability to reach and sustain agreements.

At the national level, public service officials and politicians, including the President, regularly travel throughout the country to consult ordinary citizens on various government programmes and other issues of national or local concern. In this way, most citizens do not feel left out of the decision-making process of their country.

Failure to consult tends to generate negative responses since people interpret it as an indirect statement that either they do not matter, are inferior, or in the case of the family unit, not significant enough to be worth consulting. Although consultations tend to be time consuming, the consensus they bring about creates a lot of harmony both within familie
s and in society as a whole. The modern system of government in Botswana has benefited greatly from this culture of morero.

A framework for a long term vision for Botswana

Botswana Presidential Task Group
Botswana's Vision 2016 began in August 1996 with a nine person Presidential Task Group. These capable individuals produced a booklet entitled "A Framework for a Long Term Vision for Botswana". The Vision 2016 is available on Botswana's national website, and it is briefly presented below with its underlying principles.

  Botswana National Vision 2016
 Botswana will be an educated and informed nation. All people will be able to have good quality education that is adapted to the needs of the country. Schooling will be universal and compulsory to the secondary level. Good quality vocational and technical training will be available at secondary level and beyond as an alternative to academic study. Entrepreneurship and business skills will be an integral part of all schooling. No student will be disadvantaged by ethnic origin, gender, language or remoteness of settlement. Botswana will be in the forefront of information technology with state of the art computer and communications equipment, and will play a full part in the coming information age. All people will have access to telephones, national newspapers, radio and television services, and to computer equipment. Information about the operations of Government or other organisations will be freely available to all citizens.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a prosperous, productive and innovative nation. Batswana will be a hard working and disciplined people with a diversified economy. Agriculture, industry, mining and services will be productive and vital components of economic activity.
Batswana's development will be sustainable, and will take account of the preservation of the environment and renewable resources. Incomes in Botswana will have been raised closer to those in developed nations. All Batswana. male and female will have the opportunity of paid employment, access to good quality housing, as well as increased resource ownership.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a compassionate and caring nation. Income will be distributed equitably. Poverty will have been eradicated, and there will be an efficient social safety net for those who suffer misfortune. All Batswana will have access to good quality health services, sanitation and nutrition. The negative impact of the AIDS epidemic in Botswana will have been halted and reversed.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a safe and secure nation. Violent crime will have been eliminated, and there will be full protection of individual rights. Batswana will have confidence in law enforcement agencies, and standards of road safety will be high. The people and borders of Botswana will be protected by a small, disciplined and accountable national defense force.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be an open, democratic and accountable nation. There will be a system of decentralized democracy and political tolerance. Civil society will play a full part in the development of the country, alongside government. The nation's leaders will be open and accountable to the people. The role of traditional leaders will have been enhanced. Freedom of expression as well as press freedom will be fully protected.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a moral and tolerant nation. There will be high standards of personal morality, and tolerant social attitudes towards people of different cultures, ethnic traditions, religions or disabilities.
By the year 2016, Botswana will be a united and proud nation, sharing common ideals, goals and symbols. Society will be under-pinned by resilient family values with a strong sense of tradition and pride in its history.  

 * The word Batswana refers to the people of Botswana

Monday, January 30, 2012

Organizing principles

Trying to understand how to think about community renewal and redevelopment, especially as related to a formerly blighted community. My perspective is as a resident since 1966 yet I want to be able to expand into a broader perspective. Since many community ills have been identified, I am choosing a healing perspective as my organizing principle. This is problemmatic inasmuch as no one else seems to share this perspective, making  it more difficult for me to share ideas with other community members. Therefore, in discussions around community development, I am choosing to raise awareness of the healing perspective first, and then make my points about the community with healing as the central principle.

As long as the organizing principle of the greater society is not about healing, there seems like there will be an inherent conflict. If modern society's organizing principle is consumption, everything that does not advocate consumption will seem to be a failure. Since I consciously reject the principle of consumption as supreme, I have to become aware of others' organizing principle.

In order to have constructive communication about most topics, but especially about community, it's important that I make others aware that I choose the path of health and healing and cooperation versus competition.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 is right around the corner.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Zoo Metaphor

I'm wondering if I define my life as a zoo and me as the zookeeper, does that help me understand the care and feeding that comes with my various pet projects and interests. And each purchase / interest adds to the care and feeding requirement / burden. Each relationship / friendship / club = zoo animal. House = zoo exhibit / several animals. Each interest, each collection, each project, each pet = zoo animal. It can come down to each storage item = zoo animal. For example, gardening is an interest. A garden and related activities can be very time consuming, to a similar degree as a pet animal / zoo animal. Every day, so form of care and feeding may be required. If I am into both gardening and, say, beading, I have to find a way to fit in activities each week / month / day, depending on how often that interest requires "care-feeding".

