Pondering the Possible

My work in the real world brings me in contact with all kinds of skeptics…literally, people who don’t trust each other and don’t care to try.  In politics, as in religion, health and any other part of our lives, there will be skeptics.  There will be those who will not trust and will not bother to even try to get along.  They will not look into something that opposes what they believe, even if it might be enlightening for them…but what if we did?  What if, despite EVERYTHING, we were actually truly free to express our thoughts without the possibility of being labeled a kook or wacko or whatever?

I had an interesting conversation with my mother last night about gay rights…something I honestly NEVER thought I would hear my mother talk about.  The daughter of a very respected former preacher, I let her say what she had to say, and realized, she actually DOES understand some very major things…it gives me hope.

Likewise, on my last visit to see my parents, my dad made a comment that took me so aback, it didn’t even register with me until just a few days ago.  I have been thinking about it since he said it, but literally, it took nearly 2 weeks for me to accept that he actually said it…another sign of hope…My parents are in their late 60’s early 70’s…and believe me, you could have hit me with a baseball bat and it would not have phased me like these to conversations.

So…do I dare to dream that mankind may actually be awakening to the possible acceptance of all humankind and it’s diversity and many forms of spirituality?  All I can say is, I SURE hope so!

While I cite the Bible a lot, as I feel it has great passages, there are great teachings in other spiritual paths, as well.  I know I have discussed this before, but who are we to say which of these other spiritual paths is wrong?

Religion is man-made out of a shear desperation to understand who we really are and why we are here, on this planet…what is our purpose?  How are we to figure all that out, though, if we have one or another religion shoving their idea of “perfect” down our throats and refuse to look farther?  Truth is, we can’t!

The one thing I can say is that through all my reading and studying, there is one thing that runs through most all teachings…love for our fellow journeyers.  Make no mistake, we are on a journey.  The attitude and path is up to us.  If we choose to put down our fellow journeyers because we disagree with what they understand and stand for, how do we expect to grow?  This is not to say that you have to agree with every different position out there, but how can you even know you might agree if you aren’t willing to at least listen?

We are all created equally, remembering Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” and, apparently by this very passage, are very like our Blessed Creator!  That being the case. we all have something of value to say…

I am hoping that from this day forward, you will open your hearts and minds to those whom you perceive as being different from you.  Not that you should accept every word they say at face value, but give it some thought!  What if in their thoughts and ideas there is a lesson for you that you are totally ignoring?  How will you ever grow if you deny your lessons in life?

Your Life Begins Anew…NOW!

Are you tired?  Depressed? Feeling poorly?  Mentally unclear?  Generally dissatisfied with what is going on in your life?  Let’s take an opportunity to do a little “Soul Searching,” shall we?

There are many things going on in today’s society.  There are many things that society expects us to accept.  There are many things that friends, parents, teachers, government, religions and others expect us to accept.  One thing is clear, though.  If you pay attention to your own self, you will KNOW what does not serve you.  You will KNOW what does not jive with your own spirit…and you will KNOW what does.  That being said, sometimes we DO know what is affecting us, yet we are afraid to rid ourselves of the familiar.

What does our “true self” tell us?  The first step is to take in all you really KNOW about your situation.  Next, decide what you can and cannot “live without.”  Then start “cleaning house.”  This is an ongoing process.  Things are already there, but things always “come up.”  Is someone in your life holding you back or down?  Why?  Is their “opinion” more important than your own…about you?  Is something holding you back?  Emotions, perhaps?  Are you scared of making mistakes?  Scared of being alone?

Most of us are happy with the status quo because, even though we don’t like it, we are comfortable there.  So, while we gripe about it, we are not willing to change it and experience something better…the unknown.  BUT, by accepting the status quo, we also do not grow, personally or spiritually.

It comes down to this…It’s all about choices.  The answer lies in the question, “What am I willing to accept?”  Are you willing to accept the status quo?  Are you ok with the feeling that something in your life is not as it should be?  Are you happy in your sadness, your misery?  Do you like not feeling well?  OR…do you sense there is something more out there?  Something that WOULD make you happy…IN this life?  Are you willing to reach for it?

