My journey in a new direction

Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

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 »

Thinking Cap is on… also, taking care of me!

Posted by BarbaraZ on October 24, 2012

Mud figure with orchid

Morning Prayer with Nature

Breathing deeply, stepping back, and looking inward… all this is being done for two reasons. One, I need to get this blog going in the right direction. I still believe in the title “Restoring Your Inner Self” but it is the direction it will go in the future that is changing.

Stepping Back, Looking Forward

My time that has been spent on the A-List Blogging Bootcamp has been great. I check the forum almost daily and see many good points to ponder when approaching the creation or recreation of a blog. My title is OK, as I mentioned. Now I need to study in depth the specifics that I will include. What areas will I link out to? Who will I seek for guest posts? I need to pinpoint my niche when it comes to self restoration. There are many directions, both traditional and alternative. I have studied and do use both.  I hope to include the traditional and alternative so that my blog will have information that many will find informative and helpful. There is also an ebook in there somewhere.

Layout and Content

From CopyBlogger I have received many informative articles. Here is a link to a guest article written by Pamela Wilson. She covers 8 good points and I will just list the headings here. Some may seem obvious, but do follow the link to learn more in depth information about each one.

  1. Embrace the line break
  2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
  3. Use bulleted list
  4. Use deep captions
  5. Add highly relevant links
  6. Use strategic formatting
  7. Harness the power of numbers
  8. Check your dual readership path

Do Your Research, Know Your Subject

That relative link paragraph means both internal and external. It is most important that your content is worth reading. People search to find information they feel is of value to them. You cannot post just any old topic. Your external links must also go out to sources that you have researched and feel will add to the topic.

Care of Self

Breathing: Back to the breathing, stepping back and looking inward. These are also needed when you are trying to restore your inner self. Yep, that is where I am right now. Why do we always seem to wait until we are almost down and out before we take the action we should have been taking all along? The deep breathing I have down fairly well. I just need to bring it to the forefront more often. A few deep breaths periodically throughout the day can break up the stress that is gathering in your neck and shoulders.. speeding up your mind unnecessarily.

Exercise: I know that the regular gym is not for me. I am lucky in that I can be a member of Silver Sneakers. There are some advantages to getting older besides the senior coffee at various places! I was able to locate a wellness center that is close to me that not only has the Silver Sneaker Program, but also has a pool! To be able to move freely without resistance that the machines like the treadmill have, is what I need. I do use some of the upper body machines because I do not need to stand to use them.

One with Nature

Breakfast at the ocean, lunch along the river, stepping outside at night to view the stars… with a quiet mind so you can hear the sounds of the crickets, the waves, the birds… whatever may be present at that time. Yes, be quiet, watch and listen while taking nice slow and deep breaths.

Brilliant Sun on the River

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Life & Nature, Mindfulness, nature | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

What will happen next, I ask?

Posted by BarbaraZ on September 17, 2012

It would be so nice if we could set out our path, our plans for the journey forward in life, and find that it all moves along as planned. I have learned over my life that reality is usually quite different. To get to one rung on our ladder upward we may have the option of taking several routes or going up two rungs, back one then up three and so on. We might even have to choose a different ladder all together! This post… I tried to get the images with either a left or right alignment, but they refused to stay where I wanted them… so all are lined up right down the middle!!

OK, which way was I headed? How did I get here?




This has been my life as I have started to change things around to find alternatives in my life. I started one place, got bounced off that route and found myself undergoing obstacles that where not planned on. Yet… the latest, may have an end result that will be most beneficial.

As you know, if you have been reading my posts, I am a senior seeking a new direction.  By the time we get to our more mature years, various happenings are taking place in our bodies. Some are good and others are just a real ‘pain.’  The latter is visiting me right now. Like the image of the mangroves (life’s jungle) there is a spot of light (the cardinal)




I see you. You are most unexpected in these circumstances. Welcome!


I love using nature to demonstrate what I am talking about, if you haven’t noticed. I know blogs are usually informative, with great lessons and wisdom. I seem to just chatter along… inserting images to illustrate what I am trying to get across. What I enjoy learning is that there are others out there who know exactly what I am experiencing!  I am not alone on my journey. They are not all senior citizens. Some are just regular folks like you.

Well, this is am image of my main place of work… bad isn’t it?  I have worked at bring some sense of order, but obstacles keep getting in my way!





