Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Holy Playfulness

Again celebrating a sabbath day of rest, I decided to finish a video I started yesterday as I spent part of the weekend making art. So happy.

Then today I read the two words put together---"holy playfulness" in Richard Rohr's book "Everything Belongs", which I'm reading for a second time. I was intrigued by this combination. I just love the idea of playfulness that is sacred, holy, joy-filled, child-like, renewing, and fun. That's the kind of weekend I had.

So I worked on an art project that had been hibernating. I have maybe 30 semi-blank projects that I'd started about 6 months ago but have been unable to finish. Suddenly, I'm not afraid anymore, and it's okay with me that they be less-than-perfect. I had fun finishing one that I show you below.

Then today, in honor of the sabbath, I made the video a little bit more playful than usual. I hope you like it. It's 2:39 long:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Extreme Journaling

I recently discovered extreme journaling---which is a form of art, journaling, and extremely deep introspection---from Heather at A Creative Journal.

What is Extreme Journaling? Juliana Coles describes it here and lists supplies here.

Note that the supplies list, or the "destiny voyages packing" could be used for any type of artwork or journaling while traveling.

I am inspired by this form of art journaling, especially since I'm ready to begin Jamie Ridler's "Wreck this Journal" group on Friday. Any of you who'd want to join me would be most welcome.

Come, explore with me!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Relationships and Business on an Out-of-the-Office Day

I thought that after such a downer post, I'd follow with something more positive. It is, afterall, the happyluau!

Today I am having an out-of-the-office day.

What I enjoy most about my work is what I enjoy most about life---the relationships. I love forming relationships, the interacting, the sharing of ideas and feelings, and the continuance of the relationship via mutual support and nurturing. I think that's why I enjoy Facebook and Twitter---they are tools for connecting and for nurturing relationships. So are emails, phone calls, letters, and even visits---in-person and face-to-face relating.

I spoke to a mentor of mine yesterday and he encouraged me to emphasize in my job the relationship part of relationship marketing---building the relationships and allowing the business part settle in to whatever is best for the other person. Emphasizing the relationship and caring. The rest will take care of itself. This seems soft and unbusiness-like, but it appeals to me greatly. I am going to dinner tonight with someone interested in joining my organization, and my most important goal is to listen to her, to help her feel heard and honored, and to help her decide if my group is something that is right for her. In contrast to what I've been blogging about lately, this type of activity feels so right.

In the meantime, I am getting caught up on housework, laundry, processing the mail, exercising, doing the dishes, and the like---all things which now feel very holy and special to me. At home, looking out at the woods, all feels sacred, and I look forward to the day. After a night of no nightmares.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Working in an Office

Well, here I am working at my office on Wellness Wednesday. My job is explaining products that help patients achieve a greater level of wellness. The work is very slow, which is why I have time to get to figure out how to use my new iMac, as well as blog here---this may be a good thing. 

It's funny that I'm working in an office supporting wellness, because I'm thinking that working in an office environment might not really support my own wellness.

I'm in an office which is very nice as far as offices go. It doesn't have any windows (unlike my house) so I feel like I'm in a nice walk-in closet. It is also very, very warm. Sauna-warm, which everyone else here likes. LoveHubbie brought in a fan, which helps circulate the air and makes a big difference; I can already tell I'm going to be less drained today than yesterday.

The weather outside is at last delightful, and I'm indoors. Admittedly, my timing has been off for some time.

I keep appealing to the altruistic side of me, the part that really, really wants to help people. I want to make a difference! I also keep appealing to the my ambitious side, the part that wants to build a business. I also keep telling myself that I need to stick with this for a while and see if I can earn some money, that it takes time. And I really don't want to let anyone down. Despite the appeals, I still am not having any success in being happy about being inside. About being here.

Ok, so I hate it. 

