"We become what we think about." ~ Earl Nightingale

Welcome to Sacred Ruminations

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TUT ... A New Year's Note from the Universe

Click to 'embiggen' for better viewing ...

I share from this morning's email ... and suggest you substitute YOUR name for 'storyteller' as you read & consider this message from 'the Universe' ... via TUT with the following:
"WARNING: May cause imaginations to run wild, manifestations to accelerate, unexpected giggling, and celebrations well into the night..."
Dearest storyteller,
I was about to wish that your every dream for 2009 come true. That you find yourself surrounded by friends, laughter, and good times. I almost wished that your every cup runneth over financially, romantically, spiritually, and creatively. That good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide. When suddenly, it dawned on me that as an infinite, powerful, fun-loving gladiator of the Universe, with eternity before you and the power of your thoughts to help shape it... it's you Old Storyteller, who will be granting wishes this year.

The Universe

... and this:
Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®
© www.tut.com ®

Thoughts for Today
"I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution." Wernher von Braun

"I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else." Winston Churchill

"Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different."
Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Simply Kind on Tuesdays - Transforming Ourselves

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own."
Adam Lindsay Gordon

As 2008 draws to a close, I find myself thinking about how I choose to use my mind and energies in 2009 and I've been listening to audiotapes ... watching videoclips ... reading & writing ... meditating as I walk, garden, visit blogs, etc.  This clip is about 20 minutes long but adds the weight of science to the idea that our attention can be shifted and minds altered through meditation, and encourages personal experimentation. 

I believe that 'change' is the one 'constant' to be counted upon, and taking charge of that change begins with ourselves.  Rather than focusing on 'fixing' others, by 'removing the log from our own eye' as we're told to do in the Bible we 'become the change we want to see in the world' as Gandhi suggested.  Therefore, I commend this video (or others at TED that seem more relevant to your circumstances) to you when time permits.

Habits of Happiness or Well-Being

Information from TED.com about ...  
Matthieu Ricard: Monk, author, photographer
Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.

Why you should listen to him:

After training in biochemistry at the Institute Pasteur, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk -- and to pursue happiness, both at a basic human level and as a subject of inquiry. Achieving happiness, he has come to believe, requires the same kind of effort and mind training that any other serious pursuit involves.

His deep and scientifically tinged reflections on happiness and Buddhism have turned into several books, including The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet. At the same time, he also makes sensitive and jaw-droppingly gorgeous photographs of his beloved Tibet and the spiritual hermitage where he lives and works on humanitarian projects.

His latest book on happiness is Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill; his latest book of photographs is Tibet: An Inner Journey.
"Matthieu Ricard, French translator and right-hand man for the Dalai Lama, has been the subject of intensive clinical tests at the University of Wisconsin, as a result of which he is frequently described as the happiest man in the world."
Robert Chalmers, The Independent

Thought for Today
" You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   John Wooden

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunrise-Sunset - BYBS - Sacred Life Sunday

Stormy Sunrise
on Christmas Day
Click on photo to embiggen for better viewing
and the logo above for others participating in Sunrise-Sunset.

I'm contemplating this morning's Daily Om email ...
December 28, 2008
Buoyant And Upbeat
Pisces Daily Horoscope
Today you may be excited about the opportunities that you have been attracting, which could have you feeling upbeat. With this feeling of hope and your imagination filled with possibilities, you are likely to be feeling positively buoyant. While the future is yet unset, you can examine all the potential roads that lay before you in order to determine which suits you the best. When we choose to direct our energy toward the options that are best for us, the universe supports us, while also contributing its own ancient wisdom. By choosing your preference from all the possibilities available to you, you learn more about the life you want to create and actually begin to co-create it with the universe today.

Even the lightness you feel as you are filled with hope helps to draw to you the situation with the best energetic match. Part of knowing what we want is the ability to discern when something is not right for us, so that all of our energy can be channeled into bringing the things we desire into being. When the universe sends its assistance, we get to feel like we are floating toward our dreams upon a swift current. Then we experience the universe working with us, co-creating our world through us and around us, and all the opportunities that arise become further proof of our creative abilities. Today you can truly enjoy and look forward to the manifestation of your hopes and dreams.
Generating New Year's Resolutions is not something I've done for quite some time ... and I don't think I'm likely to create 'a list' now either, however the tone & content of my 'horoscope' resonates with me today for I feel 'on the cusp' of change personally. Perhaps I'll write some over the next few days, and if so ... I'll share.

