Hail to the H

H is for HARBOR

Harbor, a safe place. A haven. A cozy, perhaps comfy place that is tucked away, especially for boats and ships.

Harbor, to hold on to a feeling, often perceived to be negative, as “he harbored feelings of dread when he was faced with rice pudding.” OK, joke. I couldn’t resist.

A boat is safe in its harbor, but that’s not why boats are made.  I don’t know who first said that but I agree. Sail on, venture forth, tally ho.

My mother was born in a small town. She lived almost her entire life there, and died a few miles from where she was born.  I have traveled and moved so many times that I’m surprised that I don’t have an allergy to cardboard boxes. Some of my moves involved letting go of things (not my strongest or often used ability). When I decided to move from Northern California back to Southern California, I let go of everything except what fit into my very small car and a cart that some friends hooked onto their car to help with the move. The thing that seemed to most distress Mom was the fact that I was letting go of my bed. She said that was part of our security in life, having a bed to sleep in at night. I can understand what she meant, because Mom was a worrier. (One time when I was visiting, we went to her car to go out shopping and “a bite to eat”. Mom said, “I hope we don’t have a flat.” I asked if there was a problem with the tires. “No, I just don’t want us to have a flat.”  Well, me either, and I also hoped that a herd of cows wouldn’t chase us (we were in Kansas, after all) or that a tornado would carry us away. (BTW, the skies were clear and there wasn’t a cow in sight.)

Anyway, back to the bed. I told Mom that I considered myself lucky. My security was nestled snug and soundly from my eyebrows up. That’s my harbor. No water, or bed, required.

Life is either always a tightrope or a feather bed.  Give me the tightrope.  —Edith Wharton

Now for the other kind of harbor. About feelings, and attitudes, and prejudice and emotions. Lots of that going on right now, although I don’t think it ever goes away. Sometimes we cruise along peacefully, sometimes we simmer, sometimes we boil over. There is an especially big flare going on right now. Past flares: Salem witch trials. The unjust internment of Japanese living in the U.S. during WW2.  September 11, 2001. Part of the human condition is to have our feelings, emote our emotions and (sometimes) harbor them as though they are precious and dear.

It doesn’t seem to me that we harbor our thoughts. We have thoughts, we express them, on a good day we might examine them to see if they still hold water or if they are looney-tunes stupid, non-productive or shameful.

Have you ever said, “if it’s good enough for ________, it’s good enough for me?”  I hope not. I think that is such a limiting statement/belief  to have.

I imagine that most of us don’t even know what negative thoughts/beliefs we may be [secretly] harboring until something happens that shakes us up. Life the recent attacks in Paris. And the recent surge of refugees fleeing Syria for what they perceive as a place to harbor, a country where they can find shelter and a degree of safety that has not been the case in their homes for the last five years.  Are you suddenly afraid of letting people who don’t look like you/speak your language/worship in a different way leave the hell hole of war in search of harbor? Have you been harboring buried but now emerging prejudicial thoughts?

I am lucky. I have traveled. I know people from other countries. There are people I love who have a tremendously different background, heritage, and culture from mine. That doesn’t mean that I, or others who have been educated by being exposed to other ways of being, have a monopoly on compassion and acceptance. However, I do believe that travel holds a key to greater peace, love and understanding.

Harbor as a safe place is a noun.  It is also a verb. Right now, I mentally verbalize (well, “type”) that I am setting my intention to dig deep, examine whatever nasty negatives I am harboring and replace that verb with much HAPPIER, HOMEGENEOUS and HEALTHY positives. May my new verb(age) be HARMONIOUS and HEARTY. HALLELEUJA! Now is not the time to be haphazard, or to take half-measures. If we want to reap the good, let’s start with a heap of healing.

How about we celebrate and embrace the HEALTHY and eliminate and dissolve the hindrance of hate?  Let’s all be harbingers of peace and help each other reach higher ground. You can HINT, or you can HOLLER. Either way, make it a holy, happy habit. Namaste.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

G could be for Generally

But it isn’t. Generally I don’t stress much. I started feeling anxious about what I wanted to say about… well, let me just get on with it. Here’s what I wrote, most of it weeks ago. This morning I reminded myself that if I have something that is bothering me, nagging at me, diverting my attention, DO SOMETHING about it. Ready, set, GO:

G is for Germany

At heart, I feel that I am a German farmer. I am stout and strong. I love nature and animals and a good slab of bread along with a hearty stew, and laughing with much gusto. I had relatives named Decker and Strider. I am most likely a mixture of German, English, Dutch and French. The German strands of my DNA sing to me, reminding  me of my connection with the earth.