This may be an obvious conclusion for many people, but it's starting to become a reality in my life, hence the blog entry.

Having this mindset gives me the ability to edit my "zoo" and budget my time. I can prioritize the essential care and feeding needed to stay up to date and organized with my "zoo". And it puts the requirement to simplify into perspective. As difficult as simplifying a life may be, it may be an essential thing to do, or risk becoming hopelessly disorganized and scattered.

To come: zoo inventory.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

To Dos 9-22-10

Warranty box re-org
Corner re-do
Closet re-do

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summarize to dos

Want to do (8-10-10)

Beading : paper beads, beaded chain, laquered pendants -- wire mounted crystals

Plant table

DIY Greenhouse done 8/17/10

Cuttings done 8/17/10
Zauschneria California Fuschia
Allen Chickering Sage

Seeds done 8/17/10
Common Thyme
Rio Grand Chili Pepper
White sage
Zulu Daisy

Master Bedroom
PROM - Purge, Remove, Organize, Maintain

Important papers

School start:
Scan photos for St. Rita's
Pay tuition

Summarizing the last two weeks

Son's bedroom re-do (repaint, new furniture, new closet, new curtains; wall mount the TV); flower bed re-do (divide daylilies and society garlic, take out kalanchoe, container succulents). Shuffling back and forth to Surf Camp. Strawberry short cake. Considering opening an Etsy shop with Paula's designs. EOF

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Does this blog make my consciousness look fat?

Hunks of consciousness ... becomes chunks of consciousness, morphing into chunky consciousness, which could mean obese consciousness? Playing wit the words is all.

Magic on a Budget Blogs

Magic on a Budget Blogs

Capturing moments ... who needs it?

I started blogging to capture moments and random thoughts that would otherwise just vanish into ephemera. And it's working for me, for the most part. I capture random thoughts and there they sit for a virtual eternity, for me to be able to go back and remember. I lack discipline, I don't flinch from saying it. I can imagine journalling or blogging every day, but really, I wouldn't do that. It's not in my scattered nature. But some thoughts that go by like a CNN ticker are just too juicy to leave to an undisciplined blog. What do I do with those hunks of consciousness?

As pointless as those chunks of me might be to others, I still feel compelled to record them publicly. That's a head-scratcher right there ... why in public? But otherwise, I still wonder what to do to try to shape them. I feel perfectly content with struggling in my undisciplined and random blog-mumblings for now. I guess I just need to keep capturing the moments.

Aside: this week's Memphis Beat is a trip: "Family is an albatross around the neck of great men .... the only people who say otherwise are parasite women who are looking for good men to make their hosts." Priceless line, really. Jason Lee must tap into some buried crazy streak in his suspects, they have seemed to cough up their confessions with minimum prompting. Must be the Memphis Heat ... .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My son, the 11 year old philosopher

Last month, my soon to be 11 year old announced he wants to be a philosopher, and proceeded to read books pertinent to the pursuit. He also wants to play the guitar, keyboard and drums and be a "one man band like Prince" and is strumming and keyboarding and drumming on things. I think it's cute, and I'm also giving him a taste of Mortimer Adler, Will Durant and several instruments to use to go for these lofty goals.

I'm so very grateful to have a son who is interested and capable of reading and thinking about thinking. He crossed a threshold a few years back, after mastering a more than adequate degree of literacy. His literacy has allowed him to become aware of the bigger issues in life, how to bring order to the chaos of life. He is ready to explore how people in the world have asked and answered the big questions of life. I feel very honored and relieved and nervous all at once. Also somewhat in awe of this child.

Once you start making a list of books to read that pertain to philosophy, you have to decide if you want to pursue a classical or more eclectic approach. I am sticking with classical at this point, so my list looks like this right now:

Possible Philosophy Books for 11 year old philosophers (and do not for one minute think this was an easy list to put together):

Fiction that inspired children to think about thinking:
Harry Stottlemeir's Discovery,
Matthew Lipman, 1974, Upper Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children.
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy
, Jostein Gaarder, 1994


Young Person's Guide to Philosophy by
Jeremy Weate

Philosophy for Kids : 40 Fun Questions That Help You Wonder About Everything!,
David A. White
The Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids
, David A. White

If he wants to go beyond these books and reference material, there is a next level I've considered.

