restoring.your.inner.self

My journey in a new direction

I Am Dreaming Again… about that elusive Peace we need so deeply!

Posted by BarbaraZ on August 22, 2014

Stormy Sunrise

Stormy Sunrise

The weather is stormy across the planet. There are hurricanes where they have rarely been before. Earthquakes are happening in strange locations. Drought is going to change the water consumption in major cities and also the farming capabilities of areas that were most bountiful in the past.  The stormy weather I am really referring to are the thoughts and actions  of the people around the globe that have reached storm levels not seen in quite a few years. Brutality is committed against the innocent without a second thought.  I wish I knew the answer for bringing peace and understanding to this planet of ours, but I don’t.  What I can do, is to lead my life in a manner that shows respect for both man and nature. I know there are others who feel the same and if our numbers grow, perhaps we can turn the tide against the hatred, anger and disrespect for man, beast and nature.

I agree totally with the following quotes about war by Jimmy Carter and Dwight D. Eisenhower. These quotes were copied from: War Quotes 

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good.
We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

Jimmy Carter, Nobel Lecture, Dec. 10, 2002

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, Jan. 10, 1946

How to turn this around? History has gone through many cycles of peace and war and the world has survived. Unfortunately the weapons of today are more destructive than ever before. The damage done will remain and harm those remaining for centuries to come. We need a new dawn, a new start where peace may have a chance. I know, I am dreaming again….

December 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

December 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

This new dawn is emerging out of the darkness of night. Its brilliance will soon overtake the dark clouds, pushing them out of sight. We have to learn how to survive in these troubled times. Each of us needs to find that means that enables us to find our own individual peace. If we do not feel peace within ourselves, there is no way we can help others find peace.

If you take care of each moment, you will take care of all time.
Jack Kornfield’s Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

The Calming Motion of Waves....

The Calming Motion of Waves….

For me, when I am feeling stressed, if I cannot get to the ocean itself, I have the calming sound of the waves I can listen to. For those in the mountains, I am sure it is exploring the beauty of those mountains that can calm a troubled soul. We all should have something that we can reach out to, embrace, to bring peace to our lives. The refugees of war, natural disasters, do not have this option and that is what makes their survival so difficult. I cannot reach out physically to these individuals, but I can do so from within… so I do… through my actions and thoughts toward others within my own world.

As you travel trough life, offer good wishes to each being you meet.
Jack Kornfield’s Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

OK.. enough of my dreaming about peace. I do not know what you will do after reading this. I do know what I will do… I will seek peace in all ways… through prayer, actions, thoughts and beliefs.

Posted in Challenges, Life & Nature, nature, Our Future... | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

My Wish for 2014

Posted by BarbaraZ on December 27, 2013

Peac Image

A “Blue Marble” image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s most recently launched Earth-observing satellite, Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on Jan. 4, 2012.

It is a dream, I know, but within my years on this planet I have seen the damage that has been done. It is not just the wars and the hatred between people, but the neglect and disrespect that we have all had toward this magnificent planet. There are those who try to encourage better relationships between the extreme political and religious factions. They are ignored and even killed.

Polio was almost eradicated until those without understanding and filled with distrust actually killed the individuals who were trying to deliver this vaccination to those who did not have access to it. The envoys trying to get food and other needed commodities to those in the war-torn areas have been blocked and again killed so that the relief efforts had to be stopped. Why is it that the youngest among us are the targets for extremists? The young are the future of the planet. Do they see them as future competition?

Then there is the damage that we bring to the planet ourselves. Yes, chemicals were brought in to use to increase the growth of crops, but when the use of these chemicals was proven to be detrimental, their use was not stopped. Big crops mean more money. The throw away society that I have been apart of, sadly… is using up the trees, adding to the HUGE trash dumps. I am using my shopping bags, recycling and still so much has to be put in the trash! I get so upset when I see cigarettes tossed out the window of cars along with cups being dropped out the car windows too. Would these individuals do this in their own ‘physical’ home?  Don’t they realize that this planet is also their home? It should be treated with respect and not used as a dumping ground.

Then I see the news of those who try… in all different arenas, as with the CNN Heroes. Here are those for 20132012 and you can view past years here.  I know every one has read  or heard via the news of young children who pick a cause and get fantastic results. Here is a link to The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family’s home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.

