Polar vortex-and you could be under 7 feet of snow. Emotional Vortex-and you could be under the covers.
The plurals of vortex are vortices and vortexes, those words even sounds like powerful forces. Extreme….Turbulent…The absence of external forces….That’s what makes a vortex. “Once formed, vortices can move, stretch, twist, and interact in complex ways. A moving vortex carries with it some angular and linear momentum, energy, and mass…” –http:// en.wikipedia.org/? title=Vortex
As the N. American world revs up for the beginnings of this “Holiday Season”-it feels as if a very large vortex is forming. Advertisements continually, the weather folks love to tell us how cold it is somewhere, money can seem to fly out the door, expectations (many unrealistic and many self imposed) and everything begins to feels like it’s spinning at warp speed…and yet it is all in slow motion simultaneously. How can that be? As winter approaches we should be slowing down, going inward, as I have said repeatedly before, by now our “internal” work should be close to compleat for this year – not accelerating up!
So where does this spinning vortex come from? External forces are strong! So much goes “extreme” this time of year – overindulging, over abundance, over whelming, over the river and through the woods…just where is it you want to go?
As this Thanksgiving week begins, and so “The Holiday Season” – I wish all my readers a holiday season of peace, safe passages, joy, love, happiness and whatever else you hope for your own self as these days stream through to the end of this year. Remember to try to be content, happy would be great, and keep those vortices at bay as best you can. Breath deep and keep on trucking.
Where would we be without our friends? I don’t know about you, but I would definitely be a little lost. I have long time, well established/embedded into my life and heart friends, and newer friends who are also “very near and dear.” Time evaporates when I am with these “tried and true” wonderful people. Years slip away, and memories often flood. I recently read your DNA may be able to hold some memories!
“New research from Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA. During the tests they learned that the mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations…This suggests that experiences are somehow transferred from the brain into the genome, allowing them to be passed on to later generations. ” (Whole article here)
How amazing, and wonderful, if ones DNA was to somehow “know” a little about some of the people I love, and have loved, in my life! It gets a little Science Fiction like and a little weird…but, I do know there are experiments going on about stuff just like this! That is not what the above article is about-but this blog, today, is. It’s about friendships and the amazing value they add to life. Those really close friends are imprints – their words, their expressions, our shared experiences are indeed part of the fabric of my personal DNA. How could that not be true? For myself, it seems as if it must be true. Those that we love are in our systems, in our minds, and in our hearts. Maybe that’s the (or at least mine) definition of a friend? Websters Dictionary defines a friend as-
: a person who you like and enjoy being with
: a person who helps or supports someone or something
: a favored companion
I think that’s all true as well, but I like my definition better! Websters is more like what I would define as a close acquaintance- maybe a friend “to be.” My definition (and my friends) all seem to have much stronger legs, more heart and much more soul than Websters words. How about you? How do YOU define friendship?
Thanks to all my friends- you all know who you are. This is pretty much how I feel about knowing you, and sharing our friendship(s)
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis
…and you know, I think Art and Philosohy are vital, and that Quality Survival is Where It’s At, and that’s what makes my world turn each day!
And so I close this blog post.
Wellie is all about health, mental and physical health….it therefor seems right that he is the “featured” Botanical Beautie this week, with the letter 4, and ready to take off! He’s off to reach some new potential! Least not forget- HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Stages of our lives – birth, youth, adult and elder
East, West, North, South
4 Phases of the Moon (new, half-moon waxing, full, half-moon waning)
…And a few more I just taught myself in doing a little reading for this post.
The Four Noble Truths epitomize Buddhism. ***
To the Pythagoreans 4 was the source of the tetractys 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, the most perfect number. ***
In medieval times there were thought to be four humours (phlegm, blood, choler, and black bile—hence the adjectives phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholic), and the body was bled at various places to bring these humours into balance. ***
Four is todays topic, the 4 seasons, and specifically SPRING!The season that’s full of potential. The ground is exploding with new grass, flowers and multitudes of all sorts of “burst” of life. For many of us we have been less energetic for the past season, the skies have often been grey, and the temps were cold. All that is gently and beautifully changing. I love the spring-that amazing willow light green on the trees as the buds and leaves appear, the wonderful joyous visions of flowers peeping out and blooming again, the SUN with the longer days and warmer temps. It’s all so yummy! A friend, in the last year or so, made me aware of the Taoist Seasons and it fascinates me. Spring is the season of WOOD. OK, makes sense on some logical levels to me, wood, trees, branches become covered again, roots coming alive, and all those other woodland flora and fauna coming to life with wood involved in so many ways…. But here’s closer to what it really means.
