Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, Grateful for Their Sacrifice

I posted this two years ago here and am reposting it now in honor of Memorial Day.

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.

I am also grateful for the sacrifices made by families of military personnel. They are many. Thank you.

~Photo by

~Photo via The United States Army and their Flicker page

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Being Brave

This Sacred Life Sunday post is to commemorate the work that Jessie and I did years ago in our "Be Brave" project. Jessie started it and I joined in and over the years we revived it. Now I would say we are living "Be Brave".

The project was inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Sometimes just the regular stuff that life brings to you is enough to scare you. You don't have to have a "Be Brave" project to bring extra things in in order to challenge yourself. This is the life that I'm living right now and that I believe Jessie is too. I have learned so much from Jessie and continue to be inspired from her journey.

So anyway, when I saw this picture of her, it moved me so much and I remembered those days back in 2007. I wanted that bracelet too. So badly, I wanted it. To remember. To be inspired today by what Jessie and I did four years ago. And by what she is doing now. And as a reminder of what I need to be every day. 

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark, who tried with me to recreate Jessie's great picture
~Amazing bracelet created by Jen from Realia. Thank you Jen! 
~Thank you for your example, Jessie! And yes, this bracelet makes me feel like Super Woman Be Brave Badass too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: In Pictures

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

Today I thought I'd share some pictures from this blog--blasts from the past--that exemplify joy. I really enjoyed going through old posts to share these with you...I discovered that this blog is FULL of joy :)

Bunny Lips from  Cute Overload, Feb 2007.

From this post in Feb 2007, photo taken by me, this is LoveHubbie Mark in Kula, Maui back in the days when he didn't work on vacation:

From this post in March 2007, of my parents-in-law: look at their eyes and you'll see how happily married they are! 

This is a picture from a post in March 2007 of brother's feet relaxing in a stream, taken by him and stolen from his flicker account. Do you have moments like this? I have fewer than I'd like:

This is a post of a laughing baby. What joy young children share with us! This was from a post in April 2007, with a picture of my brother taken by one of my parents:

This painting is on my wall in the nook where I work. Just looking at it brings me so much joy. I write about it in this post from April of 2007. Plus I noticed in the comments that this post was when I first met my good friend Rick, something which definitely brings me joy!

This sweet little dog in a post from April 2007 by Cute Overload:

This is from a post I did in May of 2007 called "The Clitoris", can you believe it? I would recommend you read (or re-read) this post for sure...the picture is by LoveHubbie Mark.

And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading wish you JOY!

Share the Joy Thursday: If You Are Alive, You Have Joy To Share

Writing about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

What brings me JOY today? Sometimes it is small things, other times it is large things. Today it is very large things. 

Wearing this pink wig with Kim Mailhot, the Queen of Arts and Patti Digh, in honor of Brandie Sellers, Patti Digh's friend who is living with cancer. It brings me joy that we can all support each other and touch each other's live. Brandie is brave and real and alive.

LoveHubbie surviving his latest "unplanned heart event", which was unstable angina and a heart catheterization. It was Cattiwampus Stressland here last week, culminating with what we thought was another heart attack** on Friday. He was in the hospital over the weekend and unbelievably back at work on Monday. I am grateful he is still alive and it brings me joy that he has another chance to live.

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading wish you JOY!

See more "Share the Joy Thursday" posts on Meri's blog

**So it was technically not a heart attack because there was no TOTAL blockage, but the blood flow slowed down and was almost blocked--it felt and looked like a heart attack, which was why he had the surgical procedure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: New Every Morning

A hundred small choices in the wrong direction can add up to a lifetime where our dreams are always one step in front of us. ~Debbie Ford 

Who wants to be continuing to repeat the same patterns over and over again so that our dreams are eluding us? Do you ever feel caught in a pattern? Today and lately I did and I have, but somehow I don't think that the pattern is real...or that the inevitability of my repeating it is true...I think it is just a story that I or someone else made up about it, and that I can just as easily choose to step outside of it and...choose differently...choose again.

For this, and for the newness of each day, I am grateful and full of joy. For new beginnings...right now...and right now...and right now. I want to encourage you today to step outside any pattern that seems to hold power over you; what if it is entirely your creation?

The photo for today IS joy, and how I feel:

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

As always, today I am grateful for being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading wish you JOY!

See more "Share the Joy Thursday" posts on Meri's blog

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Dreaming Big

kate had a provocative post on her blog, and it got me thinking. Her dream was my dream as well, but it was bigger than I'd ever thought or dreamed. For example, I might imagine a house in Hawaii (believe me, I have) but not a house in Hawaii AND France! I couldn't even imagine that! But why not? It's a dream, after all. I realized that my dreams are way, way too small.