I do love to Blog My Blessings on Sundays ...
so here goes:

This is my 32nd BYBS ...
Five Really Good Things

1. Keeping a 'thankful list' in my sidebar at Small Reflections the past two months has kept me focused on gratitude during a busier than usual month, and moving it to Happily Retired Gal at the end of the month remains my plan.

2. Creating, printing, writing notes in Christmas cards to friends & family provided a lovely opportunity to reconnect with those I've not seen or talked to in a while ... and receiving cards from others was enjoyable too.

3. I had a wonderful time spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with good friends and talked to my sister (currently in an RV with her husband in New Mexico) several times ... connected with my sister-in-law on the phone this morning to learn about her holiday celebrations.

4. The rainfall here in Southern California soaked our parched soil without creating mudslides in the burn areas, and we are grateful also for the SNOW in our mountains.

5. So far I've managed to stave off the cold going around and am hoping I'll make it through New Years without getting ill.

In case you missed this link in Friday's post,
or want to look & listen again...

One more gift to share
I hope you will take the time
to view this brief clip

from Mac Anderson
found in Simple Truths email
early Friday morn

guaranteed to put
a smile upon your face
as it does on mine.

Here's wishing everyone a ...
What are some really good things in YOUR life currently?
For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the
Blog Your Blessings logo

above Really Good Things.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Blessed Be ... and so it is!

Thought for Today

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." Frederick Keonig

Friday, December 26, 2008

Haiku Friday #100 - Sky Watch #23


Milestone & Motivator
"It is one of the most beautiful
compensations in life ... that no man
can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Milestone today
one hundred Haiku posts shared
in 2008 ...

Half are here and the
rest are at Small Reflections
with a few for good

measure at my new
Happily Retired Gal ...
All Haiku-Sky Watch!

I created this
Sky collage to put on my
Christmas card this year

illustrating the
varied views we see in my
So Cal neighborhood.

"Life can be complicated, but happiness is pretty simple."
from Simple Secrets

One more gift to share
I hope you will take the time
to view this brief clip

from Mac Anderson
found in Simple Truths email
early this morning

guaranteed to put
a smile upon your face
as it does on mine.

Click for a second
Haiku Sky Watch Friday
at Happily Retired Gal
and for others participating
in Sky Watch & Haiku Friday this week.

"The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible."
Rich Devos

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The reason for the season ...

Sharing from this morning's email from:

Here's the Story of the Day
Purple Madonna

One time
on Hollywood Boulevard
I saw a young girl with a baby.
It was a crisp winter morning
& her hair shone
dark purple in the sun.
She was panhandling
outside the Holiday Inn
& the door clerk came out
& told her to be on her way & I
wondered if anyone would
recognize the Christ child
if they happened to meet.
I remember thinking
it's not like there are any
published pictures
& purple seemed
like a good color for a Madonna
so I gave her a dollar
just in case.
If the link under the image
doesn't work,
click here to see
what's available for this story.

Mary Did You Know?

(sung by Mark Lowry who wrote the lyric
& gave it to Buddy Greene who wrote the music)

My favorite (new) Christmas Song

If you click on the up arrow at the bottom right,
you'll get options to hear the song sung by others ...
My second favorite is Mark & Buddy singing together.

See also
Angels of Mercy
and message from Tut in the next post.

Thought for Today
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Simply Kind on Tuesdays - Angels of Mercy

"Kindness is the language

which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Mark Twain

Angels of Mercy

Claudia of Everyday Kindness has made some changes ... splitting the Everyday Kindness Challenge into two parts:

1. The original challenge to perform at least one act of kindness per day continues.
2. The new challenge is 'Simply Kind Tuesdays' ... the goal of which is to increase awareness of the kindness that surrounds us.
I invite you to participate in either or both challenges as time & energy permit. Clicking on the Simply Kind and/or Everyday Kindness logos at the top and bottom of this page will take you to others participating.