It can be done, but it will mean that we all have to work together! We can wipe out war, famine and even illness. Unfortunately the needed effort to accomplish these goals are being expended in the opposite directions on all fronts. Power, money,  are the carrots that dangle in front of these individuals. Resentments that go back centuries fuel their efforts. Then there is distortion of true religion. To move forward, one has to let go of the past. This is needed not only on the individual level, but also on the universal level.

I know, it is just a dream…. but I believe it could actually happen, one step at a time. We just have to link hands across the planet… and dream together. Dreams can come true!

If you should happen to visit, please leave a comment on how you try to do your part to help our fragile world survive. It does not have to be a major act. Mine include remembering to always use my reusable shopping bags. I try to recycle all I can and yet I am amazed at how much is still put in the trash. I want positive posts, not ones filled with hatred. You are welcome to keep those to yourself. Maybe that will make my post here one-sided, but this post is about saving and not destroying…

Below is a bookmark I made. You are welcome to copy and share with others. Life is not always easy. It can bring difficulties. How we deal with what comes our way is what counts. Let us take the negatives of 2013 and turn them around, whether they are our own or ones that permeate out society. #Peace

BOOKMARK

Posted in Life & Nature, nature, Our Future... | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The Time Has Come!

Posted by BarbaraZ on November 9, 2013

December 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

A New Day  ~~  A New Journey

Well. the ship has come in, or at least it is trying to. The start of a new beginning is on it way. The rest is up to me.

So why do I feel like a child facing its first day at school?  Why is my mind racing in circles?  Barb, time to take those deep breaths you have written about. You know, the ones you say to do in order to bring your mind to rest?  That’s right… breathe in now… hold it… now exhale slowly. Don’t forget to feel for that hint of a smile on your lips. My mind cannot feel rushed and scared when I am smiling, no matter how small the smile    Try it!

I am excited, I am nervous and yes, scared.  Me!!  Now to make a “Do Not Disturb, Genius at Work” sign to put on my ‘office’ door.  I finally made the decision to retire from teaching. It has been so much more than a job, it has been my passion. I have been a part of a team of teachers in an open classroom where students of all ages, all backgrounds, come to learn. Some need to learn how to enter the computer age. Others need to upgrade their Microsoft Office Program skills. We offer certificate programs for Office Administration, Medical and Legal Office programs also.

I am not retiring totally, but starting a whole new career. Freelance writing has been a part of my life for a few years, but in a low key sort of way. Now I need to approach it in a more determined way. I have met some great individuals in my freelance writing learning quest and also am writing articles in two areas. I have mentioned both BlogMutt and Catch My Pain before. They were mentioned in my Emerging post. That hiatus I mentioned for BlogMutt has to come to an end. This is where I need to post that “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door!

I also need to do a major over haul to this blog and get it back to the original purpose and that is posting articles that can help you find that inner peace, balance in your lift. I also will include articles on alternative options for pain and other health issues. Chemotherapy saved my life, but it made me hypersensitive to most medications.

I cannot leave without a quote from my favorite book, Readings from the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School: 

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.        Aldous Huxley

Now for a closing photo of one of my favorite birds, the Blue Heron. I enhanced this in Corel Painter.

Blue Heron

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Emerging thoughts, creativity and discoveries

Posted by BarbaraZ on September 2, 2013

Emerging from within

Emerging from within

Life goes on. It often does not turn out the way we plan, but how we adapt to the surprises and the detours that are put in our path, makes all the difference.  We will succeed or overcome these events if we are able to react positively. For some reason, I pulled this board of redwood out of hiding and started to finish a project I had started over 10 years ago. Not quite sure what I had in mind for the finished carving back then and even now… I am ‘playing it by ear,’ deciding on the next move only after seeing how it progresses.  Ah, a mystery is emerging!