Last night I had nightmares about being arrested by the US Government and dunked naked into a cesspool of smelly water swimming with large worms that attached themselves to me like leeches. I was going to jail for at least a year and wouldn't be allowed access to any of the things I needed. It was a rather severe jail without any amenities or services (like newspapers or television or medical care). It was really hot there too. I woke up screaming and with a bad migraine. 

This was not a good sign.

I could tell it was a sign, too, and that I should listen to it even though I don't want to.

Today I've been reflecting in my closet office. I really want to make a contribution here, but I'm not yet convinced that this is going to work for me. More than anything I miss my "mind freedom"---the many opportunities I had during the day to let my mind roam free, to think about things, to mull things over during mindless but oh-so-calming household tasks. I think that a lot of my days at home were spent in a kind of meditation, wandering around doing things but also absorbing the beauty of nature. I also miss the schedule freedom---the ability to plan out my day and to build in exercise and creative breaks and appointments. I was outside and inside, moving around, walking and exercising. It feels like I've lost so much. LoveHubbie says, "That's what work is." 

I disagree with LoveHubbie. I could still build my business while working from home, but do it while making calls as I'm walking on my driveway or sitting on my deck in the garden. Or folding laundry. Doing the dishes. Opening the mail. Dang it, I miss my UPS man even and it's only been two days. 

When I'm in this office I feel like a prisoner.

What's the point of me having my own wellness business if it doesn't serve my own personal wellness? I may as well work for a salary instead. At least then I'm exchanging my life energy and creativity and precious time for money (I currently just earn a least in theory, because I haven't made anything at all yet in the past two days).

I made a commitment so I won't quit, but I may have just talked myself into reducing my hours. Dramatically. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I really appreciate this video, called "Embodiment" with Gabrielle Roth,which I lifted from Lori-Lyn. Lori-Lyn has been blogging a lot about dancing and movement recently, and this video says something important, so I wanted to share it with you. Thank you, Lori-Lyn!

If you click through to the source of this video on YouTube, you'll find some interesting speakers from the Omega Institute; you may want to subscribe, as I did.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day---I Am Grateful for Their Sacrifice

I wanted to say "Thank You" to all veterans today, including my husband, my ex-husband, my brother-in-law, my late father, and my bio-dad. It is thanks to them and to their sacrifices that I am free, a freedom I usually take for granted. I cannot comprehend the amount of caring and concern that a military person has for others such that she or he would be willing to sacrifice their life for them. I admire them greatly and thank them today especially.

~Photo by

~Photo via The United States Army and their Flicker page

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Practicing The Sabbath and Getting It Right---At Last!

What a glorious Sabbath it was today. I had lots of time to read and putz around the house. I stayed in my pj's until about 2pm and then headed for the gym for a leisurely workout. I spent lots of time looking at my view outside the windows in my house, all of the woods and the garden. It was sunny and lovely.

And reading, reading, reading. All fiction. Pure decadent indulgence!

Lately I have had a few very supportive calls from friends who I'm convinced are angels in disguise. I'm getting ready to start a new job on Tuesday. It's doing the same thing I've been doing for the last month---marketing those fantastic supplements---but also doing patient education with the products in a medical doctor's office, the same physician who has been helping me with my health these past several months. It will mean not being totally home-based, something challenging but exciting to me as well. I feel healthy enough and strong enough to venture out and expand my life some more. One big plus: it's an all female office---all girls all the time---yay!

So I'm really enjoying this holiday weekend. It really feels like a Sabbath, like a time of rest, a time to center spiritually and to recognize my need to surrender and trust.

I'm glad I persisted in establishing a day of rest in my schedule; I want to keep this going as a lifestyle. I am so grateful!

I want to encourage all of you to take a Sabbath rest. Even if it is only a portion of the day, even if it's only an hour. I promise you, you'll benefit far more than the so-called "lost" productivity that ensues, which can more than be made up for by your renewed energy. If you have any thoughts about this, or any experiences to share, please comment!