The Wood Elements: The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming—of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life. Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.
The Wood element’s climate is windy; its direction is East (“Beginning and creation arise in the East”); and its power is experienced most intensely between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am.
The color associated with Wood is green; its odor is rancid; and its sound is shouting.
It’s often said, Spring is a time of new beginnings, or maybe of renewals. April also brings us EARTH DAY tomorrow, so, lets combine to two. Reclaim, Reduce, Recycle, ReThink, if needed-ReDo.
Reclaim – in this case your muscles! Get out and up and MOVE. It’s bad enough to be a slug in the winter, but it’s worse in the spring! ReDuce– ever heard of Spring Cleaning…ha ha; of course you have. Now, the trick is to sort and reduce not just move the stuff around. That would be in your home. In your Mind. And don’t forget, in your Body too! ReUse/Recycle: repurpose what you can – toss the rest…again- literal and psychologically. (Remember all those posting about “letting go“- practice! ) Rethink: Grudges and resentments are indigestible and cause stress. Practice forgiveness. ReDO. Take a risk, rethink and do something new! Remember a small seed can turn into a mighty tree! Go of it! Feel the potential and RUN with it (not walk but RUN, well at least skip!)
Every day is made up of our stories…some days are more mundane, some are wildly exciting- but all are parts of the weave of the day/week/month/year/life. What makes up the stories? Well there are the obvious things like your work, immediate family, and the daily task of your path. That’s all good stuff. To me, the really fascinating threads are the human interactions, the unexpected words, and experiences that fly all around us continually. I heard a great line recently that goes something like this – “You never know whom you will meet, and what influence/imprint they will have on your life and you on theirs.” Powerful. Amazing. Wonderful. Do you ever wonder why you meet (or met) someone? I have been examining some of the personal relationships in my life lately. Thinking about what is the give and take of these interactions, these friendships, and sometimes these brief and fleeting “moments in time.” (Moments in time are a whole other subject! The big question being how is time really marked and measured – why does it creep at points and fly at others?) Anyhow…..back to connections…Why are some of your friends, I say friends for they are chosen into your life, there? What do you add to their life and they to yours? Some may come and go, but I am pretty sure the ones that are here right NOW are for a reason, big or small.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the awareness of a human encounter designated “Wow-now I get it.” You may select any other two world members, but it is essential that the first member of your team is yourself! It is also essential that the third member of your team is Yum (Yes, you have to imagine and pretend here! I’m sure you remember how! If you don’t then that too is part of your mission! Yum is the “fairy of goodness,” she makes sure everyone is “behaving” as we would hope intelligent and kind humans should in the world.) She is a magical force as well as masquerading as a civilian, and she is a highly capable professional maker of self awareness. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Yum and meet me in the comments section to report on your mission. As always, should any member of your team be caught or become extra grumpy, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. (Thanks to Mission Impossible for the inspiration of format!)
Today is finally warm again…alas the sun seems to have gone, and its raining, but at least the temps are 1/2 decent. Just asking– is this continuing of winter claws getting under your skin? It is mine! I could use some sun and warmth together! Just saying…Therefore, today we will chat about ways to try to help yourself get out of your own way. I am having a wee bit of trouble with this of late, it’s a tough one for many, at various times I am sure it is tough for everyone. Remember that’s it’s all about attitude, and if we are lucky maybe we can ‘adjust’ our own as needed ~ There are lots of great sayings about this…
Park in front….
Everyday starts with a blank canvas….
Don’t give up. Normally it’s the last key on the ring which opens the door.
You don’t need to change places, you just see where you are with new eyes.
…and on an on. I must take you back to my yoga class. As usual, I find inspiration from the words of my teacher, Suzie. On Tuesday night she was saying, put your consciences in the palm of your hands. Of course, since it was yoga class I thought, ok…good idea Suzie I will do that. As the week progressed I have thought about it. Just what indeed does that really mean-especially to me? I realized I really didn’t have clue, so I sat down and thought about. Since I like, to share my favorite things with you all, I will share my thoughts.