It has been so long since I last added a post, I have had to relearn the steps!  Not good. This blog has been on my mind quite a bit. It too, has been altered its journey. I moved away from the original “restoring your inner self” to basically a sharing format of blog. This will be changing. I have work to do, learning to take place and I am looking forward to each step as it happens.

blogmutt logo

Right now I am on a self-imposed hiatus from another emerging journey that I have enjoyed so much. I discovered a wonderful site to write for, BlogMutt. There is no stress such as deadlines, except those that are self-imposed. Sure the edits can rub the wrong way, but if you have a positive attitude, that is not a problem. Questions? Just ask… The camaraderie that is found on the forum is super. You move up within BlogMutt by earning points for each post you write and also the rating given each post. For an incentive, writers are able to set as a goal, the number of posts that they say they will write each month. This is totally voluntary. Considering the number of writers they have onboard, it is hard to believe that BlogMutt is also an emerging force in the world of freelance content writing.

I just made Level 6 and I am so excited about that accomplishment. I was not even aware that I would enjoy writing! When all is lined up again, I will start writing once more. It is a great place. Maybe you cannot make a living income from it, but it is one way stay-at-home moms can add to the household income. Freelance writers who write full-time, find BlogMutt to be great for filling in the cracks of their often uncertain income. Here is a link to their blog. They also have a Facebook Page. Explore the links and who knows, it may become an emerging journey for you too!

logo_eng

I came across an app called Catch My Pain. It has given me a tool for dealing with my neuropathy. It is an app that is also emerging as the team develops new features. More are going to be added on a regular basis. Below is a synopsis from their site.

Pain can be very complex: Over time, it can move or expand to different locations of your body, the intensity may vary, or there might be various influences which increase or ease your pain. Keeping a diary helps you to get to know your pain and you might notice a pattern which will help you to adapt your lifestyle accordingly. Keeping a pain diary also helps you to explain and describe your pain to any care provider or a family member: By using CatchMyPain you can finally make your pain visible to others and you won’t forget the course of your pain or any other important information.

In a small way, I have been able to be apart of this, by writing some articles for use with the app. Two have been #1.published and #2.published. The individuals involved, out of Switzerland, are a super group with some major emerging ideas. Eventually it will be possible to be linked up with others and able to share experiences and survival tips. The information gathered through the responses by those using the app, will be studied by experts in the field of pain management. This app is not only for those with intense debilitating pain, but it helps anyone who has to deal with chronic pain that interrupts their daily life, their goals and dreams.

I use the app before and after certain activities, at the end of my work day, and it helps me to become aware of what brings on the severe pain that knocks my feet out from under me. It is my awareness tool. I use it to become more aware of my actions and how they affect my body. This practice of review helps me to have a sense of control over what is happening with my body and what I feel. I believe that now a more positive outlook is emerging in this area of my life.

Blue Heron

Another form of help that I have discovered is John F. Barnes Myofascial Release. I was getting all tied up in knots as the result of various habits and injuries from the past and was always needing therapy. I found therapists who used Barnes’ form of treatment and decided to splurge on the DVD as it would end up being cheaper than having to go for therapy on a regular basis. By constantly exploring new ways, listening to my body, new methods of survival are emerging and allowing me to move into a better way of life.

By following the stretching routines that are on the second DVD, I am now able to undo that unbelievable neck spasm that activates when I am not careful. Do not ever, under any circumstances, get in the habit of holding the phone, cell phone between your neck and shoulder, on a regular basis. I did that for 10 years when I worked as a unit secretary in the ER and I have paid for it over and over. This tender spot can be activated by poor posture, stress, and the list goes on. I can control this!  That is what is so great about all I have learned.

I am also able to loosen up from head to toe by using the unwinding routine found at the end of the second DVD. I have a sensitive lumbar area (thanks to an L1 compression fracture). My posture during sleep is an ongoing project of various pillow placements!  The first DVD is aimed at practitioners. The price may seem a bit high, but after looking at my co-pay for therapy, I have paid it off several times already.

Side by Side We Can Change the World

One thing I discovered yesterday, is that standing does not have to be a major pain source. My carving set-up requires that I stand next to my home-made bench and carving vise. I thought, as I was getting ready, “What can I try to prevent what I know usually happens when I stand without walking?” I mentally reviewed stretches that have been given to me by podiatrists, physical therapists and more. First, I did bilateral heel stretches several times while carving. Another stretch was to put one foot up on a brick and drop from the waist downward between my legs. With each breath my torso dropped further, keeping my lumbar area flexible. I did this bilaterally. Then I did another stretch, known in yoga as Uttanasana I. Now, I am not in any way able to do it as it shows it done in my yoga book, but I can almost touch my toes and that is quite a bit better than it was a number of years ago.