Books and online info about world history and the traditions of philosophy:

Reference material:
ORACLE ThinkQuest Interactive Philosophy Resource
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, online at

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Google Search in Timeline View: Timeline Anything you search in Google can be viewed in Timeline view, try it, you can search on ideas!!

The History Guide's Lectures on Ancient and Medieval European History

Overview of the history and traditions of philosophy:
The 103 Great Ideas from the Syntopicon by Mortimer Adler

Index of 103 Ideas

Angel; Animal; Aristocracy; Art; Astronomy; Beauty; Being; Cause; Chance; Change; Citizen; Constitution; Courage; Custom and Convention; Definition; Democracy; Desire; Dialectic; Duty; Education; Element; Emotion; Equality (added later); Eternity; Evolution; Experience; Family; Fate; Form; God; Good and Evil; Government; Habit; Happiness; History; Honor; Hypothesis; Idea; Immortality; Induction; Infinity; Judgment; Justice; Knowledge; Labor; Language; Law; Liberty; Life and Death; Logic; Love; Man; Mathematics; Matter; Mechanics; Medicine; Memory and Imagination; Metaphysics; Mind; Monarchy; Nature; Necessity and Contingency; Oligarchy; One and Many; Opinion; Opposition; Philosophy; Physics; Pleasure and Pain; Poetry; Principle; Progress; Prophecy; Prudence; Punishment; Quality; Quantity; Reasoning; Relation; Religion; Revolution; Rhetoric; Same and Other; Science; Sense; Sign and Symbol; Sin; Slavery; Soul; Space; State; Temperance; Theology; Time; Truth; Tyranny; Universal and Particular; Virtue and Vice; War and Peace; Wealth; Will; Wisdom; World

Heroes of History: A Brief History of Civilization from Ancient Times to the Dawn of the Modern Age - Will Durant
Six Great Ideas - Mortimer Adler
The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time - Will Durant
How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization
by Mortimer Jerome Adler
The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (Viking Portable Library) - M. I. Finley

Digging into Aristotle:
Nicomachean Ethics - Aristotle
The Basic Works of Aristotle - Richard Peter Mckeon
The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle - Jonathan Barnes
Understand how Aristotle's effect lived on as an influence on the middle ages:
Aquinas: An Introduction to the Life and Work of the Great Medieval Thinker - Frederick Charles Copleston

Albertus Magnus

The Time Of Our Lives - Mortimer Adler
The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes - Mortimer Adler
The Lessons of History - Will Durant
Aristotle For Everybody - Mortimer Adler
How to Think About God - Mortimer Adler
How to Speak, How To Listen - Mortimer Adler
Ten Philosophical Mistakes - Mortimer Adler
Intellect: Mind Over Matter - Mortimer Adler
The Four Dimensions of Philosophy - Mortimer Adler

An Introduction to Philosophy - Jacques Maritain
The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy - Simon Blackburn
Adler's Philosophical Dictionary -- Mortimer Adler
The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers - Will Durant
Natural Law: Reflections on Theory and Practice - Jacques Maritain
The Degrees of Knowledge (The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain) - Jacques Maritain and Ralph M. McInerny

understand culture and why we pursue philosophy within modern life:
The Making of Middlebrow Culture -
Joan Shelley

Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America
- Lawrence Levine

These books seem like a good overview of the subject, at least for now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Levels of Living Redux

Filth, Frugality, Flourishing or Fancy

On which level are your living? I thought more about this and added the best level of all: flourishing, like an awesome garden. Blooming and growing vigorously.

You don't need to or want to live in filth, and you can't afford to live fancy, so better to learn to live in frugality or best of all, live a flourishing life.

Frugal is thrifty, prudent, economical, careful. Not particularly popular way to be a part of the consumer society. When we buy something big, we try to go with something better than the middle, but usually not the top of the line. Flourishing is consciously choosing how to feel, think and be in your world, and being content with your choices.

A flourishing consumer knows that too much stuff becomes clutter and tends to weed out anything gets in the way of the beauty and harmony of the space, similar to a well tended garden.