So after reading her post and thinking about it, I decided to adopt her dream and then add some things in. Yes, make it even bigger! I did it in my journal for privacy, but I wanted to share a few things here with you.

So, first go and read about kate's dream--it's really cool. Then come back here :) Think about what you'd dream as you do this.

So, I'd take everything in kate's dream and then I'd add:

1) I'd also have a house right here in Olympia. I love it here. I would custom-build it to have a large living area and studio and a large kitchen area (all combined in one room with a very high ceiling--two stories), a very small bedroom, and a huge bath. So three rooms. Unconventional.

2) I'd have a full-time personal assistant to handle all the mundane tasks of my life. Actually, it would probably take two full-time personal assistants to do this.

3) I would work as a motivational speaker and travel all over the world. I'd use various healing modalities like fasterEFT and life coaching skills to help people in pain. 

Years ago I worked as a life coach; my blog then was called "Tapping Luau", because the main technique I used at the time was a form of energy work called EFT, also known as "tapping". It involves tapping on the body's energy meridians while affirming various things out loud.  I have been learning fasterEFT for about a's a modified, shortened form of EFT, combined with NLP and hypnosis. But I've been doing this just for me and to use myself, not for others.

It surprised me that I'd actually WANT to WORK in my dream. And that I'd want to do something so visible and public. But it's a dream, right? It still was surprising. I am going to ponder the implications of this.

So how about you? What is your dream? If there is anything you'd like to share, do it here, on your blog, or in your journal. It is so fun and freeing...and you may surprise yourself!

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark of our garden yesterday

Update: I also want to link to Kelly's Dream, for a beautiful perspective! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger is Back...Do You Still Read My Blog?

So Blogger is now back and I'm a lucky girl because I save my comments! Thus I was able to repost them today. So I've recovered everything. But, if you didn't read my important post from Sharing the Joy Thursday or you did read it but didn't get to comment because of the Blogger outage, please do. I think sharing the joy on Friday will work just as well :)

Also, if you didn't have time to watch the Anita Roberts video, please do. It's so affirming and you will not regret the time spent. It's a video every woman and girl should watch. Really.

So if you were here, let me know, ok? Even just to tell me you were here.

I'm posting more and wondering if you're reading? Are you still there?

PS. Do check your blog, as I just discovered that Blogger destroyed my comments from my previous post on the Anita Roberts video and I had to also reconstruct those comments. This was especially important to me as Anita Roberts herself had commented on it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Anita Roberts Video

I found this video via Patti Digh and Sophia Leadership. It's about the sense that each woman has about what is good for her and right--her intuition--and how we listen to it--but it is about so much more than that. It's a TED talk, and so it is almost 17 minutes, but you will not regret watching it, if you are a woman, I promise you this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: So Much To Be Joyful About

It's time again for Meri's "Share the Joy Thursday". Consider joining in and spreading joy around every Thursday or whatever Thursdays you want to pop in and participate. Read about more joy, including from our own Kim, The Queen of Arts and others listed at the end of Meri's post if you want to feel more joy today.

You know, writing about joy first thing on a Thursday morning does set the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. It also reminds me of Kelly Kikipotamus the Hobo's practice of Grace in Small Things and Laundrygirl's Five Senses Friday. All of these are ways of being more aware--they change the author as she/he writes the blog post!

What brings me JOY today?

Sunny days and light flickering on trees as I drive down the road
The fact that as I let go of control, God steps up
Freedom and gratitude for being privileged to be born in this country
Making art
The ability to control my mind
The ability to control who I let into my life
The ability to decide whether or not I watch the news
The safety and security of letting go of leeway with boundaries
Cinco De Mayo

Thank you for this video Mary Catherine!

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading wish you JOY!

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark edited by me

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: Withdrawing

I have decided that I'm not going to watch the news any more. I don't believe we were made to be able to absorb so much pain, strife, cruelty, etc. At least I'm not.

My biological brother (whom I am estranged from) works a government job yet his incredibly time-consuming passion over the last several years has been articulating views on his award-winning blog from the extreme political left that I can only describe as hate speech. A friend from high school has been expressing her views from the fringe right-wing in my Facebook stream that are equally as filthy and shocking. I care about both of these fine people, which is what makes reading what spews from them so tragic. I want to empathize, I want to care, and I do, but then I feel pre-occupied with what could have gone wrong with them to make them be so passionate and devoted to sharing such hateful beliefs.

I've decided that for my own health (I've been having chest pains today and think it's just anxiety...and to some degree, a broken heart) I am going to take a break from the news and from people expressing so much negativity. I think we all have to make decisions about how much of this we can let into our lives.