Life is definitely a journey of constant emerging. If you let your life become stagnant, there is no room for growth, for adventure. Find your own form for emerging at what ever stage of life you find yourself now. Explore new skills, seek out new knowledge. With the technology of today, the options are amazing!

Posted in Challenges, Health, Mindfulness, New Directions | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Thinking Out Loud

Posted by BarbaraZ on April 29, 2013

A new dawn, a new beginning

A new dawn, a new beginning… for the Netherlands and also for me and you!

The Netherlands and my Aruba heritage.  I was born and raised in Aruba. On April 30, 2013, the Netherlands will have its first king in many years. I am going to borrow the words of a former Lagoite, Susanne Gravendijk Wirth, in regard to the royal history:

“Wilhelmina was queen. She had been queen most of my grandparents’ lives, as well. She abdicated for her daughter in 1948. Juliana abdicated for her daughter in 1980. And, now, Beatrix will abdicate, tomorrow, for her son, the first king since 1890. It will seem so very strange, to me…koning, instead of koningin.”

There are only princesses on board for the next generation.. we shall see. I remember seeing Queen Juliana when I was a Brownie Scout standing in formation when her plane landed… I remember when Beatrix married and how I wrote a poem in her honor, but never sent it. Growing up in Aruba was a special privilege. The Aruban people and the Dutch,  are a friendly people. Very down to earth. I remember reading that as Queen, Juliana did not hesitate to ride her bicycle into town.  Here is the Facebook page of the Netherlands. Explore and enjoy!

This was the beginning of the new year. Dark clouds at first, but you can see the sun rising behind.

This was the beginning of the new year. Dark clouds at first, but you can see the sun rising behind.

Acceptance of Life There are a number of people who exist in my arena of life, who have to deal with great difficulties and they do it so very well! We have one student, Shern, who is in a wheelchair, and has many difficulties because of a history of seizures. I asked her today if she has pain. She said she is always has pain!  I was astounded as she is the most up-beat individual I know. I asked how she manages it and her answer was, “you have to adjust to it.” Well, I have been having pain and evidently I have not been able to adjust to it very well at all!  I better get my thoughts in order as of right now, as I have too much I want to accomplish, so many things to do! The main thing I must learn to do is do deep breathing. That makes things bearable.

Then there is a photographer I know only through the web. Her name is Cindy. She spoke today on Facebook how her hubby has to help her up once she gets down on the ground to capture some of her beautiful photographs. She stated she was not above crawling if needed. She has a beautiful dog, Phoebe, and the two of them need surgery now, but they both have to get better in order for it to take place.  Thinking of you both.  Your efforts keep me going!

The Calming Motion of Waves....

The Calming Motion of Waves….

I know what I must do and that is to go with the flow. I need to pace myself. This stiff body is not up to sitting hours behind the computer!  I love my writing for BlogMutt, but must realize that to do my best, my body and mind must be in sync. The mind wants to race ahead, but the body starts to stumble as it tries so hard to keep up. Going to use my Chime timer to remind me to stop and do a few yoga moves in the middle of it all. The waves keep going, but they are recharging all the time. Their motion seems endless, there is much back and forth motion… this individual must follow their example. I have to stop and recharge. It is the sound and the motion of the waves that help me recharge. I have an mp3 that I love to listen to when sleep does not want to come. I also have one of gentle rain….

Patiently seeking its prey

Patiently seeking its prey as I must seek knowledge and patience!! :-)

I will seek knowledge for my posts, looking here and searching there. Then I will find it and take it back to the word processor to be put into the latest and greatest of my posts.  I love research and can often get lost doing it. Must learn to cut it short!  Gather what I need, make notes as to where I can go to find more and just move on.  [edited.. several times!] I also promise myself never to write a blog post again… when I have gotten up out of bed because I cannot sleep! I keep finding typos!!  That is a no-no!