I've seen people living in filth, it's sad and pathetic. Usually it's because of lack of resources, lack of hope, lack of vision, lack of help. God is good and we are blessed not to have that trial to deal with. We are blessed to have what we need and some of our wants. We don't live in the lap of luxury but we live in more than necessity. Solidly middle. That's a flourishing mind set: what's needed to let the essentials bloom.

I think I read and believed this quote from Benjamin Franklin: "Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences."

Industrious middle level we are, and that allows us to live in a degree of dignity. Being content in our frugality, that can be hard in a consumer culture, but I strive to be content with what we have and teach my child some form of contentment with the level, and the ability to strive for whatever level they so desire in their lives.

I would presume to embellish on Franklin's thought: Be deliberate and methodical in acquiring knowledge and you will be well-informed about what is important. Be industrious and content with your needs and you will prosper. Be moderate in your appetites and you will be healthy. Be aware of virtues and practice them and you will feel balanced. By such conduct, your life will thrive and make steady progress.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Emotion security, safety, acceptance

Those elements equal love for most of us. Definitely judgment and criticism must move far away, into another space and time. They are the poisons that kill the spirit and plant self-loathing. That doesn't mean there can be no judgment or criticism, but not in the safe place. The blanket of security and acceptance must be available. The heartache and pain sown into the world by untimely and awkward judgment and criticism is probably untold. Wars and all kinds of strife are created from that seed.

As a mom, I am learning each and every day to kindle the spark of a young spirit and not quench it with words of criticism and non-verbal gestures of judgment. God please help me to grow and learn this lesson better every day. Thank you for your many blessings.


I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
album Agent Provocateur (1984).

Gotta take a little time

A little time to think things over

I better read between the lines

In case I need it when I'm older

This mountain I must climb

Feels like a world upon my shoulders

Through the clouds I see love shine

It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there's been heartache and pain

I don't know if I can face it again

Can't stop now, I've traveled too far

To change this lonely life


I want to know what love is

I want you to show me

I want to feel what love is

I know you can show me

I'm gonna take a little time

A little time to look around me

I've got nowhere left to hide

It looks like love has finally found me

In my life there's been heartache and pain

I don't know if I can face it again

I can't stop now, I've traveled too far

To change this lonely life


Reboot: Losing your job in this economy can be a refreshing change

Rebooting your dreams / career ... You think you know who you are based on what you do. Then the economy kicks you out of the field and wow, do you even know who you are anymore? That's when you take a minute to ask yourself some hard but good questions: What is worth doing? What is within my reach? You have to check out your choices and your opportunities. Your dreams. Every single day allows you to start things over. Reboot. Refresh. Restart. Go for it.


It ain't easy or simple. But it's a chance for a fresh start.

Zakka: It's the term for everything and anything that spruces up your home, life and outlook

I'm not anywhere near the stratosphere of zakka fashion trends, but I am very enamored of the concept. Design Zakka Tokyo is a trade show in Japan that provides a cutting-edge platform for designers and those retailers who want to place orders for innovative and stylish design from all over the world. Buyers from top interior and lifestyle shops shall visit to stock the latest design.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2007 was a good year but I need to get busy in 2010

June 30: the year is officially halfway gone. And I see some 30 posts back in 2007 and 3 in 2010. That's pathetic. In fact, I'm making headway on Building a Good Life in the Digital Era, and yet, I'd like to do more to document this journey whilst it unfolds.

Just today, put in succulents in the pot that has stood fallow for months. It's a clay pot and dries out easily, so succulents seem easiest. Haworthia resendeana, Echeveria 'Frosty' pulvinata, Senecia kleiniiformis. Attractive gray-green items

Earlier in the week, home run on the Team Project. We did a demonstration of (a form of) High Availability on Windows Server 2008R2. Our team did awesome, so that's a nice high, and tomorrow, the class celebrates with a potluck. There were lots of interesting presentations and stuff to check into. The Digital Age is moving rapidly into The Cloud, that much was quite evident.

Earlier this week, spent time meditating on Classical education, Geoffrey Canada and
Harlem Children's Zone, and Developmental Assets, reading inspirational quotes, adjusting my attitude, esp. mitigating my chronic hostility and surrendering to the inner mother's wisdom (very zen of me).

I'm doing a data dump to get all my recent interests out of my head and into some framework of productivity. Maybe I can get prose going about it all at a later date.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best.

Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.

I am finished when I'm finished.