There is a computer there… look carefully and you will see it.



All those CDs and Zip drives are labeled. The books may not be filed with the Dewey decimal system, but they are in categories and I can access them easily. :-) They are apart of my future… along with the many files on the internal and external hard drives. I learned the hard way that backing up is necessary.




It fit when I started… Hummm, how will it fit now? Do I need to make changes before going on? Yep!



Just as this dress  is in a state of being unfinished, we as people are never finished when it comes to our lives. We are a project in perpetual change. We have dreams, ideas of where we want to go, what we want to accomplish in our lives. This is not just a part of our youth, but is with us throughout our lives. So many have had their lives turned upside down over the past years and have had to look at new directions, make major changes in their lives.



Well, I for one am looking forward. I am excited about the possibilities that I see before me. Who knows, I may actually figure out what I really want to do with this blog!!  I am delving back into Jon Kabat-Zinn, as alternative treatments work best with me. My body does not like the modern-day chemicals called prescriptions. I am also resurrecting my Qigong… I know I said that before, but this time I have to be serious about it. Here are my Jahnke’s exercises for the PDF files of the exercises. The source is documented on the file.

Time for an image of Dawn… I am choosing an early morning sky image with a flock of pelicans flying. They know what they need, they keep at it until they get it. It may mean flying up and down the same coast line, but they persist. That is me. I live where I live. I have the tools that I have, but I can gain more if needed.

Pelicans on their daily search… against the morning sun

What I need is more self-discipline… I am not a quitter, but I get distracted very easily. Getting to know your strengths and weaknesses comes in your later years, earlier if you are lucky, but you have to acknowledge them in order to make use of them. Many do not like what they see. OK everyone… send all the positive support, thoughts you can my way. I will need it all.

Posted in Challenges, Health, Mindfulness, nature, Qigong | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Moving Forward

Posted by BarbaraZ on August 13, 2012

The sun is above the horizon, behind the clouds

It is amazing, the direction our lives may take. It does not matter what stage of life you are in. The way I see my life right now… I am facing a new dawn each day. Yes, I still carry all sorts of ‘stuff’ from the past, but it is what I do with it that makes a difference. I am like the dawn in the photo above… the sun is there, peeking through the dark clouds. Those dark clouds are the ‘stuff’ in my life. I know the sun will rise above those clouds… so will I.

For many individuals that ‘stuff’ is like an anchor… it pulls them back to all they have gone through in the past, preventing them from moving forward. I am not saying that we must forget or leave the past as if it never took place, but do not let it stop us from moving forward.

If I were the same person I was in my teens, I would find dealing with my life as it is now to be quite difficult. I was shy, timid and ‘afraid of my own shadow!’  Now, because of the life experiences I have had, the challenges I have faced and still face, I am stronger… not physically, but within.

Somehow, I am going to regain some of that physical stamina too. :-)  They say, it takes hitting rock bottom, that makes an individual start to fight back. OK… the gong has sounded and I am ready. I am going to be drawing on all that I have gathered in my ‘tool box’ for survival. My Qigong, with my mindfulness breathing, self awareness, adapting. You name it… I am going to use it. If I can manage to get myself down on the floor… I will do some yoga following Iyengar’s method.  I need to make sure I have a way to get up too!!!

I am like the little engine that said:  I think I can… I think I can… I know I can!

The sun in its full glory, starts a new day

Here comes the sun!  I am on my way… join me!

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Health, Mindfulness, Qigong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Gotta Get Going!!

Posted by BarbaraZ on July 25, 2012

Life can leave us tattered at times, it is how we respond to this that matters

Summers always get me down. Florida is hot and HUMID. It is the latter that intensifies the heat. This summer we have been lucky compared to our northern neighbors, but that did not make it any easier for me when it came to dealing with our Florida summer.

The seagulls had no problem adjusting to the semi-destruction of their favorite resting spot. This is what I need to learn. What I have figured out is that it is my frame of mind that makes the difference. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the thoughts we have about pain have a strong effect on how we react to the physical sensation that we label as ‘pain.’ It is so easy to moan and groan “This pain is killing me!”   I am not saying the ‘pain’ is not real… it is. The dwelling on the pain just does not make it easier to deal with. The ‘removal’ of the dwelling that is the trick, or I should say skill that is the key.  I am trying to adapt, make this a regular part of my life. So far it has been a more ‘off and on’ action than a steady action in my life.