Me, posing

Me with my kayak

This will  be my other form of survival. My muscles have turned into a marshmallow consistency that does not do well when one tries to be active. I have been holding back because of pain and slow mindset that I have in this area. I have been resisting exercise as I have to enjoy what I do and plain old exercises just don’t cut it. Kayaking is fun and when done right, can give you a full body workout.  There is also the asanas of yoga. They are going to become my computer break time activity. I will set my mat up in the living room and get on it every 30 minutes. Whenever I go though a door-frame, I will try to take a moment to do a shoulder stretch for both sides. Have to stay balanced, you know!!

Elliot is making a skeg to put on my kayak. He made a super one for his. It looks like it came from an Erector set, but it sure does what it needs to do!  Elliot and I are partners. We are ready to help each other though this difficult age of being  senior citizens. The strange thing is… it is only our bodies that are senior-aged. Our minds are young and full of laughter and love. We will continue our journey as we have done since 2001…. Side by Side

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Side by Side We Can Face the World

I am ready Elliot… is my skeg done yet!!! It is supposed to rain this afternoon so we better get our butts in those kayaks now!!

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, nature, Our Future..., Thoughts and Quotes, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wish for Peace… I know, I am just dreaming out loud…

Posted by BarbaraZ on April 18, 2013

A new day for all of us

A new day for all of us

I know I should not let the events that have happened like that of the Boston marathon and Newtown get me down, but they do. I just cannot help but wonder about the world that my children and my grandchildren will live in down the road. It is so sad that we, as people cannot learn to live together in Peace. Can you imagine all that could be accomplished if the negative efforts were put toward positive efforts in science, agriculture, education and more.. the wonders that could happen?

I wish that I could see the day

when all the world was free.

When people of any race or creed

could be friends as friends should be.

words of a 14-year-old, written after the Hungarian invasion of 1956 (me)

~~~~~~

Some day after mastering the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity,

we shall harness for God the energies of Love,

and then for the second time in the History of the World, 

Man will have discovered Fire.

Words of Teilhard de Chardin

~~~~~~~~

Words have the power to destroy or heal,

When words are both true and kind,

they can change the world.