Let’s try a neat experiment…getting “in tune” with our true selves!  Spiritually, what is expected of us?  That one is very simple…To love and show love.  Pretty easy!  By actually showing love for ourselves,  and each other, instead of searching out something to dislike, we can transform ourselves!  It doesn’t really matter what someone else thinks of you.  The only true thought is what you think of yourself!  The world is full of people who have embraced something false…and those people will try to put you down for their own gain.  You cannot let them hinder who your really are.  You cannot let them dictate to you who you can become.  You cannot “give them charge” of you life.  And it is NEVER to late for you to take charge of your own life…NEVER to late!

So…starting today, who do you want to be in YOUR life?  What do you want to do?  Starting today, be the best you YOU can be…The choices are all up to…YOU!

“Nature-al” Therapy

Is there too much stress in your life?  Hard as you try, you can’t seem to find that one thing to alleviate it?  Tried yoga, and other therapies, found them very helpful, but still have more stress than you can handle?  The answer may surprise you…get into nature.

Next weekend we turn out clocks up one hour.  for some of us, me included, this is the most dreaded weekend of the year.  It’s only one hour, but it feels like months!  Yet, when you can push past the “loss,” an amazing time is opened up to us.  We can actually get home in time to get into nature, and there are several ways to go about it!

Walking in the park or neighborhood is good exercise, helping us feel better all over, and walking after dinner can help your digestion!  There are all kinds of things and colors to see in nature.  Haven’t you noticed that even the greens are not all the same color!  And, noting that, the trees are different, too.  Different shaped leaves, different heights and overall shapes and, even the bark is different on the different trees!  Birds, butterflies, bees, moths, many with intricate patterns and colorings.  Deer, so majestic in nature.  There are other animals, too, depending on where you live.  Take a camera and enjoy the sights and sounds!

There is something so invigorating about gardening…dare I say it is even spiritual!?!  Getting your hands dirty, digging in the earth, watching as the little seedlings emerge from the turned soil.  It is exciting every year, and I know it’s going to happen!  The earth returns a blessing to us, but it is more than that.  Gardening is good exercise and you get something tangible in return…flowers and food…grown right in front of you.  Not only that, but you can grow many things that are real treat to your eyes as well as your body.  Vibrant red and yellow tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, some heirloom varieties of which have some really neat patterns.  Mixed salad greens, which have differing colors from light green to burgundy reds, not to mention the shapes of the different green leaves!  Garlic chives have a beautiful purple (some are white and some lean towards pink!) tuft on top of their long, slender stalks.  Swiss Chard, the stalks and leaves of which are an array of multicolored wonder.  Peppers…oh the peppers!  Red, green, orange, yellow, “black,” hot, mild, sweet…there is almost no end!  And that is just what you see above the ground!

There are red, yellow, russet and purple potatoes.  Red, yellow and white onions.  Carrots come in orange,  but also yellow, purple, red and even black and white!  And beets, you may ask?  There are red, yellow and white, and some beets are unbelievably patterned inside!  And that is just a FEW of the incr-“edible” things you can grow!

And this doesn’t even take into account the multitude of different grasses, trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that can be grown.  There are so many different varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, green plants, grasses…plants that come in so many different colors and textures and smells and patterns, there truly is something for everyone!  There are even plants that are drought tolerant for those who are forgetful!

Sooo…if you are looking for something that will truly lift your spirits and help sooth your mind…Try communing with nature…There is something to do for everyone and benefits are unlimited!

Trying Something New

Looking forward to Spring at the end of Winter is usually a great time for me, as I start planning my garden.  This year, though, I will be moving in June, so I will not get to have my normal garden.  To the rescue comes restaurant sized pickle barrels.  Thanks to a friend, I can get as many as I want…So I am thinking of dual planting…Barrels with tomatoes or peppers and herbs.  That way, I can grow lovely produce and take it with me…

Yes, I agree, my portable garden will be quite interesting, but at least I will still be able to enjoy the “fruits” of my labor…(hehehehe!)  Plus, with the cost of produce and the looks of it, you KNOW I am NOT going to want to miss my produce!

I have actually never grown a garden this way before, but my grandfather-in-law did all the time, so I know it can be done.  Put a few holes in the bottoms and sides, rocks in the very bottom, good soil, get a good organic fertilizer and  water diligently…check, check, and check!

The best thing about gardening is it is really good for my mind, body and soul!  The time spent on the land, in the dirt and with the plants is SO therapeutic!  That will change a bit, as I will not actually be “digging in the earth,” but being with my plants…I am getting giddy just thinking about it!   This should be a breeze!