It is not easy!  I still find myself saying… “OMG, why won’t it leave me alone!”  My pain does not begin to touch the level of pain I know others have to deal with, but any dwelling on it can make it appear to be just unbearable, to me!  Mind over matter, or in this case, physical sensations. Finding acceptance and peace with changes of any kind, whether they are within you or surrounding you, is the goal. Constant fighting against something magnifies it, makes it seem worse than it really is.

In his Mindfulness Meditation for Pain you explore the use of your breath to overcome the locked in thoughts regarding your pain. Your breath surrounds the pain and releases it. OK… it is not a 100% cure, but it is a thought process that can break your frame of mind at that moment. You can do it at any time and any place. What is great is that breathing in a mindful manner, works in so many circumstances; taking a test, getting ready for that job interview, your first date with someone special.

I also have his book Full Catastrophe Living and I need to get back on it. Any practice, whether it is to lose weight, finding release from stress, starting an exercise routine, or stopping smoking, has to be forever in motion. Stopping it, even though it is for a short time, does not mean the good that was happening will automatically continue. The positive action will be lost quickly. Little breaks in practice, unfortunately, often lead to longer ones and often to the complete cessation of the practice… no matter what you tell yourself.

Quotes from the book:

Cultivating mindfulness means learning to tap and focus our own wasted energies. In doing so, we learn to calm down enough to enter and dwell in states of deep relaxation. This nourishes and restores body and mind….
This energy comes from inside us and is therefore always within our reach and potential control.

He states that his first impression of meditation was incorrect. He thought change just happened without planning.

But time has taught me that some kind of personal vision is also necessary…
This image or ideal will help carry you through the inevitable periods of low motivation and give continuity to your practice.

This is what I have neglected to do. I was practicing without a goal or vision of what I wanted to accomplish.  This has got to be changed. One goal coming up… in vivid color!

The act of breathing…

Our very bodies are joined with the planet in a continual rhythmic exchange as matter and energy flow back and forth between our bodies and what we call “the environment.”

The breath has a very important partner in its work, namely the heart. Think of it: This amazing muscle never tops pumping during our entire lifetime.

Breathing is an incredible powerful ally and teacher in the work of meditation, although people who have no training in meditation think nothing of it and find it uninteresting.

As long as we are alive, it is always with us. We can’t leave home without it…. Tuning in to it brings us right into the here and now.

I  have CDs for both Qigong and Tai Chi that are being neglected at this moment. What is it in me, that lets me stop or ignore those things that I know can help me. I have used these practices in the past and have benefited greatly. It was that ‘little’ break I took… that “I’ll do it tomorrow instead” that messed me up. What this comes down to is self-discipline. Guess what I am lacking!!  When I have things that I have to do for others, I get it done without fail, but when it comes to myself… I fall flat on my face. I know I am not alone in this.

OK, Barb, what will it be like this time? Can you stick to it? Are you able to really make these practices a real part of your life? You know the benefits you achieve from them, so what the ‘heck’ is the problem? Don’t stay ‘broken down’ like the dock in the photo. The county did get around to fixing it up, eventually. Now it is your turn to ‘get around’ to doing what you know you have to do.

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Health, Life & Nature, Mindfulness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Taking a Detour in Life

Posted by BarbaraZ on June 10, 2012

New Growth Amid the Old

Life does not stop when obstacles get thrown in our path. Somehow we have to find a way to keep on moving forward. As I look at the old growth of this mangrove above. I see two images. One is the tangled web of my life that has developed over time. Now I am trying to start a new journey and that is the green sprout… the new skills, the new dreams and growth that is happening in my life at this time. I find it absolutely amazing. The second image (I love anatomy) is that of the neurons in my brain… with that spark of new development.

Our brains do not stop in their growth at a certain age. They do slow down and under certain circumstances some growth is lost or damaged by trauma, illness and substance abuse. There are new studies out there, that say to keep a brain young… exercise it! Exercising the brain can help hold off the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Brains that have been damaged because of stroke or trauma can relearn skills that were lost.

Well, I have not suffered trauma, stroke or any other such condition. I have just had obstacles tossed in my path. I am having to learn new skills and make decisions. Just where do I want to go with this blog. It has been wandering around in blogsville now for quite a while. Because my mind loves to be distracted, I am making a renewed effort to practice mindful meditation via Jon Kabat-Zinn as well as through the book written by “the Jolly Fellow” from Google, Chade-Meng Tan.