From Jack Kornfield’s,  Budda’s Little Instruction Book

~~~~~~~~~

On a lighter note, the words from the song Side by Side.

Oh! We ain’t got a barrel of money;
Maybe we’re ragged and funny.


But we travel along, singing a song,
Side by side.

Don’t know what’s comin’ tomorrow;
Maybe it’s trouble and sorrow,


But we’ll travel along, sharin’ our load,
Side by side.

Through all kinds of weather,
What if the sky should fall?


Just as long as we’re together,
It doesn’t matter at all.

When they’ve all had their quarrels and parted,
We’ll be just the same as we started,


Just traveling along, singin’ a song,
Side by side.

“Side by Side” is a popular song with lyrics by Gus Kahn and music by Harry M. Woods written in 1927, now considered a standard. “Wikipedia

The song has such simple lyrics, but if we applied the principle to how we lived our lives… working together, through all the troubles that come our way, this world could be such a better place. Unfortunately there is this need for power, dominance, greed that permeates the thoughts of some individuals that prevents it all from happening.  Remember, Peace begins with each of us, as individuals

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Posted in Challenges, Our Future..., Thoughts and Quotes | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Surprises life can bring: the emergence of a different me!

Posted by BarbaraZ on February 21, 2013

It is absolutely amazing the surprises that life can bring, both good and bad. The one thing that I have learned over time is how to roll with the punches.

In an effort to regain control of my house and home, I attacked the many boxes and bags of ‘stuff’ that have been lurking in the various corners and back shelves of my house. I grew up in a home that was always immaculate and then in my teen years I embarked on a rebellion of such to not follow that example. Well, a person can accumulate only so much ‘stuff’!  My domestic genes decided that it was time for them to emerge and I started to attack the ‘stuff’.

The problem that emerged was that my body was not happy when it came to the explosion of dust that arose from this attack and responded with a ‘delightful’ and strong reaction of my sinuses!  Mega antibiotics and Prednisone have been required to settle my sinuses down. I had to investigate the various masks to wear during my future actions in removing the rest of the ‘stuff’. as the whole transformation is not complete. The salesman and I both become claustrophobic when wearing these masks and he showed me the one he uses that has the small vent!  Of course it was the one with the highest price tag!  So be it!

During this whole process of organization, elimination and sorting, I have found among the many items discovered some treasures that were long forgotten. I am going to share two photos. The left is of my bedroom with all my boxes that have been pulled out along with my abundant sleep apnea apparatus. The image on the right, is an almost finished living room. The stuffed tiger on the couch was not quite up to the job when burglars paid us a visit several years ago, but he is a good conversation starter! There is also a very large green frog around, who was my companion when I underwent Chemo.

Many changes were made.

Many changes were made.

When I look at all that has taken place, I find there is hope for that long forgotten organized person who has waited so long to emerge from within. This can be something that we all have… a part of us that has been lost, forgotten, and just wondering when it may have the chance to explore life as a reality. I doubt that I will ever equal my dear Mom in my neatness, but I have definitely taken a big step forward. “Thanks Mom”

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Ray Bradbury and His Joy of writing

Posted by BarbaraZ on January 20, 2013

I had the opportunity to hear him speak many years ago as a part of a class I was taking. His message to us was to ‘believe’, to never lose sight of the child that exists in all of us. His joy of writing came through his words, expression and manner of speaking. He spoke of taking flight within one’s life, exploring new ‘worlds’, not letting your life to become stagnant. He left a strong impression on me, not just about writing, but about living life.

His main points during the talk included:

  • Keeping Joy of life alive.
  • Never losing sight of the child within you.
  • Believing in yourself
  • Look always to the future
  •  Be free, not bound by others beliefs and thoughts

I did two drawings. One was the quick non-stop pen drawing below. It was done at the end of the lecture, as we were in line to go up and meet him. Along the side of the drawing I wrote the words he spoke that touched me the most.  I couldn’t afford to purchase a book for him to autograph, so when I reached him, I nervously handed him the quick sketch. He looked up at me… he looked at the sketch… then proceeded to give me an A+ as well as his autograph.

My sketch that was done as I was waiting in line to meet him.

My sketch that was done in line while waiting to meet him.

My art, drawing and photography, has been of the visual mode. I have done woodcarving, clay sculpture, and photography. The method of expression is different. With the carving and clay sculpture, it took many steps to reach an expression presented through a single form. With photography, one click creates a single image. Of course, with digital software of today, more manipulation can be done, but it is still a single image that speaks for the artist.

With writing, it is the combining of many words in a unique manner that becomes a special expression. A mood, personalities, plot, environment and circumstances are combined to take the reader on a journey.

“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation. So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.”

For Bradbury, writing was something he had to do daily. For him, an hour of writing was like a tonic. “Not to write, for many of us, is to die.” “Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.” “After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together. Now it’s your turn. Jump!” He said he wrote at least a thousand words a day ‘from the age of 12 on.’

He started to make lists. He first made lists of his loves and hates. Later he began to make lists of titles and nouns. He called these lists the provocations that make it possible for his better work to surface. Down the road came lists that dealt with the night, nightmares, darkness and objects in attics. He states:

Where am I leading you? Well, if you are a writer, or would hope to be one, similar lists, dredged out of the lopside of your brain, might well help you discover you, even as I flopped around and finally found me.

He would choose a noun and start a prosy poem and it would eventually turn into a story! Characters would appear and he would let them finish the rest of the tale for him. He explored the attics of his grandparents as well as their basements. Death, fear, fantasy, graveyards all attracted him. Nouns relating to these subjects started him rapidly writing. Carnivals and his experiences with them were another source of great inspiration for him.