Another day…another dollar…

A man I worked for many years ago used to say that at the end of a rough day.  If he said it once, he said it a thousand times.  He is optimistic and quite a nice fellow.  No matter what happens, he has a good attitude and he does his best.  He has been through some stuff, too…he was in World War II, his youngest son was murdered at a young age, he built a couple of businesses up from nothing, was very successful, and had a reputation for fairness that was unmatched.  In short, he is one of my heroes.

He semi-retired, at age 86, only to start something new…making violins…from scratch…yes, that’s what I said!  They are beautiful and he makes every single piece.  He is a pattern-maker by trade, you see.  The last time I heard, he had made 25…One of which was played by Charlie Daniels and another by Doug Kershaw.

In short, J Fred Lytle is amazing.  He was married for about 68 years, has 8 children, and I am not sure how many grands and great grands…last I heard on the great grands there were 25, but I do believe there has been at least one more since then.  He is now 93 years and still going…

My parents, also my heroes, are retired (although they are not the age of Fred), as well…and they, like Fred, never stop.  I have heard my mom and dad say they have no idea how they found time to work, they are so busy now.   My parents took up woodworking, as well as card making and other neat new projects, as well as gardening and keeping up with a 7-acre place in the country, which they have always done.  They love to travel, but they do things a bit differently…They LOVE to camp.  So…when my parents, both artists in their own right, and both photographers, decided to take their extended vacation to Alaska., they did it the only way one could possibly expect of them…they drove and camped…yes, the WHOLE way!

They have traveled the US over, but never to Alaska or Hawaii.  When their opportunity came to take this vacation, my mother was 64, my dad, 69.  My mother took awesome photos, they saw things most of us will never see, and had the time of their lives…They were gone for 3 months.  They came for a visit on their way back home and dad said it was tough getting used to the dark at night again.  He said that when they got up to Alaska, he didn’t have to use a lantern once.  Oh yeah…and today, they have been married for 52 years!

Still another one of my heroes is my sister.  She is a nurse, has bought an amazing house, and adopted a rather high maintenance dog.  But that doesn’t get her down.  She is doing things her way, as well.  She decided she wanted to do things most people don’t.  Last year, she went on her first great adventure…Walking rim to rim of the Grand Canyon.  She is truly unbelievable.  And the other amazing thing?  Our Uncle went with her…Yes, they walked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon together.  What an wonderful time for them to get to share!

She is not retired…Her next big feat?  Running a marathon.  She is up for it and very excited.  What will she choose to do next?  Who knows, but I do know this…she isn’t slowing down any time soon!

Speaking of my Uncle, he is a doctor.  BUT, he has taken up pottery making now that he is close to retirement.  So what, you say?  Well, turns out, he is incredible!  He has made some outstanding pieces and they are stunning!

So, what can we learn from these fascinating people!

Life is too short and there is NO time to waste…when you are tired of doing something or just don’t enjoy what you are doing anymore, reinvent yourself!  Make the most of every minute…don’t settle for second best…always strive to learn something new… never give up, indeed, be the best you can be…ALWAYS!

Together, My Friend…

If you could ask anything of me, what would it be?  Would it be a quest for information…a favor…or just time to spend in meditation?

We are one…My knowledge is yours…whatever I can do to help you on your journey, I will try to do it.  Time?  We will set some aside to rejuvenate…down to our core.

In your gain, I gain.  If you suffer, I will lend you strength.  We can only get through this journey together, my friend…but we must all try.  It is in the trying that we gain the will to do more, go on, get through…and it is in the “together” that we gain the strength to overcome.  Only through true unity will we be able to rise above…

Welcome!

Welcome, indeed!  What a wonderful feeling to be part of the world and connect with all the beautiful souls that make up this great place…

The purpose in starting this blog is two-fold.  It will be an honor to connect with wonderful souls from all over, get feedback, share and learn from everyone.  This blog will also give us the opportunity to share some of the wonderful things we have experienced and learned on the journey.

Some of the stuff here may be old hat to you, but then again, it may be quite new.  We request that you read what is presented with an open mind and heart.  If it resonates with you, great!  If not, none of us will be offended.

Personally, I look forward to reading suggestions, comments and whatever else goes on here.  Who knows what will unfold…One thing is for sure, this will be a new adventure and the ride should be a blast!

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.