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mother Feeding Her Young

This is a picture from Ron Jenkins, an English high school teacher in Galena, Illinois via his Facebook page. He's a friend of mine from high school. Anyway, it was the view from his office window a few days ago. See what you think:

Isn't it amazing?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back From That Wedding

I am back from my stepson's wedding, and so very grateful for where I live and for my life here. It is a beautiful day and the sun is shining.

The wedding itself was lovely and sweet and beautifully orchestrated. The bride and groom were precious. All went smoothly. The rehearsal brunch we hosted went off terrifically. The bulk of the people attending were from the bride's side, and from LoveHubbie's ex-wife's side. A few of LoveHubbie's family did get to attend, which was a great highlight, including a special call from that favorite nephew in Brazil.

The reception was a bit difficult, as amidst the lavish surroundings of a country club that looked like a castle, seating was scarce and food was even scarcer; fortunately the bride's family did offer water, but the lines were long and the competition stiff, even more aggressive than that for the seating, as it was a pleasantly warm day. Everyone wanted that water! We eventually found older family members seating and captured a small table that younger family members visited throughout the afternoon. It was such an incongruous situation for such a wealthy and abundant setting. All in all, it was an occasion to remember, primarily for the several family members from our side who attended, although some could only stay for a short time because of work obligations and distance traveled. We stayed for the whole thing, from late morning until early evening.

One thing that always troubles me at family or community functions in Texas is the legacy of stories and gossip from the past. As part of the acrimonious divorce LoveHubbie went through, his community was inundated with fictional tales told to anyone who would listen. These were stories of adultery and betrayal, accounts of LoveHubbie wanting to murder his ex-wife and children with "guns", and many other wild and crazed allegations. Everyone is civil now and gets along well at public events.

The stories and their legacy live on, though. A decade later as I meet people who I know indirectly from the children or from LoveHubbie as people from their past, I see on their faces a look of recognition, the "There's the adulteress!" look of contempt, or the "She's the one who married the crazed homicidal father of those poor kids" look of disgust.

I don't want to defend myself, as it isn't necessary to me, and it isn't anyone's business. In addition, the only way I could defend myself would be to call LoveHubbie's ex-wife a liar, and I'm not interested in that either. More drama. More revenge attempts from the ex, using the children. I'm sure she did what she thought she needed to in order to establish grounds for a "biblical divorce" in Texas, to avoid shame, and to save face in the eyes of the church. While trying to destroy LoveHubbie's relationships in their community though, she perhaps inadvertently destroyed the open hearts and trusting souls of their three children, a loss that may never be repaired. And the wounds of her neediness and past actions are re-opened each time we return to Texas.

So, yes I am glad to be home. I am glad to be around people who know me for who I am. I am happy to be away from folks held in the thrall of religious fundamentalism and parochialism, from gossip and small-mindedness. I miss my husband's family, but will be glad to see them in another environment. I need support and the reflection back of those who know me accurately. There's no place like home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wedding Bells Are Ringing!

My stepson is getting married, so I'm going to Texas for four days for the large formal wedding. Texas is where LoveHubbie is from. It is not my favorite place. It will be, as was the last time I was there last year for my stepdaughter's graduation, an exercise in letting go and trusting in the Universe to uphold me as I pass from one interesting situation to another. This is my reframe. It works for me.

We are hosting the rehearsal breakfast, which includes about 40 people. Yes, it is a very large wedding. And very formal...did I say that? At a country club.

We will be meeting the other parents (our new daughter-in-law's parents) for the first time, as well as her whole side of the family. Have never even spoken to any of them before. Almost all of our own relatives will be there as well, except for my favorite nephew, who currently lives in Brazil. The last time our side has been together like this was at my father's funeral two years ago. And LoveHubbie's ex-wife and her entire extended family will all be there, too. In other words, a typical 21st century Texas country club wedding.