The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself .

The Tao Te Ching says: When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go. Let go, in order to achieve.

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.

There's an important difference between giving up and letting go.

If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this.

Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break.

Why should we all use our creative power...? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.

What am I in the eyes of most people--a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person--somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then, even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

You can't really have style unless you've been someplace. I mean, you have to have been down. You have to have overcome something to have something. If you've had everything all your life, then you've never been tested and I don't think you're really the genuine article. You have to have come through something--because that's how a sword is made. It's made from a piece of iron from the ground, and it's forged and beaten--that's the great metaphor for the human being. If you're born a sword, you aren't a real sword. But if you're forged from this iron ore, then comes this beautiful sword.

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

I believe that it may happen that one will succeed, and one must not begin to despair, even though defeated here and there; and even though one sometimes feels a kind of decay, though things go differently from the expected, it is necessary to take heart again with new courage. For the great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. And great things are not something accidental, but must certainly be willed. What is drawing? How does one learn it? It is working through an invisible iron wall that seems to stand between what one feels and what one can do.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.

Criticism polishes my mirror.

Opportunities are often disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.

If you examine a butterfly according to the laws of aerodynamics, it shouldn't be able to fly. But the butterfly doesn't know that so it flies.

I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.

I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men, as a whole, experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Be strong, believe in who you are; be strong, believe in what you feel.

By working hard, I hope to make something good one day. I haven't yet, but I am pursuing it and fighting for it.

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.

Never again will I do anything for anyone that I do not feel directly from my heart. I will not attend a meeting, make a phone call, write a letter, sponsor or participate in any activity in which every fiber of my being does not resound yes. I will act with intent and be true to myself.

It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.

One of the biggest factors in success is the courage to undertake something.

The difference between getting somewhere and nowhere is the courage to make an early start.

We ought to face our destiny with courage.

You can surmount the obstacles in your path if you are determined, courageous and hardworking… Do not fear pioneer, to venture down new paths of endeavor.

What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Sometimes we look so intently toward the pinnacle that we stumble over the steps leading to it. Development begins just where you are.

I expect to pass through this world but once, any good thing, therefore, that I can do,
let me do it now…for I shall not pass this way again.

When shall we live, if not now?

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living.
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up of familiar but limiting patterns, safe unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, relationships that have lost their meaning. As Dostoevsky put it: 'Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.'
The real fear should be the opposite course.

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.

When I was on Star Search, one of the producers told the other contestants, 'She'll never be famous; she's too tough, she's too NY, and she's too heavy.'
I remember thinking, Gosh, he's gonna feel like a jerk when I'm famous. Through the negativity I learned to hear myself quite loudly.

Believe those who seek the truth, but doubt those who find it.

You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can't wipe your friends on the couch.

Knowledge is Power.

Here are two ways to put ourselves in control of our lives immediately: we can make a promise and keep it; or we can set a goal and work to achieve it. As we make and keep commitments, even small commitments, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self-control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our own lives. By making and keeping promises to ourselves and others, little-by-little, our honor becomes greater than our moods.

Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity.

Stop for a moment, cease your work, and look around you.

Creativity is contagious. You can catch it by being around other creative people.

To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.

No one gets out of this world alive, so the time to live, learn, care, share, celebrate and love is now.

Don't make the same mistake twice.

Never retreat to a defensive position. If attacked for your ideas, counter good-humoredly but with faith in them. Make no excuses for your sincere beliefs.

It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following that instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Do more than is expected.

Watch out for the squeaky wheel.

If you want to move people, it has to be toward a vision that's positive for them that taps important values, that gets them something they desire, and it has to be presented in a compelling way. That way, they feel inspired to follow.

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

If you really want something, you can figure out how to make it happen.

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or walk around.

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

Then give the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.

Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work another day in your life.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Life's under no obligation to gives us what we expect.

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backward and in high heels.

Never be ashamed of honest tears.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's own courage.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

There are only two ways to meet life. You may refuse to care until indifference becomes a habit, a defensive armor, and you are safe, but bored. Or, you can live greatly, and live greatly until life breaks you on its wheel.

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more manhood to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.

At the end of our lives, we'll regret the things we didn't do much more than the ones we did.

We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes we hold of ourselves.

To find a honey tree, first catch a bee.