Wednesday morning addendum
What follows is a 'Message from the Universe' that arrived in email this morning and I feel moved to share ... just because:
"If it's not yet obvious to you, the real reason for this season is you, Storyteller. A more perfect child of the Universe has never lived. Until now, only a celebration cloaked in myth and mystery could hint at your sublime heritage and divine destiny. You are life's prayer of becoming and its answer. The first light at the dawn of eternity, drawn from the ether, so that the Universe might know its depths, discover its heights, and frolic in endless seas of blessed emotion.

A pioneer into illusion, an adventurer into the unknown, and a lifter of veils. Courageous, heroic and exalted by billions in the unseen.

To give beyond reason. To care beyond hope. To love without limit. To reach, stretch, and dream, in spite of your fears. These are the hallmarks of divinity - traits of the immortal - your badges of honor. Wear them with a pride as great as the unspeakable pride we feel for you.

Your light has illuminated darkened paths, your gaze has lifted broken spirits, and already your life has changed the destiny of all who will ever follow.

This is the time of year we celebrate Storyteller.

Bowing before Greatness,
The Universe"

I submit that each of us can insert our name in place of 'storyteller' as we meditate on this message from Tut.

Thought for Today
"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunrise-Sunset - BYBS - Sacred Life Sunday

Click on photo to embiggen for better viewing
and the logo above for others participating in Sunrise-Sunset.

Almost 5 o'clock
but I have created and
printed Christmas cards ...

This is my 31st BYBS ...
Tomorrow I shall
address envelopes and add
personal notes then

stuff & stamp and mail
them off at the Post Office!
With luck they may reach

folks before Thursday's
Christmas celebration. If
not ... then they'll be late.

You can see a copy of the component parts
and the finished Christmas card at Happily Retired Gal.

For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the
Blog Your Blessings logo

above Really Good Things.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Blessed Be ... and so it is!

I heartily recommend you take a few minutes to watch an amazing gift at Maithri's blog ... created & shared by this medical doctor (living in Melbourne Australia) as he prepares himself to spend several months in Swaziland starting in April of 2009) ... entitled Love the World Into Change. I suspect you'll be glad you did, and you'll want to invite others to view it as well. I'm grateful to Dianne at Forks Off the Moment for bringing the video and Maithri's blog to my attention.

Monday Morning Addendum
I'm writing notes in the cards this morning so I won't be visiting until I'm finished, but I wanted to leave a note here ... just because.
I created two new awards
for my bloggy friends
to express my gratitude to all who have visited & left comments on any or all of
my blogs during this busy holiday season during December.

You'll find them
here and here. Please snag, enjoy, and pass them along to friends as you choose as my holiday gift to each of you.

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season!

Thought for Today
"Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved." Augusta E. Rundel

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photo Hunt - WIDE open ... (or open wide?)

This week's theme is 'wide' ...
I admit that my
first association was
the words to this song:

"Deep and wide ... deep and wide
there's a fountain flowing deep and wide
Deep and wide ... deep and wide
there's a fountain flowing deep and wide."

 I found this version on You Tube
much to my surprise.

Next my mind ran to the 'visual' ...
and I came up with these ;--)
Click for other Photo Hunters this week.
Thought for Today
"Anything simple always interests me."   David Hockney

Friday, December 19, 2008

Haiku Friday #98 - Sky Watch #22 Rainy Daze

Earlier today
Happily Retired Gal
shared a 'rain' collage

with another 'ku

about stormy weather in
my beach neighborhood ...

here more skies appear
in a dif'rent collage with
variable skies

(Click to embiggen the collage for better viewing)

Raindrops cling to the
lemons on my tree ... Molly
hoping for a friend

to visit & play.
Weary of staying inside
during the rainstorm.

Funny how this 'lab'
water-loving pooch avoids
raindrops at all costs

but will romp in surf
and lie down in puddles she
finds. I think it's odd

but I understand
it's quite common among her
canine relatives.