You know me---no makeup, manicures, pedicures, let alone the waxing, the hair-do's, the eyebrow plucking or the sequins or high heels. And social niceties aren't my forte. So on I will forge, and have a great opportunity to practice authenticity, compassion, mindfulness, presence, gratitude, and much more that I'm sure I can't imagine.

I won't have Internet access as my 3-week-old baby iMac laptop is still an enigma to me and I'm not ready to take it on a trip. But I'll have my new smartphone and will be Twittering. If you're not on Twitter you can read updates on the right sidebar of my blog. I may even put some pictures there if I can figure out how.

And I'll look forward to getting caught up with each and every one of your blogs and emails when I return. I will be thinking of those of you who I know are in special situations with extra love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Yes, Still Practicing the Sabbath

Today I had yet another attempt at practicing the sabbath. I journaled my progress throughout the day once again. Sharing this with you really helps me to see how I spend my time, keeps me accountable.

8:00am: Slept in and am glad it's the sabbath and that there is nothing today I must do. Started my day answering emails, connecting with people.

9:00am: Had a quiet time of reading and journaling, something I've not done like this since I returned from vacation three weeks ago. Note to self: this time is critical and I want to return to doing it daily.

9:30am: Had a conversation with LoveHubbie where we actually communicated (like I do with my friends). Joy!

11:00am: Started to blog about this to share it with you. Still reading, writing. Ok, so I'm leaping off the cliff and am going to read fiction---the ultimate indulgence!

11:40am: Reading an advance copy of "How to Buy A Love of Reading" by Tanya Egan Gibson. I am in love with words! So glad I did this.

Noon: LoveHubbie is cooking a brunch of eggs and wild salmon that we'll eat as we watch CBS Sunday Morning, my favorite show. I love how it always gets me interested in things that I have no intrinsic interest in whatsoever. We're celebrating Mother's Day :)

1:15pm: Still watching CBS Sunday Morning. Oh, it's good!

3:15pm Went for a short walk up and down our driveway and lost a game of ping pong to LoveHubbie.

3:45pm: At last...doing some art. I'm going to be making two cards today, one for a friends and another for my stepson's wedding next week.

5:30pm: I ended up making one for the friend. My heart wasn't in the know how there are some people who appreciate handmade things and then others who would rather have something store-bought? I decided to give my stepchildren what they prefer (store-bought) instead of what I'd enjoy giving (handmade). Thus I had lots of time to do the one for my friend. Here it is:

It looks sort of ugly odd in this picture, but this card looks much better than I can photograph it. It is stamped all over and then the object in the center is a mosaic made of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel™). I was very pleased! It was fun to relax and be creative.

6:00pm: I wanted to publish this before the day was over, so here it is. For the rest of the day I'm going for another short driveway walk during which I will phone a friend, then read my novel until bedtime. YUM!

This was a great day. I feel as though I'm getting the hang of this sabbath practicing. No need to set boundaries today. Ahhhhhh!

Happy Mothers Day to all of you who are mothers, and to all of you who mother. I send a special shout out to my mother-friend, who is not my biological mother, Rose Marie. Here is an old picture of us from several years ago:

Friday, May 8, 2009

End of the Week Fun

Celebrating the end of the week with this upbeat performance from the PS22 Chorus of 2009 singing Coldplay's Grammy nominated song Viva La Vida:

I found this on the lovely Carmen's blog!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: National Grump Out Day

Did you know that today was National Grump Out Day? No, this does not mean it's a time to "grump out" as in "wig out" or "pig out". It's a day to banish grumpiness; it's a day to be out with or done with grumpiness! (Sort of like a "Smoke Out" is when you stop smoking for a day.)

So, today I'm going to inform my curmudgeon spouse LoveHubbie of the importance of celebrating NGO Day---be sure to inform the grumpiness person you know and maybe they'll get in the spirit of the day and "grump out".

If you are the grump, it's a great day to put grumpiness behind you and instead breathe in gratitude, love, and appreciation for all of life! After all your attitude profoundly affects your mental health and your physical health as well.