Remember the blog post(s) on open palm living? They are still some of my favorite thoughts. Well, if you are living your life open; i.e.,open to: new experiences, people, things, thoughts, and your heart is open to the world around you then you are living in an open palm way. That also means you are possibly less ‘protected’ and therefor probably more ‘venerable.’ This is where consciousness helps. This is also where ATTITUDE helps. It may mean you have a sort of “self directed” path, you have awareness, and although most of us don’t understand much what goes on in our daily paths we know it is OUR path, and hope with all our might, wishes, crossed fingers, and a birthday candle blows, that it is the path we are supposed to be on! (Can’t resist, another few sayings – Life is a journey not a destination, Your life is what you create in it). Now, lets take that one step further… Lets assume we are all trying to live our lives as ‘open beings’ with the added bonus of open palm consciousness. You are now alive, open, and aware. Pretty amazing in itself if we can do that. Now, imagine you can touch it with your hands, that you indeed have ‘the power’ of consciousness in your palms, you can touch it at will. What will that bring? Does it mean you can mold it/shape it as you desire? Can you adjust it with grace and ease for you can now touch it? Is it a burden or a pleasure to have this power? I hope you think it is a good thing, a pleaseure. Yes, I know I did not directly answer the question of “What it means to put your consciences in the palm of your hands?” Well, what do you think it means? I hope, at least, I got you to think about it over the course of the next few days. Would love to hear from you in comments!
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It’s been a huge month in our family. There are TWO wiggling additions (one baby girl and one baby boy, a very big congratulations to all!!!), one snow storm (which when in DC/Baltimore/Annapolis area is a complete show stopper,) one major surgery (went very well-allowing me to breath again,) one emergency room visit (all is fine, thanks goodness,) lots of driving, one special family celebration, and lots of readjusting to all these new paths/stories/of our family…. I count in this story our dear friends, those connections/their stories, some less easy and “good” than others….I wish ALL the above only good news. For the health side, I wish them recoveries and for the babies, clearly it’s health and happiness. Everyone, even the four-legged family members are pretty darn tired. That too shall hopefully pass, as we all get use to all these new paths and find our ways on these roads. Constant realignment… letting go the past, our yesterday, and welcoming our tomorrow with all the turns, the curves, the uphills, and the easy downhills, that tomorrow will bring.
A BIG Huge THANK YOU to our friends and family members …for all working together!
A BIG Huge Hurrah for us all!
Yes, at times, it does indeed take a small village, A.KA. a family and close friends.
and as the stories continue…
I hope and wish for all good outcomes.
That the fairies wands are all waving and working.
That the ill get well.
That the bones all heal and quickly.
That the babies all grow strong and well.
…and that our friends stay close!
Once upon a time….the classic story beginning. We have heard it repeatedly all through our lives. However, it is what comes next which is the real story.
The stories of our lives, intertwined with the fabric of our lives, and of course the threads as well. The big wide open vistas/opportunities, the blankets of security, drawn down to the small details…Since Tuesday late night I have new Great Nephew. (Well, to be honest I am not sure that is what he really is in those family genealogy terms to me, but he is my niece and her husbands new baby boy.) To think about the awesomeness that his whole story is just beginning, is really daunting, as well as wonderfully miraculous. He is a lucky little boy who hopefully will have no struggles as a “wee one.” He is already extremely well-loved and cared for, and will get to live all the wonderful experiences that “love and care” enables. Add education, a little luck, and effort, and he can truly lead his life however he desires one day-in his own spectacular way. It’s as if his own story in barely touching the left side of the “O” of Once upon a time….so many stories to go. How exciting! Congratulations to all – the parents, the baby, the grandparents, the great-grandparents, the aunts, and uncles, and all the extended family that this bundel of newness has already spread happiness and joy to. Here’s to joy and new beginnings!
Hey there little person – Welcome to our world, our family, and our love!
→ AND ← For the rest of us, that are no longer tiny and brand-new…. you can always rewrite the next chapter of your story…. …hard to do? YES…. but possibly may be one of the most important ‘rewrites’ you do… Only you know what needs ‘editing’ …. Now get out that pencil and eraser, and Happy rewriting.
This topic seems to be all around me recently. If you Google the word “connections” all sorts of connections appear… books, TV shows, films, schools, computers, Linkedin, a MIT museum exhibit, and that’s just the first page. The connections I am interesting in chatting about here are personal connections. People to People, and the connections we all encounter daily.