See my other Haiku Sky Watch post & collage
at Happily Retired Gal today.

Click for others participating
in Sky Watch & Haiku Friday this week.

Thought for Today
"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." Roger Miller

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday #54 ...

and belated ...
Universal Sign: Peace On Earth

Thought for Today
"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." Dwight Eisenhower
Thanks for reading me in your feeds.
I hope you'll drop by & leave a comment or two ;--)

Click for others participating in Wordless Wednesday today
and Simply Kind Tuesdays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When it rains ... it pours (literally and figuratively)

YES!!! It's finally raining in Southern California ;--)

... and yet another award has come my way!
Sandee of Comedy Plus gave me this for Sacred Ruminations:

Mousey of Say Cheese awarded her the Blog L♥ve award, and Sandee wrote that she'd been wanting this one ... wondering, "How did she know?" before saying, "Thanks a million Mousey." I love it too and am delighted to be included among the recipients. Thanks Sandee!!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Put the logo in your blog.
  2. Add a link to the person who shared it with you.
  3. Pass this award to your Blogger Friends
  4. Add your link to the list of participants below
  5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.
Blog Lovers: 1. Soul Anchor 2. Cookie’s Corner 3. Ane of Life According To Me 4. Tales of a Pinay Single Mommy 5. A Girl For All for Status 6. Sasha says… 7. Say Cheese 8. Comedy Plus 9. Sacred Ruminations 10. You Next

She tagged:

"...All Things Work For Good..."
Are We There Yet??
Beetle's Memories 'n' Ramblings
Broadway Matron
Casto Creations

Chica & Pumuckl
CrAzY Working Mom
From Ohio With Love
Grandalf & Grayson
Happy Tiler

I Need A Martini Mom
Life is a Story in the Making
Lowdown From Lois
MamaFlo's Place
Mimi Writes

MJG's Rambling Thoughts
Pretty Amazing Grace
Sacred Ruminations
Scrappin'...With Life
Speedcat Hollydale Page

The Rants From Sunnybrook Farm
The Loft of Love by Lynda
Your Caring Angels

and ended by saying "Participation is NOT mandatory Okay, if I didn't tag you and you just have to have this cool award, then go ahead and spread the love."

Soooo ... I'm following her example and tagging the following bloggers:

I repeat ... "Participation is NOT mandatory ... if your blog isn't listed and you just have to have this cool award, then go ahead and spread the love with my blessing."

If you missed them ... click for:
Thought for Today
"Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that." Michael Leunig

Thanks for reading me in your feeds.
I hope you'll drop by to leave a comment too ;--)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Motivator - What's YOUR mission?

Sunrise-Sunset, BYBS & Sacred Life Sunday (see next post)

This morning I'm sharing an email from Philosophers Notes ... because it speaks to my heart & mind ... reminding me how I choose to live my life each day. Perhaps it will resonate with you as well.

"Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life... Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it." ~ Viktor Frankl
from Man's Search for Meaning

What are YOU here to do? What's your specific vocation or mission in life? Clear? Write it down! Live it!

Stuck? Write down the question: "What is my specific mission in life?"

Then simply write down "My specific mission in life is to ..." and let it flow. Don't censor yourself or need it to be "right." Just write.

The process of discovering who we are and what our greatest gifts are AND how we give those to the world is, at least in my experience, an arduous one.

We don't just snap our fingers and say, "Aha! That's it!"

At least I didn't...

I've had many amazing ideas/breakthroughs/distinctions, but they come in the midst of (pretty much constantly) living in the question of what my mission in life is. AND having the courage to start taking the baby (and/or BIG) steps I feel intuitively called to make.

"Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it." ~ Buddha

So, please please please (please please please) spend some time today asking yourself the question of what you're here to do in this beautiful world of ours.

Let's live the question. And, the answer.

[Brian's Signature]

Because yesterday got away from me, I published later than usual ... but the Sunset Collages & Haiku shared last night are worth a look, so be sure to check out the next post too ... after leaving me a comment here.