Although I am not typically a grumpy person, I am choosing to be inspired today and focus on all of the many things that go right with the day and all of the many blessings I experience! Let's celebrate together!

~Photo by Grumpy Curmudgeon LoveHubbie Mark

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Twitter Resource Goldmine

For a vast assortment of Twitter lists containing everything you wanted to know about Twitter but didn't know where to find it, see Mashable. For those of you who have resisted Twitter (and you know who you are), you just may change your mind soon :)

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Practicing the Sabbath (Again)

Today I had another attempt at practicing the sabbath. I journaled my thoughts throughout the day. Even though it was an ordinary day, I had some good lessons. Writing about it here all day helped me to focus and be accountable.

8:05 am: I started out the day with a morning walk. The sun was shining here, and rain was expected later, so I scooted out very early for the first time in---three years! I've been too stiff and tired in the mornings in the past to do this, but today it was what I wanted to do. It felt new, different and lovely. I did nordic walking aerobically and am now going to ice my knees. I'm so pleased with myself and this new experience of energy. I'll be back.

12:40 pm: Next I had a business meeting. I will not do this any more. It was someone who insisted upon meeting today, that today was the "only time" they could do it. They did not understand or respect my desire to keep a sabbath, which I shared with them. It may be better to just pass on such folks in the future, and let other people work with them. It did effect the energy of the day. Part of the advantage of working for yourself is that you have more control, if you take it. I'm taking it.

12:50 pm: Found out that this same Person committed me to contacting yet another person today, as in, he told them that I would definitely call. Set another boundary with said Person that I make my own appointments, that my time cannot be committed for me. I see a pattern here with this Person of not understanding or respecting my values. Will draw yet another line here.

1 pm: Laundry, housework, puttering around the house getting organized for the week ahead. This is an enjoyable activity for me, very relaxing. It is a glorious day, not rainy as predicted, and I am enjoying it.

1:20pm: I think that the key to setting good boundaries is follow-through by imposing whatever you say the consequences are. This is what I have been lax in doing in the past.

6:30pm: Spent some time doing some personality testing for my new job earlier (this is actually fun for me), as well as catching up on a Grey's Anatomy show while having a nice meal. Then I went to Joann's to buy some art supplies and saw Leah's magazine there--Whoo hoo! On to the gym for a workout of basic stretching and weights and gyrokinesis. I experimented with two minutes on the treadmill and two minutes on the elliptical. We'll see if I can walk tomorrow...I have patellofemoral syndrome and my knees are really sensitive...I also wore my bulky and uncomfortable orthotics from the podiatrist.

On the agenda for the rest of the night is finishing that Grey's Anatomy, then getting started in my tutorials for my new laptop and phone (only for about an hour at the most). I will end it with reading for pleasure (!) and an early bedtime (by 9:30pm).

Other than the learning I did from allowing some unwanted job work into the day, everything was just what I wanted. It felt much better than past Sundays.

Next Sunday will be even better.

~All photos by LoveHubbie Mark (some are from Maui, some from my home here)

Friday, May 1, 2009

To Brighten Up Your Friday

Enjoy this video via Beverly Keaton Smith, guaranteed to spiff up your end of the week fatigue! It is of a "flashmob" in a train station in Antwerp.

"Flashmobs are used by forward thinking marketers to demonstrate a concept or launch a new brand. They have a guerilla / underground type of feel and if organised well and targeted properly they can really add power to an advertising strategy.

Flemish commercial television station VTM used a creative Flashmob approach to launch their newest reality television program “Op zoek naar Maria” which has been launched to find an actress to play the leading role of Maria in the musical version of The Sound of Music.

At the Central Station in Antwerp. A modern version of The Sound of Music hit “Do Re Mi” came through the speakers and a few started to dance to the music. Gradually, more and more dancers, disguised as commuters, joined them until the entire hall was packed with a dancing crowd."---from the blog Samro

Now, have a Fantastic Friday!