Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Vision Board

Usually, I am not into the latest books and activities designed to "bring the world to greater enlightenment" (think "A New Earth" and "The Secret.") It's
not that I think these ideas don't have some merit - I do - it's that I have other paths for getting there that are, for me, more direct. Plus, I tend to already know and have in place their premises, likely as an inherent result of my intuitiveness and connection with God. I believe all people should do whatever it is that works for them, myself included!

I did have quite a bit of fun, though, with something a group of us did over the weekend. The idea was to create "vision boards" on which we put things we would like to manifest in our lives. On mine, I have a romantic love section, a personal/spiritual section, and a career/money section.
(For the record, I am not a supporter of this type of activity for kids, unless you have the ability and the time to raise their thinking patterns beyond celebrities, sports cars, and junk food.)

Here are some of the quotes I used:
Living life as an exclamation and love as a journey
An aura of peace and happiness
Author of the #1 Bestseller
Channel your energy.
Feel the Glow.
Grow. Be comfortable with who you are - even if that changes by the minute.
Simple acts of kindness
Good vibes club
Let your goodness blossom.
Happiness is invincible.
Ahead of the curve
Open your heart.
Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.
Discover the Sublime.
Make room for fun.
Fun fearless female author
Open your mind, listen to your heart, make a new beginning.

... and more. I think if you click on the picture, you can see a bigger version with more detail. I thought it was awesome that the "When Harry Met Sally" quote was on one of the pages, and you can't beat that wedding cake topper! (For more Harry and Sally quotes, try this great page Erin sent me.) I had trouble finding book/author stuff, but I finally managed to create a small section for it. Surprise, surprise: there was more romantic material in women's magazines than anything else!

I guess now I look at this every day, and bring these things my way! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11, Hurricanes: Opportunities for Love

Seven years ago may seem like a long time ago to some. Many feel that reliving those moments today only reopen old wounds that have scarred over and lessened with time. For me, the reality of that day – not so long ago – is as real today as it ever was.
It hits me deep inside my gut as I remember how I moment-by-moment lived through what was then the unknown, and how I watched as that unknown grew more and more horrible. I remember knowing that the worst was not over as I followed the events. I remember feeling the pain that engulfed me as I empathetically received it from the so many who were closer than I. I remember scanning through every news channel hoping for one more bit of information, one more fact, one more bit of knowledge to help me create a picture of the enormity of what had happened, so that I could find some sense in all of it. It took me years to not check the news constantly as a way to temper my fears.
Today, I still feel an internal sense of heightened alert, one that I am not sure will ever go away. I have attained a sense of peace, however, and my belief that good far outweighs bad has only been strengthened. It is hard for me to call any event – whether human made or natural – a tragedy – because always, always, there is the good that follows. I can hope, over the course of a lifetime, to be so noble as the many were in the course of minutes. What we realize - when the smoke eases, when the waters recede - is that in these terrible moments, our humanity, our oneness with God - sometimes clouded by our earthliness - emerges.
To understand the kindness, the love for humanity that these moments bring out in all of us is to understand our souls and our purpose in life. Life is about God, and God is about Love. It doesn’t matter how you get there, if you take the direct route or the back roads, if you hit a lot of potholes or if you have smooth sailing. Whatever it takes, love. Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself. Simply Love. Love uplifts all, conquers all, achieves all. It is who we are. Everything else – that’s all it is: everything else.
It touches me that today, on the anniversary of 9/11, we face another event from which the opportunity to love will present itself. How poignant that we remember the victims of a terrorist attack on a day when we face an impending natural disaster, and how remarkable that this natural disaster reminds us of yet another natural disaster. We feel the pain, yes. Some even feel the fear. But - move beyond that. What is underneath? It is the love of people pulling together and helping others and serving others. These events that are awful in so many ways also bring out our best, and are our reminder that in our humanity, in humankind, we are one. Let us do unto others as we would have others do unto us. I, for one, choose to love.

~ You’ll remember the last time we faced such a large-scale hurricane evacuee population in Austin, I volunteered at the Red Cross shelter at the Austin Convention Center. You might like to read through some of what I experienced then. There are multiple posts so the simplest way is to click on the year 2005 in the sidebar and then scroll down to the beginning of September. There is some interesting stuff there. I was both reporting (in articles) and commenting (in columns) at the time for publications - in addition to volunteering - so I have an immersed perspective.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just Dance!

Ballet Austin had an event Sunday where they were offering demonstrations and free classes. Since I love to dance and am a sucker for free stuff, I decided to try out all four of the sessions! I started with Ballet Fit, where we used basic ballet moves to strengthen our muscles, and then the Pilates mat class. Both of these types of classes create long, lean muscles, which is definitely what I prefer. Next, I took Flamenco, mainly because my friend Ellen wanted to take it. Lastly, I took hip hop, which is my favorite kind of dance. All of it was a lot of fun, but I was exhausted afterward, so much so that I thought I would collapse! I even went to bed at 10 p.m., which is way, way early for me! I thought I'd be sore this morning (48 hours later,) but I'm just a little tight - not too bad!

I did have a disturbing incident yesterday that I'll mention. In my front yard, I found a dead cat that was missing its head and its front arms. The rest of it looked absolutely normal; it was just missing a third of itself, and I could not find the missing parts anywhere. It was what looked like a very well-taken care of grey cat. I couldn't bring myself to touch it so I had someone do me a huge favor and come put it in a bag for me. Just now, within the last few minutes, the city finally picked it up. I'd had to see it outside my office window all that time.
Some family will never see their kitty again. :(

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to School Stories

I'm published again this month in a couple of magazines. Baltimore's Child features my back to school on a budget column-style story, and Mahoning Valley/Trumbull County Parent Magazine is running Homework Hassles, which discusses ways to approach homework with different types of kids.

Yes, it's back to school time! And -- time to get down to business. I cracked open a book with literary agents in it last week. It was just a peek, but an important one, because it helped me focus a little more on future results, instead of just the writing process. I'm not ready to start my search for an agent yet, but I'm thinking October will be the month. One more month of solid writing is what I think I need right now. Of course, who knows!? :)