GOOD GOSH and GOLLY GEE.  I thought I was going to write about the generosity of Germany towards the refugees from Syria. I got overwhelmed and stuck. Then I thought about my German heritage, about Brent’s time with the Army/being stationed in Giessen, Germany, about my visit there to see him and how we went exploring through museums and castles. I thought about my Dad who was a paratrooper with the army during WW2. I thought about things like the Black Forest, Oktoberfest, the Autobahn, cuckoo clocks, delicious Germany sausages and frosty mugs of German beer.  And then I veered off in another direction.  Now,  G is for GUMPTION.

NOUN:  shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.

gumption

Sometimes I feel that my get up and go, did. It got up and went. I feel spent, and relentlessly bent out of shape about it. Ah, yes, the Spirit is strong but the flesh wants a nap and then some chocolate and a DVR’d episode of ‘Scandal’ with a side of ‘Survivor’.  Then I do a quick step and recheck and remember that my own reality drama of “oh, my aching feet” and some truly awful Louisiana summer heat is and was a combination that led to nearly complete defeat.

And now, sweet relief. Two days in a row of nice weather, as in not in the “90s it feels like 110” weather.  Plus I’m sure our humidity is shipped here from Mars. Now = oh, Happy Day!  Now I can actually access my gumption. When my eyes were glazed over and my pores were operating in hyper-drive I lost sight of my spirited initiative let alone my resourcefulness.  Now I can get all excited about casting my gaze toward the horizon, about venturing forth, about getting out there and flexing my gumption muscles.  Adventure beckons.

And now, just because I have things… ok, ERRANDS, beckoning, I will click on the “Publish” button and get going. Now that I have re-accessed some gumption, y’all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

F is for FINITE

FINITE

1 = a :  having definite or definable limits <a finite number of possibilities>

b :  having a limited nature or existence <finite beings>

Finally, I fear that I forgot to finish this feat: writing this blog post.* (Oh, I do love alliteration. Absolutely adore alliteration, in fact.) *I started writing DAYS ago. Perhaps I was feeling finicky about finishing. (Did I tell you that I crack myself up?)

yesterday is gone

Furthermore: we have this thing called time. And those things called watches, calendars, clocks, Big Ben, even those things called time clocks and stop watches. And timers. And we have those other things called days, weeks, months, years, hours, minutes, seconds. Some scientists somewhere even use something called the nanosecond. Don’t ask me about it, I haven’t a clue. Yes, we believe in time. We just don’t always know what to do with it.

THE PROBLEM IS YOU THINK YOU HAVE TIME. –Buddha

I don’t have a fetish about finiteism but I do, as I walk the path of, ha ha, later life, have a concept that the time is now. This isn’t news, folks. Nobody gets out of here alive.

hourglassMy philosophical makeup, my intense desire to encourage and prod and provoke inspires me to ask: “Are you doing what you want to be doing?” And, if not, why not? Are you making a life for yourself, or just making a living? You don’t have to fear the four-letter words: WORK, PLAY. There is more harmony when those two are in balance. Harmony is good.  Hint: take your work less seriously and your play more seriously.

carpe_diem

Do you know who you are? Do you know what you are here to do? Are you doing what you set out to do? Did you have any idea you would spend so much time staring at screens? Or figuring out which emoji to use?

Times a-wasting, as I’m sure Bugs Bunny or Sylvester the Cat (his would have been said with a lisp) said once upon a time, therefore, it behooves us to get cracking. (There is an amazing amount of wisdom in cartoons.) To step up to the plate and swing. To put the phone down – – it can wait**, but can you? Your days here are finite. Don’t be that 85-year old, sitting on the porch lamenting the Never Done. Thinking of the If Onlys. You want some great times and even better memories? Get out there and have the good times, create the sparkling, effervescent, carbonated memories.

tempus-fugitOur time in the here and now is finite. Forsooth, we are INFINITE beings, Spirits of light and beauty, come to Earth to experience life in this school, this playground, this garden. Some even come to experience their hell. We come from limitlessness, to a place of parameters, boundaries, rules and regulations, AND infinite possibilities. Think about it. What are you doing with this gift?

Face the Facts. Go Forth, don’t fear the freedom, have faith in your dreams, do yourself a favor, float on up to the fun and frivolity. Do it with Savoir Faire, let it become familiar. Fortunately you will be fully functional, fabulous and fine.

Fortune favors the brave.

Finish line______________________

**Really, it CAN wait. People are being killed. Driving? Put the damned phone down.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

E is for ENTHUSIASM!!!

en*theos = God Within. This is Greek to me, and yippee for that. There’s nothing like a healthy dose of enthusiasm to elevate the energy and I endorse the synergy of elevation celebration!