Now if you want to get a totally different take on meditation, then this is the book for you. ‘Meng’ is an engineer that started with Google in its early years. He was not too happy with the changes in his life and sought means to change it. He discovered Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Goleman, among others, whom he invited to lecture at Google. His approach to meditation is not a ‘high in the clouds’ approach, but backed by science.

The Calming Motion of Waves….

I sleep with the sounds of waves to bring a sense of calmness. It also disguises the ringing that is present (tinnitus) I love to go to the beach to watch the waves. I decided long ago, I would have a problem if I did not have access to the ocean. I remember climbing to the tree top in Aruba so I could see the ocean in the distance. There is a gentle rhythm to the waves… most of the time.

These waves are gentle compared to those produced by a hurricane or any other strong storm… but then, those are the times I stay away from the beach!

Those of you who just happen to stop by… explore and leave a comment or two. Some of you know what is going on in my life. I am not daunted, but just finding my way. Life is good, it is definitely a challenge. It would be most boring if it were any other way. I want to share with you the website of a nature photographer who has had to overcome obstacles that would probably have made me stop in my tracks long ago. Her work is amazing. She is also an authority on moths. I never knew they were such beautiful creatures. Here are her sites. and within this one you will find Moth Magic. Thank you, Cindy… in more ways than one!

Posted in Challenges, Life & Nature, Mindfulness, New Directions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Using acupressure and fingerholds for stress relief

Posted by BarbaraZ on March 10, 2012

Making changes in your life often brings unwanted stress. I do not believe in taking pills for such things, when there are alternative options that work. This weekend I was doing some research online about acupressure and came across several good articles for relieving stress. One site, Capacitor.Org had information that they use around the globe to help people with natural healing. I also enjoyed the information by Michael Reed Gach.

The use of various forms of pressure on the body has existed and evolved over 5000 years. Acupressure is a verified medical form of this practice. It evolved mainly by accident as individuals noticed when pressure was applied in certain areas, they experienced specific reactions. The diverse reactions were noted and recorded.  The points involved are now known to be areas sensitive to bioelectrical impulses. When pressure is applied, the impulses are activated.  Common names given to these points, are pressure points, or trigger points.  Over time these points as well as the reactions, have been mapped and documented. Now, a practitioner or an individual can go right to the correct position, to experience the response desired.

The points used in Acupuncture and Acupressure are the same, but with Acupuncture, needles are used instead of the fingers. A certified practitioner is needed to practice Acupuncture, but most individuals can learn to master using acupressure for themselves. First, feeling for the sensitive area, or pressure point, and when it is found, applying a gentle pressure with a rotary motion until the pain or the desired effect occurs. What occurs is the release of muscle tension and increased circulation which stimulates the body’s own healing ability.

Some specific points for releasing stress and tension, taken from the book by Michael Reed Gach called Acupressure’s Potent Points. Use the diagram attached to follow the locations. Michael Reed Gach also has a blog one can visit if they wish to learn more. (update_2/25/2013) I recently contacted Michael Gach regarding the use of his information. He sent me links to several areas of his that have quite a bit of information.
Self Care: from A-Z,   Acupressure Books, Free Articles and Ways to use Acupressure. Explore them all as there is a wealth 0f information available on these sites.

Acupressure Points

  • Gates of Consciousness (GB 20) It is below the base of the skull, in the hollow between the two large vertical neck muscles. 2-3 inches apart, It is for release of frustration, and irritation, plus much more.
  •  Heavenly Pillar (B 10): It is located one finger width below the base of the skull and 1/2 inch out from the spine on both sides. This point is to release stress, eyestrain, stiff neck and more.
  •  Shoulder Well (GB 21) This is not to be used by pregnant women. It is found on the highest point of the shoulder muscle midway between the outer tip of the shoulder and the spine. Used for relief of frustration, shoulder tension, nervousness.
  • Heavenly Rejuvenation (TW 15): this is located on the shoulders mid-way between the base of the neck and the outside of the shoulder, 1/2 inch below the shoulder. Pressure here can relieve tension, still necks, and is good for resistance to colds and flu.