When time permits, you might also enjoy ...
Additional Thoughts for Today
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." Les Brown

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." T.S. Eliot

"Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing. Adolph Monod

Thanks for reading me in your feeds.

I hope you'll drop by to leave a comment too ;--)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunrise-Sunset - BYBS - Sacred Life Sunday

This is my 30th BYBS ...

Still waiting for rain
beautiful sunset drew me
with my camera

toward the ocean
where I stayed for half an hour
snapping photographs.

Returning I spent
more time creating these two
collages to share

Blogging my Blessings
Sunday with these visual
images tonight.

Click to 'embiggen' for better viewing
and for others participating in Sunrise-Sunset.

For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the
Blog Your Blessings logo

above Really Good Things.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Blessed Be ... and so it is!

Thought for Today
"God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thanks for reading me in your feeds.
I hope you'll drop by to leave a comment too ;--)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Look, listen, enjoy ... catch the spirit of Christmas

Carol of the Bells
2006 Holdman Christmas Display

Angels We Have Heard on High
2006 Holdman Christmas Display

2008 Annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Services

According to Patty's post:
"The Compassionate Friends (TCF) Worldwide Candle Lighting® is held annually the second Sunday in December ... and this year it is Sunday, December 14. This event unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memories of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries."
Click for additional information at Magpie's Nest.

Thought for Today
"There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is." William P. Merrill

Friday, December 12, 2008

Haiku Friday #96 - Snow in the Blogosphere

I'm a bit later than usual, so ...
Haiku Friday #97 is at Small Reflections. Remember check out the Friendship Award posted there yesterday afternoon.

Haiku Friday Sky Watch is at Happily Retired Gal .
While you're there, check out the Lemonade Award.
Each award is up for grabs
to enjoy & pass along during the holidays ... just because.

After seeing snow
falling gently around the
Blogosphere, impulse

guided me & now
lovely 'white stuph' falls here too.
If you'd like to add

winter weather to
your blog click the link to 'snow'
for a 'Blogger' site.

At WordPress go to
Dashboard ... Appearance ... Extras ...
click the 'snow' option

and Update Extras.
In Southern California
at the beach we aren't

likely to see snow
any other way ... except
on the mountain tops

once the Arctic storm
passes through our area
over the weekend.

Click for others participating in Haiku Friday this week.

Thought for Today
"When snow falls, nature listens." Antoinette van Kleeff

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A bit of Holiday Fun ... a 'Revival' of sorts

Last December I shared these unique performers in a T-13 at Small Reflections ... and I understand they've just released a new Christmas CD in time for the holidays.

This all male A' Capella group started singing together in 1996 on the campus of Indiana University, and if you've not heard & seen their unusual version of '12 Days' you've missed something FUN indeed! If you HAVE seen them before, I suspect you'll enjoy this clip all the same ... just because.

Click to see them talk about their 'revival' plans and the Christmas Album they've created with Atlantic Records and to hear them sing The Carol of the Bells.

Thought for Today
"The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial." ~Leonard Bernstein

Sunday, December 7, 2008

BYBS - Sacred Life Sunday


Before beginning
to create this Sunday post
I created two ...

Mem'ries of Dad at

Happily Retired Gal
remembering his

December 7th
birthday & Pearl Harbor Day
Small Reflections.

Now I'm pausing to
count my many blessings and

share a few with you.

This is my 29th BYBS ...
Yesterday these 'stats'
from Site Meter arrived in
a weekly email.

Sacred Ruminations
Site Summary for December 5th

Total ....................... 10,048
Average per Day ................. 30
Average Visit Length .......... 7:37
This Week ...................... 210

Page Views
Total ....................... 22,565
Average per Day ................. 58
Average per Visit .............. 1.9
This Week ...................... 408

How amazing this
data seems to me as I
take time to reflect.

Yesterday's email
presented me with a link
to some food for thought

that felt 'timely' and
may help me make progress on
my 'uncluttering'

if I follow through
with the thought presented in
this brief video.

For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the
Blog Your Blessings logo

above Really Good Things.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Blessed Be ... and so it is!

Thought for Today
"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" Stephen Levine