I follow a blog by John Paul Caponigro, a contemporary photographer whose works I admire and enjoy. He apparently is having some similar thoughts, for on the 13 of Jan, his posting was of 28 of his favorite quotes on being connected. Here are two of my favorite ones from his listing…(all of them are here)
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world” – John Muir
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” — Herman Melville
So here is a connection, chance (?), coincidence? I was chatting with a friend about (coincidentally (!)) coincidences. Pondering the questions of this post – i.e connections, verses chance verses coincidence. He brought up Moby Dick and some thoughts from that. I thought, hmm, I never read that and I would like too. Now a quote I happen to pick is from Herman Melville – which I had to think about whom he even was…and the list goes on and one each week. It happens to us all, it’s just if you happen to notice.
Back to human connections. You smile to a stranger, you nod to a passerby, you kiss your spouse and children goodnight, you laugh with a friend(s)…you cry with a friend(s), you help a friend, you help a stranger; those are all unquestionably connections. But, did you call your friend at just the right time they needed you? Maybe your smile made a big difference to a lonely strangers day? You get the point. Remember the saying – Every action has a reaction – all those actions connect the threads of our days, years, “beings” – therefore, all things we do have connections of one kind or another. “A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. Our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville (again)
Granted, some connections are strong, some are positive, and some are not. It’s all about balance. You breathe in the good ones, and with some thought and luck, you can breathe out and spread/share the good. Try to let go of the lesser and negative ones. Maybe you can breathe them out as well, but without the intent of sharing. The power of intent is the difference here. I suppose the point here is – just what do you do with the gazillions of connections over a day, a week, a year, a lifetime?
Lets agree, at least for the time it takes you to read this post, that we ARE all connected. Remember from above – “A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.“Even if it is just by some minuscule air molecules, or maybe by some “energy,” or maybe from some spiritual “force” that you can call/name whatever makes you comfortable and happy, lets agree we all are indeed connected in some way, shape, or form. Therefore, since we are all connected here is my challenge to you. If you tried just a little harder to “make a connection” that was a little out of comfort zone, what would that be? What ripple effect would like to create out there?
I am not talking about “World peace” – obviously we all would like that…but something much closer to home. I have had a few really spectacular connections of late, the two that first come to mind are – 1) meeting a stranger whom I was able to help in ways beyond words, and 2) a random meeting up with an neighbor (that I have not seen since Oct.) that has information that is potentially very helpful to me. My own “out of comfort zone” challenge is – to stop thinking about writing my book(s) and get writing- for the ripple(s) of the good messages the books can disseminate are exciting! I can potentially connect to so many more people! Another is … well really now, don’t you think it’s your turn to tell me?
…grayness…fog….haze…mist…and soggy steps. As I look out my window today there really no other word for the weather but GLUM and GLOOMY. It’s not cold, so it’s raining instead of snowing. As a matter of fact, it is 47 degrees at this very moment outside here! Very odd. Some folks are smiling, and others are frowning, about the warmth. I find it a mixed bag, it is pleasant not to have cold feet and cold sheets but it is also very odd, wrong, and there is nothing bright, reflective, and pretty about rain. (I know there are indeed beautiful rain days at other times of the year, and there are gorgeous photographs with rain reflections, but I hope you get what I am talking about here.) The reflective properties of snow add a brightness and clarity on a cold sunny winter day that really can’t be beaten. Rain does not.
It is the notion of ‘soggy steps’ I am really fascinated with right now. Clearly there is the literal of soggy steps walking outdoors. What about the figurative, what thoughts come to mind with those same words? To me, it brings forth that same old theme of “letting go” but now it’s letting go AND walk into/onto new paths. Soggy steps sound like your feet rise and with every step, muck, goop, and other ‘icky’ things we would rather not be carrying around come up with your foot. This goop can stick to our hands as well and even hover overhead! It makes for very heavy steps, hard slow movement and an overall malaise to the day! I’m as guilty as the next person of heavy steps in the winter. It seems very tough this time of year. For starters it’s often dark, less sun, early sunsets, and everyone is inside much of the time. It is very isolating, with much less human contact than a vibrant spring day. It seems to take more energy to find things to smile and laugh at, and that’s really horrid! Then, if the dark and isolation isn’t enough, there is often a bitting cold up here in the North! It’s a plain hard truth: it is harder to be happy when your face hurts because a bitter cold wind is blowing and you are out walking your very dear, loyal, and fabulous friends who happen to have 4 legs!
So again the question is- how to get rid of that sticky goop attached to our appendages and possibly even over our heads? Maybe it’s a simple as the Dao of winter states?
Winter – The Dao of Storage 藏之道
The three months of winter are called closing and storing. Water freezes earth cracks. Do not disturb the yang at all. Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight. Make that which is of the heart/mind as though hidden, as though concealed, as though (one) has a secret intention, already obtained. Leave the cold, seek warmth. Do not leak the skin (sweat). Urgently hold onto the chi. This is the winter compliance of chi and the cultivation of the Dao of storage. To oppose these principles injures the kidneys. (Consequently) spring will bring paralysis and fainting (and) there will be little to offer one’s sprouting. (Nei Jing Chapter 2) http://www.energyarts.com/taoist-seasons-winter-water-element
Clearly some this is not really possible or do even agree with … such as “Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight.” Most of us don’t really have that luxury most days. (And)” Do not leak the skin (sweat)” I think movement is very important, it’s all too easy to want to curl up and just sit, or lay, around, in the winter! Movement is good for the mind and body, we all know that!
Whatever it takes- Shake that booty, especially your feet and hands, and shake that goop off! Lighten your steps, hop though the soggy and maybe dance onto that new path! (…or at least try to!) Stomp out the goop and lets hope for a sunny tomorrow!
There are so many types of communities we are all part of. The possibilities are somewhat endless: Work is one type, a gym, a book club, an exercise class, a religious affiliation, even an appointment you may have where you see the same people time and time again, a social affiliation, a political group, a farmer co-op. etc…. These days “Community” seems to apply for pretty much any collection of individuals regularly gathered. Is that ‘honest’ to the true meaning of the word? In the broadest sense, I say YES. As our worlds become ever expanding, and yet also smaller simultaneously, (a whole other subject!) these smaller more personal communities are important. We need collections, we need to belong, we need comradeship, and sometimes we just need a group verses ourselves as mountain top individuals. According to Wikipedia – “The word “community” is derived from the Old French communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”), a broad term for fellowship or organized society.”
Community evokes inclusive to all. The opposite, and so a traitor to community is exclusivity. What justifies keeping some one out? A bit problematic for the word, the collected group, the so called community. For instance, a yoga class is most likely not to want high noise, frenetic ‘energy’ folks romping and dancing all over the studio and class- so is that exclusion? No. Most likely no one objects to dancing, and most probably even loves it, but not in this setting. So where does exclusion fall? Part of what community is in todays world is a group of willing, at freewill, like minded people gathered for a common purpose, and for the well being of the group – the community. Easy in a yoga class, not so easy, or necessarily as peacefully, in a group such as a homeowner’s association!
The reason I am writing this post today is I am interested in what we call “a community” in today’s world. I use the world freely and often, and it feels good to be part of a like minded group. People need to feel a sense of belonging to something – a community. A family is a very small possible community. We are not islands, by nature most of us want to be part of something, perhaps even bigger than ourselves, or perhaps just a safe place to land and enjoy some like-minded people. There seem to be two elements to creating such a collection, a community, of people. One option is place– a shared location that focuses on a common element. For instance, every other Wednesday, 2 friends and I gather at a location, and spend a very pleasant couple hours – new people (to us) are there as well, and I now consider that a small and very nice “little community” of in this case, woman. I look forward to it, to seeing the same people to say hello to and chat a bit with. It is the location and activity that bring this group together. The second option is common interest– where the people here are gathered by a belief, an occupation, an orientation, an activity, an even an ethic origin. In thinking about all this I found an interesting article. It is called *THE DIFFERENT DRUM – Community Making Peace by M.Scott Peck, M.D.*http://www.enkindlecommunity.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/True-Meaning-of-community.pdf This article states-
” …A friend correctly defined community as a “group that has learned to transcend its individual differences.” But, this learning takes time, the time that can be bought only through commitment. ” Transcend ” does not mean “obliterate” or “demolish.” Lt literally means “to climb over. The achievement of community can be compared to the reaching of a mountaintop.
Perhaps the most necessary key to this transcendence is the appreciation of differences. In community, instead of being ignored, denied, hidden, or changed, human differences are celebrated as gifts.”
So, as this year of 2013 draws to a close- maybe we can celebrate the gifts… join in all the communities you want, partake to the fullest if you so desire… and enjoy all our difference. That sounds like a good way to end one year, and a fabulous way to begin a new year. Together with gifts– (back to French origin) – The gifts of the differences of us all- the wonders of belonging and sharing in a community. Here’s to New Year of acceptance and joy of our communities and gifts they bring us.