An international organization, is involved with trying to reach out to areas around the world, to show them how they can use natural healing methods to help themselves. They include in their workshops, Tai Chi, visualization, breathing as well as acupressure to relieve stress and fingerholds to help manage emotions along with other forms individuals can use to help themselves.

They describe several basic pressure points for stress relief. A gentle pressure is applied to the area for several seconds, using the fingertips. You will know when you locate these areas as they are usually sensitive to the touch.

  • Two Points on Eyebrow-Nose Ridge. This is found at the bridge of the nose between the start of the eyebrows and slightly towards the eye. The thumb and forefinger can be used to apply pressure here.
  • Two Points on Back of Neck. It is located roughly ½ inch below the base of the skull between the muscle of the neck then outward ½ inch from either side of the spine. Same as B 10 above.
  • One Point at Base of Skull. This is located right at the base of the skull at the center of the neck


Post Hurricane Katrina they produced a brochure with many helpful ways, including acupressure and finger holds to relieve stress and strong emotions.  Their Emergency kit can be downloaded from their site.

The emotions run along channels throughout the body.  The individual is to use one hand to apply pressure to a finger of the opposite hand, according to the emotion they wish to control or lesson.  They are to  hold the appropriate finger for 2-5 minutes. A pulsing sensation will be felt. While holding their finger, they are to breath in the positive feelings of harmony, healing and strength.

During this process the mind becomes focused ‘in the moment’ and this helps it to be distracted from the strong emotion being felt. The use of music can be introduced during the practice. Fingerholding can also be used for relaxation.

Aside from the acupressure I am finding meditation or at least attempting to quiet my chatterbox or as others call it my monkey mind. I just sit in a basic yoga position using a cushion and seek calmness within. I also find talking quietly over what is bothering me will also lead to that quietness I seek. This, along with deep and slow abdominal breathing, sets me up for a good night of sleep.

Posted in Concentration, Health, Mindfulness | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Side by Side

Posted by BarbaraZ on February 10, 2012

Side by Side

Life is amazing. There are times, in the midst of a crowd, you can feel all alone. Then, when you are starting out on a journey, seemingly alone, you are not. There are others there with you, supporting you, cheering you on. As I study, experiment with words and subject matter, I feel the presence of these friends. What is really amazing, is some I have never met!  They are my online friends. These friends I have only communicated with only through words, comments on blogs or on Facebook.

Unfortunately, I am getting a fluttering butterfly feeling in my stomach when it comes to applying for an online writing gig. Who, me?  Aren’t I the one who has been writing here, on Helium, and now on Ezine? Writing for someone specific, other than myself is a different story. I feel like a 5-year-old child, wondering,  “Will they really like me!!!”

OK, Barb… enough of this. Get yourself going. Get that portfolio together and charge straight ahead. All they can say is ‘no.’ You have the knowledge of what you need to do. You are not 5 years old, you know! You have plenty of  experience under your belt. In other words, you have all you need.

Also, Barb, read a few of your own back posts on believing in yourself, mindfulness meditation, the need for persistence. Remember all those things you tell your students day after day. You need to concentrate and not waste energy worrying. You are very good at that as you know only too well. Worry is a big energy drain.

Breathe.. that’s right. Stop and take a few deep breaths. Calm that racing mind. Let your fingers do the racing… over the keyboard. Another deep breath if needed and then move forward again.  Type a bit, take a few breaths, type a bit more, breath deeply again.  Yes, you are getting the feel of it!

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Mindfulness, New Directions | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Finding That Glass Half Full

Posted by BarbaraZ on January 29, 2012

Finding Peace with Nature

Using Nature When Seeking Peace

The need for finding peace within is critical in this day and age. I know as I reach my senior years, that life brings me many challenges. I have to find the means not only to accept these challenges, but also keep on moving forward. I have new things to do, new directions in life to follow.  I am not ready to stop now. Inner conflicts regarding the physical obstacles that enter my life can make things most difficult indeed. Getting beyond that mental as well as physical struggle is my goal. Using the mind and our thoughts has long been a recognized as an important tool for people of all ages.

I am by my heritage and early training, a Catholic. While I do no belong to a specific church today, my way of thinking is built heavily on the tradition of meditation as expressed by the Catholic thinkers of the past. There is Henri Nouwen, a Dutch diocesan priest who studied psychology and went on to teach at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard.

