Saturday, March 28, 2009

If You Are Reading This, I Am In Hawaii



So I am in Hawaii, and I have autoblogged this to post at our landing time in Kahului, Maui. If you want to see where I am for the first week with our friends Scott and Tara, look at this web cam here. For the remaining two weeks we're in a condo further north, and we will have no Internet access or email or texting or anything else the whole time, just phone. When we are in the mood. :)

As much as I enjoy the disconnecting part of this, I'll be going mobile when we come back. I'll look forward to having a more modern phone with texting and possibly a laptop as well.






I will miss all of you---my community---SO MUCH! I will read each and every blog post when I return and send loving thoughts and energies and prayers to you while I"m gone.

Please remember to pray and think of Carly Grace on April 3rd, the date of her really, really big surgery.

I'll look forward to connecting with you all soon.

Much, much love and aloha,

O




~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark except for "Miss You" by Dumb Little Man

Friday, March 27, 2009

Be Inspired!


As I prepare for vacation tomorrow I wanted to share with you Molly Gordon's amazing reworking of Marianne Williamson's well-known quote:


"Our deepest fear is not that we are without resources.
Our deepest fear is that we are infinitely and completely supported.
It is our good fortune, not our lack of resources, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to benefit from the work and support of others?

Actually, who are you to do it alone?
You are a child of God.
Pretending to be an only child or an orphan does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about doing it all yourself so that other people won't envy or resent you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
And to shine in that way requires that we open our minds and hearts to infinite Love,
Love that is made manifest in the kindness of strangers, the support of friends,
and the brilliance of those who have gone before us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we allow others to help our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."---Molly Gordon via Melissa Gayle West




Wow. Wow. Wow. I think I like Molly Gordon's version even better. Both are empowering and inspiring! Have a wonderful day today!


~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Stamina and Carly Grace


Only just over a day before I leave for Hawaii, and there are so many posts I'd like to do.

Yesterday was really a Wellness Wednesday for me. I was fitting in some last health care appointments. In addition, I continue to struggle with complications from my dental surgery about 10 days ago. All in one day I visited the podiatrist to get a cortisone shot in my foot, both the dentist and the oral surgeon and had two minor surgical procedures---one from each of them, the pharmacist to get enough medications to last for the time I'm gone, the lab to do some tests due to complications from the antibiotics I've been on ("c-diff"), and the chiropractor. I visited my husband's office in between these as well. It was a crazy hectic day and I was in pain the whole time.

However, due to the supplements I've been taking from my new alternative medicine physician, I was mostly able to be calm through all of this. I was able to practice letting go of results and in trusting in a safe Universe, because there was really nothing else I could do. I have to trust that when I leave town packed with my contingency meds and records for potential surgeons on Maui, that all will be okay. Truly, not having an undercurrent of anxiety all of the time has helped me so very much, and enabled me to deal with so much more than in the past. In addition, having good energy levels (from the thyroid my doctor prescribed) helps tremendously as well.

I feel blessed, blessed, blessed to be able to have access to and to afford all of this health care. I feel supported by the Universe. I am so grateful for my friends---you all---here online, and new ones I've met on Facebook and Twitter.

I feel extremely inspired by a very little girl named Carly Grace, who has her own blog, and whose parents manage somehow (I don't know how) to have a positive attitude towards all of her health challenges and who model the attitude to life we could all have. They live in the moment and love their daughter. Please read her blog, and please pray for her upcoming surgery (one of dozens she's had, but what sounds like the biggest one yet). Please hold out healing energies for her and send love to her parents. They are wonderful people who I read about months ago from yertle. If you take a second to go there, even just to see her sweet little face, you will gain so much and you will remember her always. Just a quick look and a prayer and it will make a difference. As importantly, if you take the time to go back and back and back and read her blog, your life will be different, I promise you.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Two Unconventional Uses for Twitter


Just over a day before I leave for Hawaii, but I wanted you to see this:

One use is interactive brain surgery. Can you imagine? The other is monitoring fish catches and these fisherpeople have even devised their own compact syntax that is fascinating.

Check both of these out, but especially check them out if you can't imagine being on Twitter. It is a very creative way of being connected that is deceptively simple but as powerful as you can imagine.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: More Gratitude




We can never have enough gratitude, can we?