The purposes that writers serve must be their own. What you write is yours and nobody else's. Take your talent as far as you can and guard it with your life. Only you know how far that is; no editor knows. Writing well means believing in your writing and believing in yourself, taking risks, daring to be different, pushing yourself to excel. You will write only as well as you make yourself write.

If you feel that sitting blankly and staring out the window is sinful, then you will never write.

It's time to discover that we can be strong without sacrificing feminine traits; softness and strength can coexist.

Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you into everything you touch. You are not responsible. You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and that way, be known.

We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.

Always have a plan, and believe in it. Nothing happens by accident.

Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Healthy positive outlook on life

I have often struggled with emotions that aren't healthy and aren't self-loving, giving me periods of depression, anxiety and ill health. This is probably common among Americans, and considered normal. But, I'm detoxing my body right now, eating clean and taking herbs to help cleanse and support my liver and other organs. As the toxins are leaving my body, seems like toxic emotions are leaving my soul.

So, as I was waking from a dream, my thoughts coalesced around a revelation: that the beginning of self-love is a mother that smiles and speaks loving worlds to you, and tells you how terrific you are. Now this is not a mental revelation so much as an emotional validation. I knew in mind, and behavior, but I dont' think I knew this as an emotional reality. Needless to say, I didn't have that. My mom was fun loving but rather anxious and stern at best and it got so much worse than that. I can see how my self-love and positive outlook in general, had a bunch of skips in it, like a Youtube video, constantly buffering.

My waking revelation this morning is that self-love comes from that smiling and approving mom. The seeds of self-hate can be sown from the lack of that smiling and approving mom, not necessarily anything more sinister. And downright self-destruction can come from a mom experience that is cold or forbidding or shutting out and shutting down. Or worse.

I like to decorate my home to make my world better, lift my family's spirits and make everything and everyone feel better. Now I realize a lot of it is because I'm still trying to make myself feel better. And I can generalize and know that we're ALL trying to make ourselves feel better. The skips in our self-love fuel industries world-wide. If everyone had perfect self-love, we wouldn't need diamonds, huge flat panel TVs , perfectly decorated tableaus in our rooms and living spaces, or big fancy cars, not to mention rich, decadent meals every time we put something in our mouths. All of that is needed to make us feel better.

I decorate on a budget and organize my little cottage within an inch of it's life, so that I can feel better, so all my nuclear family can feel better. Don't I know Mr. Clean and the Dyson ball are no substitute for mommy's smiles and kisses? Me giving smiles and kisses is far more important than me cleaning the house within an inch of it's life, and guarding my handiwork. I slip, and forget sometimes, which, I believe, stems from that inner place of me, still wanting approval. If I can have the perfect place setting, I will feel approval.

Instead, I must realize that I am the approval giver for my youngster, and to an extent, for my DH. When I forget or lose sight of my power to love and give blessing to my family, they suffer and I suffer. So my goal is to keep that role as head approver first and foremost, because that is the essence of self-love in my family. My approving smiles and loving hugs serve a big helping of spirit to my loved ones, just as crucial as physical food. Thinking of that, I have to serve spiritual meals to my family every day. And that can include bible readings and other spiritual material, but fundamentally, it's telling my family how terrific they are and what incredible blessings they are, with all my being: my loving eyes, my tender hands, my positive words and level voice and, supremely importantly, my smile, along with that breakfast, lunch and supper. In fact, 3 big helpings of approval each day will go a long way toward insuring a healthy, positive outlook on life for my kids. And since feelings are facts, and negative feelings create sickness, my spiritual-approval doses are probably the best preventive medicine or supplement I can give my kids.

I guess I have to realize that being that always-loving, always-approving mom is not such an easy way of being with my kids, since I didn't have that authentic experience. I have to force it sometimes. But I force it with love and joy! ;) I want my sons to feel, deep inside themselves, just how terrific they are everyday, one as a youngster, just bursting into life and one as a man, coping and managing with life every day. My mom eyes must see them as accomplished men, walking around, doing great things in the world. My mom eyes seeing that will help mold and shape them into men that are well-adjusted and balanced.

Being healthy makes being positive easier. When my organs are not overloaded and I'm not burdened with inflammation, you bet I can be positive about myself, I can be that shining, positive mom, that exudes approval, even while chastising and correcting. I hope. That's the goal, right? Thank you, Lord for your many blessings.

This blog is about many things, about making things that reflect a unique view of the world, about pretty and useful things. Also about human emotion, human spirituality and what's real and authentic. Maintain authenticity!