Thomas Merton is my favorite. I have posted a number of posts on my blog highlighting quotes by Merton. It was through Merton’s journey into the monastic forms of meditation of the eastern religions, that I found Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk.

I mention his book ‘Living Buddha, Living Christ’, not only because it shows the parallel of thinking between the two religions, but for the similar lessons taught in both. He did not try to prove one way of thought was wrong, and the other right, but how the teachings of both promoted a similar approach for finding a sense of community, inner peace, stronger faith and how important it was to be true to your faith’s teachings. Follow the rules and do not make up your own to make life easier. It is this last part I found to be the critical belief. There will always be rules, and to try and make your own rules will forever cause strife.

He is also one of the main supporters of Mindfulness Living.

Then there is the unusual book on faith and meditation by Louis Evely that I recently re-discovered when going through my many books. This book, translated by Edmond Bonin, was ‘That Man is You’. It was written in and translated in a most poetic format.

There is one excerpt I will present here. While this was written in regard to an individual’s personal relationship with God, it can be applied to us all as we try to find an inner peace in the middle of the present chaos of our world today. WordPress would not let me keep the original formatting, so I just centered it.  It still kept a bit of the uniqueness  about it!


A Trappist friend of mine used to say,

            “It is not enough to apply the brakes on your car;
you must also cut the motor that’s racing inside.”

The engine of our solicitudes is still whirring at top speed.

            It has to slacken,
and turn at an easier pace.

            We have to move in time with another rhythm,
gear our will to another will,
learn to connect with the slow-paced,
and steady motor
of God’s will.

As long as we’re in a turmoil,
taken up with our problems and our interests,
we’re safely sheltered from God
and out of His reach.

            We need several days of recollection
before we can begin to live in Him
and on Him.

            We have to stay there in a kind of stupor
and let our motor idle
till we’ve adjusted to a new tempo
we’ve never experienced before.


These thoughts and actions can be applied by anyone no matter what their beliefs. Some of us have never been able to find that inner tempo that leads to a sense of peace. At times it has been a deliberate move to remain in the fast lane, for others, it has been out of the need of forever having to ‘catch up.’

Finding an inner sense of peace, a quiet mode, is a gift we can all give ourselves, for it is here we can refuel and gather the strength to move on.


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

Slow Down… Slow Down

Posted by BarbaraZ on November 26, 2011

This is that time of year, when the pace of life seems to go into high gear. I love the holidays, but not what comes with it. Wish I was one who could remember to start the gift business in January. I do not get many gifts, but the thinking about them, who needs or should get what can be too much when the time is close. I love to make gifts, but that takes real planning… like start in June planning.

For years I always made my own Christmas cards. In the beginning I did wood or linoleum blocks and printed them with my printing press. One year I did up to 3 colors on one card, and got the colors lined up pretty good!

Nativity done in 3 block print

Then I ‘graduated’ to doing them on the computer, using my photographs or digital art and printed them from there. Last year was just a letter. It had lots of photographs along one side… this year, no photographs available. Oh well… working on an idea, but it is way after my usual starting time for doing my cards. The one below was done so long ago. The original size has made it hard to enlarge without a lot of Photoshop work. It was done in Painter, long before it was bought by Corel.

Nativity done in Painter 4

One last look at a linoleum block print… one color. The paper has seen better days. I had to remove age spots! I have the blocks, but stupidly did not keep a printed sample from each card. There were a few designs that I am sure the recipients thought were a bit odd…

We all need Faith...

We all need Faith

What we all need to do during this period of rushing around… is to remember to stop and smell the roses, smell the fresh air, visit a quiet place to unwind and regenerate.

Here is a rose for you. Sorry I cannot include the scent!

This is that time that Mindfulness is key to survival. Be aware of your surroundings, listen to those you love. Remember to take deep breaths at those times the rush starts to catch up to you. Find a good book or e-book… take to that quiet place and enjoy. Not only will you enjoy the season more, but those around you will appreciate you more as you will not be stressed out.

It also seems as it during the holidays, obstacles are put in front of us, whether it be health problems of your own or a special person in your life. Believe me, you will be more help to them, if you can step back, regenerate and step in again to help where you are needed. Perhaps, as a family, you can all help each other find a quiet moment to regain the needed strength that is needed to keep going under the added pressure.

Posted in Challenges, holidays, Mindfulness | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »


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