There is so much that I read in the Zen in the Art of Writing that I could go on and on. If you have a chance, pick it up. His vocabulary is so full of description, his thoughts run from one subject to another… showing the relation of thought and feelings. Most of all is the excitement he felt when putting words together to create his vision from within.

I believe one thing holds it all together. Everything I’ve ever done was done with excitement, because I wanted to do it, because I loved doing it.

Afterwards we all had to write a report on his lecture, using any format we wished. I did mine through a colored pencil drawing on plain newsprint, the image shown here. Again you can see the words that reached out to me.

The words I wrote at the bottom say:

In order to motivate your listeners, you the teacher must renew yourself. You must stay in touch with that inner you– the child.  Believe in yourself and enjoy what you do.  Be Free, open to change. Be Joyous!

This was my final report after attending the lecture by Ray Bradbury

This was my final report after attending the lecture by Ray Bradbury

Posted in Joy of Life, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Language of the Hand…

Posted by BarbaraZ on January 1, 2013

Hands speak a language of their own, not always the same as their owner!

Hands speak a language of their own, not always the same as their owner!

The hand is an extension of the individual. It is most expressive. The language spoken by the hand, its position, or gesture,  can verify if the individual really means what they are saying. Hands can also speak in place of words… in a gentle way… or in a savage way. Touch can be a most healing tool, it can also be quite destructive.

There are specific postures or positions for the hands when an individual is in a state of prayer or meditation. The hands of a loving parent are the extreme opposite of someone fighting. The parents hands have a soft caressing look and feel as they demonstrate the love of the parent for the child. The fighter’s hands are held in a hard and often tight position meant to strike out and inflict pain.

When we see someone in need, their hand may be stretched outward, toward us, asking for help. We, ourselves, will reach out to another when we need help. That outward reach can also be the hand of one willing to give what help they can to one who needs it. There were many hands showing both needs after hurricane Sandy hit and destroyed so much property, upsetting  lives. Those who were left with nothing reached out for help. In response, individuals came from all over answering that need. They reached out their hands with aid… be it food, hammers and wood or with whatever they knew was needed.

There are those who keep their hands in their pockets when they are around others. There are also those whose hands are forever touching everyone they see. Certain cultures are huggers, such as those in the Latin and Mediterranean countries. Other cultures stand back as the Oriental cultures, as a sign of respect. The gestures or movements of the hand in one country, can be an insult. Yet in another country it is a positive sign or gesture. just note, by reading the comments that come with the first linked article, many still cannot agree on the meanings. Perhaps it is because the meanings change over time. For a very intensive listing of gestures, check this article found in Wikipedia.

For some, like the deaf, it is their means for speech. It is not just one position, but often includes a gesture that shows meaning. It is most amazing to me, to see people ‘speaking’ through signing. It demonstrates just how expressive the hands can be… in a very involved and expressive manner.

Know what your hands are saying to others! Are your words saying what you really mean, or do your hands reveal your true sentiments.

Posted in Challenges, Health, Mindfulness | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Merry Christmas with Peace and Joy to All

Posted by BarbaraZ on December 25, 2012

Christmas Wishes

Christmas Wishes

It does not matter what your faith is as my wish is for everyone.

We all can use some Peace and Joy in our lives. 

Pelicans on their daily search... against the morning sun

Pelicans on their daily search… against the morning sun

As we search for meaning in our lives, understanding of the tragedies we see or read about in the world of today: we all can dream or believe that there is a better world out there. I know that I do. I start with my love and joy in regard to life and try to share it with those around me.

A mind that is somber does not always see the possibilities that are available. Did you know, that if you just start with a hint of a smile… it will lighten your mood. If just a hint can do so much… let the whole smile come through. When your mind or your mood is lighter it is easier to deal with what is happening in your life. It is important to be mindful of your thoughts and find a way to change them when they start to veer into negativity instead of a positive direction. I am not saying it is easy… sometimes it is very difficult.

Bring some deep breathing into play. I am including a link to breathing exercises that can be found on Dr. Andrew Weil’s site Breathing: Three Exercises. It can be done anywhere at anytime. Then there are the real effects of Positive Thinking. Just like looking at a glass as being half empty rather than half full, how you think makes such a difference in how you respond to life.

How did I end up here after wishing every one Peace and Joy?  Well, we may not be able to see the peace or feel the joy, if our mind is stuck on the wrong channel or stuck in a negative mode thinking level. Go for it and see if what I posted above can even in a small way make a difference in how you feel or see your life at this moment. I know that there are many living in circumstances way out of their own control. Those who survive such circumstances are the ones who can see beyond and remain controlled within themselves. To them, I reach out with all the hope and positive thinking I have. Peace is my dream… Peace for the whole planet. I may be the forever cockeyed optimist as sung by Mitzi Gaynor in the movie South Pacific.

When the skies are brighter canary yellow
I forget ev’ry cloud I’ve ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.I hear the human race
Is fallin’ on it’s face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is sellin’ me a bill,
And tellin’ me it just ain’t so.

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I’m stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!
Not this heart

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Posted in Challenges, holidays, Mindfulness | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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