Enthusiastically embrace your ebullience, break out into jubilance. Enhance, enrich, embellish your life with your self-generated enervated, ecstasy-laced energy; now IS the time to DANCE!

dance

Exercise your exuberance, enjoy everything excessively. Eagerly emphasize your enriched enjoyment. Be eager to explore. Get excited, ignite your passion, start a fresh fashion = live free and large, with you in charge.

ENGAGE. Become involved in the blossoming of your dreams, your desires, your daily doings. Take action. But first, get your ducks in a row.

ducks in a row

Step back, take a breath, relax your shoulders, sit down and sit back. Realize that you are in control. Well, as much as we ever are in control. (p.s. Control is an illusion. Pass it on.) Imagine that you are Captain Kirk in that oh-so-cool Captain’s chair on the Starship Enterprise. Seize the prize of your heart’s desire, go for it, Full Tilt Boogie! (p.p.s. = This is not a rehearsal. Tally H0!)

OK, post-regroup, now you can engage. At your desired pace, at your timing and cadence and with or without marching band music. Or a symphony or jazz or chimes and a gong. With or without a scented candle lit. With or without fresh flowers (note to self: pink roses, vanilla candle, Rachmaninoff.)

One more thing: be good to you. And while you’re at it, also to everyone you encounter. Gently, tenderly, love one another.

hearts heart

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DARE

D is for DARE – because it is time.

Go on, I dare you! Dive into all the delectable delights of the day. Dig deep with desire, then stand back and admire your ability to inspire, to ignite the fire within you and others who aspire to match your audacity, your ability to go out into the world and be you. If not now, when?

What are you waiting for? Yes, I’m talking to me, ah, I mean, You. OK, both / all of us.