I have been going through a rocky recovery from my dental surgery, and I've tried to keep this in mind. When I am in continual pain with no clear end in sight, it is easy for me to to fall into self-pity, worry, fear, and even panic. Attendance at my own personal pity parties. Instead, I can cling to the saying, "This too shall pass!" I am constantly bringing myself back to what I have to be grateful for, and there is so, so much. This is a great coping strategy and spiritual practice.

Today Brad Shorr has a post on spiritual renewal with some quotes by Henri Nouwen that I found very helpful. Check it out if you are needing a boost and a moment to reflect.

Yesterday I also took time off in an attempt to practice observing the Sabbath, which for me means, resting and relaxing. I want it to be a Day of Rest! I am still in the early stages of developing this practice, but find it essential to my well-being. I currently take off parts of the day, slip back, handle a few problems, notice what I'm doing, and then ease back into resting. I need to learn how to draw firmer boundaries. I also need to learn how to tolerate having a lot to do and purposefully choosing to do something more important---resting. It will be a process, I'm sure.





~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Gratitude


This Wellness Wednesday is a day late because I recently had dental surgery. But yesterday and today I was really grateful. Grateful for the resources to have dental surgery. Grateful for someone (LoveHubbie) to accompany me to the procedure. Grateful to see an end to the pain I've been having. Grateful to be able to rest up and take care of myself without worrying about economic loss.

But the surgery and other events caused me to be grateful in a different way as well. It made me think of all of the things in my body that do work right.

For example, right now my body is aggressively healing. It is supported by lots of different medications, and by healing prayers and energies sent by you all. But it is doing much work right now, all without my active participation. Of course, I provide it with sleep and rest, but basically I'm unaware.

My personal assistant, Sweetie, acquired Bell's palsy last week. She is young and healthy, and it just happened. Aside from the fact that her face sags on the left side as though she'd had a stroke, her biggest problem is having to manually blink her left eye--it no longer blinks on its own and the blinking is vital to the eye's health and maintenance of vision. So she continues working, because she has to, and manually blinks her eye as she does.

How often are we aware or grateful that our eye blinks? Do we thank it for blinking for us? Are we thrilled in a given day that we don't have to manually blink our eye?

Thousands of miles away in Honolulu my co-author Akoni languishes in a hospital, having lost his leg to diabetes, losing his hands to gangrene. I imagine he is happy for every moment of life he has left. My heart aches for him daily. I am hoping that I get to visit him on this trip to Hawaii, and I am afraid it will be the last time I see him. He has trouble eating, and must now be fed.

How often are we excited that we can eat on our own without assistance? I don't remember feeling this way ever.

These two people I know, but others as well, are examples for me in living courageously with whatever problems I might have. And they remind me to be grateful for small things that are so vital, but that I overlook. I don't want to overlook. I want to be filled with gratitude every day.

If you are feeling poorly today, stop overlooking your many numerous blessings. You'll feel better. I promise.

~Photo of Lavender Field, representing Abundance, by LoveHubbie Mark

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Food, Inc.

Some of you may not know that I'm a foodie and part of the Slow Food Movement. If you are thus inclined, you may enjoy this trailer for the new movie Food, Inc (3:30):



Find out more about Food, Inc. here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday


"In the great spiritual traditions, the wounds to our ego are our teachers and must be welcomed."
---
Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Pi Day!


Did you know it is Pi Day? I found out on Facebook from family members but missed the official celebration time of 1:59 p.m. I hope you have a wonderful day :)

~Photo of Jacaranda tree by LoveHubbie Mark

Love Rocks Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten


See the Love Rock story here. This post was written several months ago when the adventure started, and I saved it for the right time...which is now.

Well, I don't have any pictures of my giving away these three Love Rocks.

Love Rock Seven "Energy Follows Intention" I gave to my gyrotonics teacher. It exemplified the movement we work on.

Love Rock Eight "I Feel It Too" I have so far kept, but want to give it to someone who feels the same as I do AND is physically present near me and so far that hasn't happened to me. Most of the people I feel this way about are far, far away...and in the blogosphere. Sending it to someone takes away some of the spontaneity of giving away this particular rock. But I hold it in hope!

Love Rock Nine is "Touch Heals", which is so true...I have not yet given this one away for reasons similar to Love Rock Eight!

Love Rock Ten is "I See Angels", which I almost gave to James, the man who fixed my phone system here back in November. And I almost gave it to another man I met, Miguel, on vacation. They were both angels to me in different ways. But giving the rock to them didn't really seem to be right then, so I wait for this one as well...

Thus ends the Love Rock story, but the journey continues. Thank you, Kim!

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, March 13, 2009

Setbacks


Well, I'm back to square one with my energy level. Ready to JUMP! earlier in the week, then a gradual deterioration that I've fought, next everything crashing in. Sleeping all the time, no energy, pumping caffeine to get moving, my personality back to exquisitely intense introversion, not able to function during the day. I'm hoping it was the medications that I've been taking for the gum abscess countering all the other good things I was doing, and that now that I'm done with the week of antibiotics and prescription mouthwashes that I can recover.

Otherwise it will be interesting to see what happens.

I had three wonderful weeks of life. This is the way things sometimes happen, I suppose. It really highlights for me how dramatic all of the changes were and how entirely different my life had become. It reminds me of how I've lived for so long...what a half-life...and how much I hope that I can get it all back.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saying No


"Steve Jobs said, "It comes from saying 'no' to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much." What are some things you need to say "no" to in order to help with the things to which your soul is saying "yes".

...It's okay to say "no" to the things that do not enrich my life experience, especially as I get older."
---"The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder" by Jill Badonsky



~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Drill Down to What's Essential


I find myself caring more and more lately about the bare bones, about what is essential and real in life.

It all started when a good friend wrote me in an email:

"As Patti Digh referred to in an essay more than three years ago, Toni Morrison has the perfect phrase for framing such decisions: "What is it I must do or I shall die?""

Provocative question, indeed.

Then today I read in the amazing book Altar in the World, a book that will be a classic for those of us who are spiritual rather than religious, "Come tell us what is saving your life now".

It's as much in the questions we ask as in the answers we find.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clearing the Space

"The first step in starting an enterprise is to clear the space for it, or till the ground. This clearing process is a must...We like to think just forging ahead is going to be enough to start, but when you run into gnarled old roots where your new plants need to grow, you've got problems."---Barrie Donick, Simple Spells for Success, via The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin





In the interests of creating space in my life for new things, I'm retiring from Amazon reviewing. I've been doing it for 12 years and am currently #15 out of over 5 million Amazon reviewers. This necessitates a lot of maintenance involving reading lots and lots of books (sheer fun) but also taking notes on them as I read them and writing an average of 25-40 reviews or more each month. More when I am wanting to advance in rank. I also write reviews for other items, especially teas and household items. Some strategy is involved as well, such as reviewing new items early and gaining spotlight positioning to get more helpful votes.

With the new health and energy I have, I want to channel my efforts into things that lead me in other directions, into something that will provide actual income for me. I have had the great satisfaction of helping others with their Amazon purchases for all of these years and received many free products and books, including my Flip Mino video camera. However, I am ready for a change. I'm sure I'll occasionally review an item I am very excited about, but I don't want the self-imposed responsibility of "having" to do any particular item or book or to produce a certain volume.

I have one more obligatory review for an advance copy of a book I've received, which I hope to finish this week, and then I'll be done.

As little of a thing as this it is---this ranking---it will be very hard for me to let go and leave it alone and watch my ranking fall. I've been building it for so long. It is, embarrassingly, a part of my identity. Thus I consider the letting go a spiritual practice as well, because the ranking is simply a construct based upon a game that I've been playing. And unless I want to keep playing (which I don't) it is time to move on. And time to be who I am without externally judged rankings, especially relatively meaningless ones. Isn't it funny that it is so hard?

It is funny how we cling to such things sometimes. How scary it is to just be who we are.

I am excited to give this up and to look ahead to what the future may hold. I'm excited to look at some of my real dreams and other more difficult challenges---things like earning a living and finishing my abandoned NaNoWriMo 2007 book---and more. Things that I cannot even imagine right now.

I hope I'm ready to JUMP!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Overwhelmed?

Watch this five minute video. It's kind of scary...the rate of change...our future is not predictable, that's for sure. It won't look like now. Wow.



~Found via http://www.uuplanet.tv/

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Fearlessness

I don't believe in fearlessness.

I just don't.

Friday morning (actually all Thursday night and Friday morning) I had a dental emergency and wrote this while camping out at my dentist's office, waiting to be worked into their packed schedule:


"I have been up all night, have trouble talking, am very swollen on the left side, but mostly scared. I'm a dental pain veteran, but rarely of pain like this, not with sudden onset out of nowhere, and not constantly this severe.

Which brings me to a topic I've been wanting to write about---fearlessness. I don't believe in it. At all. Mark Twain didn't either. He said,

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."

I believe in befriending and happily co-existing with fear. In acknowledging it, fully feeling it as a part of me, listening to what it has to say to me, and then moving through it, effectively making it irrelevant to what I decide to do.

I never want fear to stop me. Instead, I want it to be my friend.

Last night as I laid awake I made friends with pain. As the throbbing continued, I felt it and followed it, at times dosing off, only to be awakened by an intensification. I told myself that it was only pain. The bigger question was what the pain meant, but I tried to put that off since there was nothing that I could do about it was anyway. I didn't take any pain killers, because I wanted to be aware of the pain's intensity in case something changed and I had to take some action--what I didn't know--go to the emergency room, wake up LoveHubbie, etc. I even thought I might die (that's how bad the pain was). That sounds a little panicked but I was pretty calm about it. The whole process was more peaceful than anxious, a new one for me.

I think that sometimes we experience fearlessness in scary or terrifying circumstances, but this is trans-human, a miracle, a gift, not something to be counted on. Most of the time I think that we will indeed feel fear but invite it to ride with us on our journey, not in control or in the driver's seat, but as a passenger along with other friends."


As part of my Sacred Hour in the morning, I draw a stone (one of a batch of 19) to set my theme for the day. They are all individual words that hold a lot of meaning for me, like this year's theme "JUMP!" So anyway, today's word was "FEAR". I include it in my stones because instead of feeling dread or recoiling when I see it (my natural reaction being "Oh, no, what is going to happen today?") I want to smile and think of the opportunities in the day for communing with My Friend Fear.

Angela of Eclectic Recovery writes about her fear in an integrative way also today here.

What do you think about this? What is your relationship with fear?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Golden Light Ceramics

I wanted to give you the link to Stasia's lovely handmade ceramic finger labyrinths that I showed here in a previous post. This first two labyrinths are Chartres Labyrinths.





Note the detail. They are wonderful to touch and trace.







She also makes fairies and more in her business Golden Light Ceramics. I have one of her special fairies as well.






Here is a very small labyrinth for travel with a tracing stylus.







and a goddess labyrinth.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wellness Wednesday

Today is Wellness Wednesday and I don't have anything earth shattering to share. Yet the changes in my life, though ordinary, have changed everything for me. I am feeling better and better and better, day by day. It is a new thing to get up early in the morning again. To dress myself without fatigue; you can do so many more things when you are dressed! To be able to do things all day long and then to do something else yet again at night. It is a little bit scary too, because I'm not used to it and a part of me thinks that it's all going to go away again. But wiser heads than me (my friends) say, "Trust it." Trust that I am well, and that I will be well. I'm not there yet. But I hope to be.

I feel so impacted emotionally as well by all of this. I am simply taking some Armour Thyroid and doctor-recommended supplements, yet it is affecting my moods tremendously. I rarely feel anxious (unless there is some good reason) and definitely don't feel depressed or anything close to it. I have had challenging emotional situations and have reacted to them differently than in the past, better, stronger, more like "me" and in a way I am proud of.

And amazingly, I'm just at the start of my treatment plan. We have yet to address several other issues. My goal was to be able to get out of bed and function, albeit at a sub-optimal level. I'm finding that I'm getting a whole new life. Words really cannot convey the hope I have and the joy I have that I'm holding back just to make sure it's real.

So I wanted to share it all with you on this Wellness Wednesday!


PS. I felt like waving a flag today and what better than a Hawaiian flag!


~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Inflammatory Breast Cancer

My highest hope for today's Sacred Sunday post is that it may save someone's life. A friend sent me this video and I wanted to pass it on to you. If you don't have six minutes, just watch the first four. It is worth it to save the life of someone you love. Please especially pay attention to the symptoms.

It is outrageous that the medical community is so ignorant of this disease and that women were diagnosed with bug bites on their breasts. If you are inclined to be activists about it (which I am after viewing the video) make sure that the physicians you know are informed about this as well.



I had never heard of this before, had you?