I want to know about our world but I don't want to dwell on evil and hatred...I would rather focus on what is right with it, and do what supports me in being as loving as I can in my own life. This is my Wellness Wednesday gift to myself.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark edited by me

UPDATE: Here is a talk ending in a meditation that soothed me tremendously by Marianne Williamson for those of you who would enjoy it (it's over an hour long, but balm right where I need my heart).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Have An AWESOME Day!

I saw this TED Talk by Neil Pasricha, called "The 3 A's of Awesome". It is very inspirational, reminding me of Kelly Kikipotamus the Hobo's "Grace in Small Things" (GIST). Neil Pasricha also has a couple of books that are compilations of his blog posts that you can find here on his blog as well.

The video is under 18 minutes and worth it; it'll make you aware of things you may have overlooked. I've admired Kelly and how she does this for some time, wanting to have this same awareness for and appreciation of small, ordinary, everyday things. This video did help me, tremendously. I hope it does the same for you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

An Historic Day and Leeway

I wanted to share links to two wonderful articles about how we react to news such as Osama bin Laden's death, two quotes, and then ask you a question.

The first article is from Bishop Jim Swilley's blog. I don't agree with him about "imagining no religion", nor about the "spontaneous celebrations", but the rest put in words things that I felt today.

The second article is from Susan Piver's blog. It is beautifully written and should not be missed.

The first quote is from Sylvain Coté and Kristine Mays on Facebook and they were quoting Martin Luther King, Jr:

‎"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

The second quote is from Marianne Williamson on Facebook:

 "I hope Bin Laden's death brings a sense of justice to those who lost loved ones on 9/11, and I'm grateful to those in our military etc. who worked so hard to find him. I hope whatever destructive influence he still had is now ended. That being said, however, the celebrations outside the White House seem naive to me. Tonight is a night for sober and mature reflection, not glee." ~Marianne Williamson

So...I am wondering what to do about people who react in unseemly ways to news like this. In the case of the revelers featured all over the news, it is easy just to turn off the television...I am frustrated, since I don't understand this mindset. Although I want to be charitable to what looked like a bunch of young people who aren't old enough to really understand the full implications of what they were doing, I find it difficult. How do you view them in a tolerant way?

And then there are the people with the hateful beliefs...they don't see them as hateful, of course. I think that an historic day like this brings emotions and beliefs to the surface. A Facebook friend of mine from high school voiced some odd beliefs about Obama. What she wrote was this:

THE NEW OSAMA is .... OBAMA.... The muslims promote the jihad and they WANT to die for their cause. I believe Osama stopped hiding since he accomplished what he wanted all along a "puppet" in the white house. ANd we americans sit and cheer as if our president is a hero.. SICK

On the one hand I wanted to share my beliefs with her. Years ago I was a fundamentalist Christian, didn't know I was hateful, didn't want to be hateful, yet I was. It was through knowing people who were outside of my church and through seeing how loving they were that I eventually left. It didn't make sense to me that people who didn't "have Jesus" could be so peaceful and caring and kind while people in my church were nasty, judgmental, and ridden with anxiety and fear like me. It took a long time before I could return to Christianity, having found a way to follow Jesus and yet at the same time not buy into the distortions of conventional American Christianity that can make it so hateful. So I feel love and compassion for her.

On the other hand, I don't want hate speech in my Facebook stream. I don't want to tolerate it, whether it is intentional or not. I don't want to tolerate it anywhere in my life for that matter! So I've been conflicted all day about what to do about it. Out and out bigots and racists are easy. But how do you handle people who may be great most of the time, but then something like this slips out? You feel the shock, the disgust,  you know you don't want it, you speak up (which I did), and then what? Do you unfriend them? Do you cut them out of your life altogether?

I have decided for now to delete her comments, but keep her as a Facebook friend, and hope that as she is exposed to life-affirming beliefs and people and to kindness she will yearn for something more. I am also telling her why I deleted her comments in an email so she knows.

I am a bit hesitant to take this approach, although ostensibly it seems to be the best. A better route might be to be like a much-admired friend of mine...she has strong boundaries and anytime anyone shows any sign of hate or drama or anything mean, she drops them hard as she wants to keep her life totally free of any toxicity whatsoever. In this way she maintains a very healthy lifestyle. I, on the other hand, have weak boundaries and am wanting to grow them to be stronger...I wonder if I set myself up for problems by not having strong enough boundaries and doing things like this. By leaving in "leeway". Am I weakend by leeway here?

Any views on this will be much appreciated. There is so much wisdom in my wonderful blog readers, thank you in advance!

UPDATE: Here is a talk ending in a meditation that soothed me tremendously by Marianne Williamson for those of you who would enjoy it (it's over an hour long, but balm right where I need my heart).