life is a daring adventure

Time is short, let’ get cracking! Or, as Steve Jobs said:

~~~Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.~~~

I read that his last words, as he was slipping out of his body and into Heaven were these: “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.” That gives me the smiling shivers of happy.

all of life experimentFlashback, 1996. I was getting ready to travel. To the U.K. and Paris. By myself. I started getting cold feet and wondered why I was doing this. Of course there was no way I was going to NOT go, but all those little swirling, twirling self-doubts were irritating, like pantyhose a size too small (yes, pantyhose were still part of my 1996 life. Zut alors. (Translation: “OH DARN!” or something.)

Here’s a Hint:  REPLACE YOUR SENSE OF FEAR WITH CURIOSITY.

PRESENT TIME: Oh, that trip! It was absolutely divine. I managed the two weeks with carry on and a large tote so I wasn’t encumbered. London was lovely. Stonehenge was mystical. Glastonbury even more so. I climbed the Tor at midnight. There was a Full Moon. A band of Druids, white robes and all, was there, chanting while someone played a didgeridoo. A couple of days later I was strolling around Paris, absorbing the City of Light through sight, ART! – taste, Croque Monsieur/Café au Lait, and touch (Antoine was such a flirt, not that I minded), scent (Paris. Perfume. Got it?), and oh, the enticing sounds of the French language and the harmony of the cathedral bells and even those exotic European sirens. What a dull place my Memory Bank would be if I had not dared to get up and go.

Since that life-changing adventure, I have traveled the world, most often solo, which I find to be my preferred way. A woman I met on the street in Hong Kong seemed distressed when she asked where my (1) husband or (2) friends were and I told her I was on my own. I explained that if I had been with someone else she and I would most likely not have met. Her name is Sharon. She was on her way to work. She liked it when I spoke to her in Chinese. (All three or four phrases that I know.) Her English was impeccable. The memory of our conversation over her shared breakfast buns at the bus stop is one of my favorite souvenirs from Hong Kong.

Either pool or ocean

I hope that you will dare to dive into your destiny. Dip your toes in the surf, dangle your legs over the side of the boat, dive deep into the depths of what you want to do. Become the best version of you.

Life is a great big canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it. –Danny Kaye

This truly is the time of your life. Absorb the fact that you’re reading these words as the nudge you have been asking for.  I dare you – get out there where the Magic is.

MAGIC book page illustration

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

C is for a Cornucopia* of C Words

c

*(also called the Horn of Plenty, not necessarily similar to being hoisted up and caught on the horns of a dilemma. Although sometimes there are plenty of dilemmas. OK, end of ramble. Maybe.)

candy-corn-cornucopia

Or maybe “corny coping, Ya!l”. Conflict and confusion and inconsideration and criminals and crypts and coffins and catalogues, clutter, in-comprehension and dis-comfort. Lots of us hoping there is a cure for calamity. Whew. What a past few days it has been. CRIMINY! um element of confusion

Right now I am seeking CLARITY with a side of COMFORT. It is time to explore further into the heart of… no, not THE heart. My heart. My beliefs. My CONCERNS, my passions, my wants and needs. My COURAGE.

I am not a Pollyanna type… oh, wait. I just looked up the definition, so I take that back. I am.    Pollyanna – NOUN: an excessively cheerful or optimistic person.

pollyanna

I can’t help it, and wouldn’t want to anyway. There is just so much good here on Earth and an abundance of reasons to be grateful and, even more than happy, CONTENT.

Anyway, just lately, the world has been too much on my shoulders and in my thoughts and messing with my head. And when I say “world” I pretty much mean media, the news, Facebook rants, people STILL minding their neighbors’ business rather than taking care of their own, people STILL leaving their children in hot parked cars, people STILL using their phones while they drive, people STILL killing each other. ***

“Aha!” I thought,” I am being tested.” Shaking the fruit off of my tree of beliefs is humbling. How momentarily appealing it can be to rise to the challenge of being challenged. To join in with the throwing down of the gauntlet. (Hmmm, just what IS a gauntlet, anyway.)

gauntlet

(Gauntlet. Doesn’t look very comfortable. Also looks heavy. Don’t think I want one.)

S.T.O.P!!! Whoa! Time to get back to center. Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right? Is it worth it? As the road sign in Saint Kitts asked, “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” Sidenote: I also liked the sign on a side road in Glastonbury, England: “Traffic calming scheme ahead”. I would rather, by a thousand percent, be CALM rather than COLLIDING or in CONFLICT.

calm

*** I really don’t want to write these things. (See my own personal little rant above.) I don’t like the negative, the horrible, the grisly, the grime and grief and gore. I don’t like the vibration that emanates from ugly acts or arguments. That is not how or where I want to resonate, way down low and heavy and painful and barbed and prickly. I don’t want my ego to ever get the upper hand in leading this band, this march/stroll/journey on my path that IS my life. I want the light and airy and breezy and free and easy and delightful, yet insightful. I want to be a mighty force for good.

I want and intend my life to be about CURIOSITY, CO-EXISTING, COMPLETION. I intend to CAPTURE and COLLECT bright, sparkly minutes and experiences and delights. I really like it when lots of good things CASCADE into this arena where I live and CREATE. So be it.

keep-calm-and-be-yourself-1602

I believe I need to re-CENTER. To COLLECT myself, CALM my nerves and practice self-CARE and mindful CONSIDERATION. During which I intend to CHILL and enjoy some CHOCOLATE, oh, and COFFEE!.

CRUISE on, my Peeps, and a great big Namaste.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

BALANCE

BBe. Be still. Be aware. Be in harmony. Be happy. Be sad. Be up. Be down. Be wild, and free, and most of all, be you. Be true to all aspects of the spectrum that comprises your soul, your spirit, your body and mind, your wishes and dreams and hopes. Let it be.  Let you be.

“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” Robert Fulghum

By George, er, Robert...I think he’s got it!



balance

NOUN: an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady: “slipping in the mud but keeping their balance”
synonyms: stability • equilibrium • steadiness • footing

VERB: keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall: “a mug that she balanced on her knee”
synonyms: steady • stabilize • poise • level

Balance is fluid, non-static. There is wiggle room.

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your step as you walk the tightrope of life.” William A Ward

Balanced food plan? 80/20 works for me. The greens, the unprocessed, the healthy broccoli, spinach, almonds, fruit, etc. (you already know it, right?) 80% of the time and the cheese-while-in-Paris, the pain au chocolate (mmm, chocolate croissant), the cocktail, the, well, the indulgence, 20% of the time. I don’t always achieve that goal, but I gotta tell you, when I do, it feels good to feel good.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.  –Oscar Wilde

Balance work / play? Oy vey, this one can be a tough nut to crack. I am happily retired from the work five days / play ( ?what? laundry/market/cleaning; what kind of play is that? ) two days routine, but I remember the challenges, the burn-out, the frustrations and the resentment. I also remember loving my job even though I knew my life was out of balance. WHO decided on that 5/2 schedule? So, here’s a thought. Perhaps you could remember who you are. What did you come here to do? What brings you joy, where do you find your peace? I used to wonder ‘how on earth did I wind up in Los Angeles’ when what I really wanted was to live in the woods. It took awhile, but, Ta-Da, now I live in the woods. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.

balance extremes

Life is good. Love one another. Pass it on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment