"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
pseudonym.

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, January 30, 2008

Imagine MY Surprise (or not)

This result startled me until I read the words, and then I figured I could live with it. So ... will you play along and share YOUR results? It's quick and easy ... and, of course, I'm curious as always.

You Were a Spider

You tend to be the master weaver of fate - both for yourself and those you know.
A creative force, you tend to work from divine inspiration.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blessings, Thank Yous, and More Awards

Recently I discovered that Mary P Jones had received this Bloggin Blessing and was passing it along to ME and two other new readers at A Room of Mama's Own. I want to express my appreciation here to MPJ for this kindness.

The blessing started with Ukok and we are each to bless three people:
"The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you receive a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!"
Choosing just 3 blogs to honor with this award was challenging, however (after considerable reflection) I've decided that I want to take this opportunity to bless the following three individuals. Each provides a way for bloggers to find and connect with one another. I hope you'll visit each of them as time permits.

Rachael (otherwise known as Magpie Girl) encourages Small is Beautiful and Passionate Blogging.

Carla (at zena musings and Women at Rest) inspires and challenges bloggers to explore through My Sacred Life and Sacred Life Sunday.

Claudia (at On a Limb) started Everyday Kindness as a way to invite and inspire fellow bloggers be mindful of small ways to encourage and support one another in the real and virtual worlds.

Thank you Karen!

Because Karen was kind enough to bounce this award back to ME ... I'm able to pass it along to more of you "virtual friends" who Make MY Day!!! I hereby award this to the following bloggers and would like to introduce you to one another if you've not yet met. Remember ... each of you may pass this award on to up to ten bloggers who make YOUR day! (You can find more specific instructions and links to previous recipients here.) As you do so, please link back to this post (and/or blog) so that I'll be introduced to YOUR blogging friends too. Now that the Australian Open is over, I'll be visiting more regularly. Enjoy!

Mother of Invention at Spilling Out!

Peajay at Mórán cainte ar bheagán cúise

His Girl Friday at Wellied on Life

Talking Bear at Sleepy Bear Hollow

Chani at Thailand Gal

Yertle at Smile, Play, Dream

Mike Golch at Rambling Stuff

Kara at Spirtdoll (even though she's decided to leave the virtual world indefinitely to pursue other goals, for I might not be here in the Blogosphere at all without her encouragement and support).

Finally, I'd like to bounce the award right back to Karen at Journey to Authenticity and Annie at A Spiritual Journey Through Life who (like Kara) have provided on-going encouragement and support on each of my blogs from the beginning.

To everyone I offer this brief but powerful video
May You Be Blessed

I've distributed other awards today at Small Reflections
and hope you'll visit there when time permits.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Thought for Today



Twenty years from now

you will be more disappointed

by the things that you didn’t do

than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

--- Mark Twain


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Reflecting


Blogging (and other) Blessings


1. Receiving the "You Make My Day" award from Annie, sharing it with others, and receiving it a 2nd time from Karen so that I'll be able to share it again with others who make MY day ... something I intend to do early next week.

2. Watching an exciting series of highly competitive matches during the past two weeks of the Australian Open culminating in surprising semi-finalists in both the women's and men's draw.

3. Hitting the Milestone of 100 posts on each of my blogs and beginning a list of 101 Things About Me while reflecting on what I've accomplished and what I plan to do next in this virtual world.

4. Discovering new friends in the Blogosphere and introducing old friends to one another.

5. Receiving two other awards from fellow bloggers to proudly display and to pass along: The Blessin' Buddha from Mary P. Jones at A Room of Mama's Own and the "Your Blog's a Treasure" award from Sandy at Momisodes. I'll share these soon as well.

6. Hearing from an old friend several times recently on the telephone and planning to meet for lunch next week to catch up.

7. Connecting with my Writer's Retreat Buddy to celebrate progress and encourage one another on our next challenges.


Thought for the Day

"Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change,

but in the dialectic between the two."
Octavio Paz


Saturday, January 26, 2008

How I Became a Blogger

I'm adding this post belatedly ... moving this information that once was in my sidebar so that I can add a link to this as I update my "About Me" information. Hopefully this is possible. I'll know soon.

On October 22, 2007 launched Small Reflections ... and the next day I created Sacred Ruminations. Having written in journals much of my adult life, these two blogs are my first efforts to share with others. I appreciate all those who visit either and/or both sites, sharing their thoughts & encouraging me to continue publishing in this manner.

I'm grateful to my all Taos "Writers Spa" friends who encouraged me to just "go for it" ... put myself out there and see what happens ... playfully & without worries, forcing nothing & holding nothing back ... letting myself be.


My good friend Carol deserves special thanks for giving me THE LIFE ORGANIZER by Jennifer Louden on my birthday in February of 2007 and HOW MUCH JOY by Suzanne Falter Barnes back in June of 2001 when we retired happily & early ... starting this incredible chain of events. Kudos likewise to Jackie who has encouraged me for YEARS to take the plunge ... along with my sister, Barbara who has always wanted me to share my writing! I love & appreciate you all and am delighted to be here finally.
Hugs and Blessings

A Milestone Missed? Maybe ... maybe not.

I love giraffes from horn to hoof.
They're dignified ... yet not aloof.
Although they give my heart a tug,
giraffes are much too tall to hug.
composed for me by my "ex"
on the long drive home
after spending considerable time
observing giraffes at the San Diego Zoo


My 100th Post was 6 Days Ago
I know I've been more than a bit obsessed with "tennis" lately, but things should be back to normal on Monday. Thanks for bearing with me. Did I mention I have a large collection of giraffes that were given to me through the years by family members and friends?

Yesterday I left a brief Haiku about my 100th post at Small Reflections, and I thought this would be my 100th post here. However, upon checking I've discovered ...(after 96 days of blogging) ... I will have posted 106 times here at Sacred Ruminations, once I publish this piece. It hardly seems possible, but my Archives bear witness to this truth. After decades of writing solely for myself ... filling MANY journals, I seem to have "taken" to blogging in a HUGE way! And so today, I pause to reflect a bit on where I am with all this, and what I'd like to do next.

Revisiting my 1st post on this blog illustrates just how little I knew about adding photos (or anything else about blogging) for upon closer examination, it's obvious that my 2nd post is still my 1st ... in which I introduce Molly & myself and convey my intention to explore "My Sacred Life" for a month. I see how I ended up with "extra" posts because my Day 3 Sacred Life entry is in two parts as well because I still didn't know how to manage multiple photos in a single post. Subtracting those two doubled up posts makes today #104. Of course, I notice there are at least 6 more posts where I passed along information or shared links I'd discovered without really writing much of anything myself ... so it hardly seems "fair" to count those. Therefore, it's possible today is simply #98 ... (Are you laughing yet? I am ... in fact, I'm reminded of a time in 5th grade when our writing prompt was to speculate what might have happened if Wednesday had come on a Friday. Although I have no recollection of the specifics of the piece itself other than it was rather obsessively convoluted, my teacher's enthusiastic response and the A+ grade remain in memory ... but I digress).

Whatever the number of this post, this seems like a good time to reflect a bit. Before beginning to blog, I hadn't even read any blogs ... but at the suggestion of friends and family (after attending the Taos Writer's Retreat) I decided to give it a go. After a little more than 3 months, I'm happy I did. The unexpected pleasure at sharing my thoughts, learning how to do a myriad of new things, and meeting all sorts of folks in this virtual world absolutely amazes me even as I type the words.

This morning I encountered Blossoming Soul's blog. She's a Kindergarten teacher and aspiring writer who apparently doesn't permit comments but has many interesting posts. I've borrowed the following idea from her. She used it to review her year, but I use it to reflect upon my "blogging" thus far.

I'm proud of myself for ...
-- letting serendipity lead me to the Taos Writer's Retreat last summer
-- stepping out of my comfort zone to travel by car to and from New Mexico alone
-- opening myself up to inspiration and creative exploration
-- following through in this tangible manner of authoring two blogs
-- giving myself permission to experiment and make mistakes along the way in public
-- not allowing embarrassment or self-consciousness to hold me back
-- making a commitment write and share something each day
-- visiting other bloggers ... offering encouragement and support by leaving comments
-- responding on my blogs to each comment someone leaves for me
-- teaching myself how to do many "technical" things with HTML code, links, photos and the like
-- asking for and accepting help from others
-- sharing what I've learned with others
-- cultivating relationships in this virtual world
-- creating a "body of work" in the Blogosphere
-- joining with others in Thursday Thirteen and Haiku Friday
-- abstaining from trying to participate in everything, realizing I need to make choices to maintain a sense of balance and perspective
-- shedding the safety of anonymity & allowing myself to be known
-- playfully approaching much of what I do in this virtual world
-- facing my fears and sharing honestly and genuinely

I forgive myself for ...
-- waiting so long to begin sharing what I write and think
-- taking time away from blogging to do other things and maintain my relationships in the "real" world
-- being obsessed with Tennis during the Australian Open
-- falling behind on my blog reading and commenting
-- all that I don't yet know how to do
-- spending more time than I should at the computer and neglecting other tasks on my "to-do" list
-- being a perfectionist at times, driving myself nuts to get things "right"
-- not yet participating in Writer's Island, Cafe Writing, and Sunday Scribbles and being less than consistent with Inspire Me Thursday
-- reading fewer books than I normally do because blogging consumes so much of my free time these days

I suspect there may be things I'll want to add to these lists, but for I'm out of time for now and want to publish this before I move to other tasks. I'll consider where I wish to go from here on another day.

Thought for Today: "Ultimately your greatest teacher is to live with an open heart." from Emmanuel's Book

Friday, January 25, 2008

Haiku Friday - Federer's Finesse Flounders



Difficult to watch
Roger Federer so flat
in this 3 set match.

Djokovic did play
brilliantly once late in the
1st set ... bouncing back

leveling the score
when it looked like Federer
had it all wrapped up.

Second set he pressed
even more successfully
taking it 6-3.

Third set was a fight.
Federer aggressively
battled back to lead

briefly ... Djokovic
held to force a tie-break and
ultimately win.

Tsonga now will play
Djokovic on Sunday ... That
could be one great match!

Many all time feats
ten consecutive finals ...
40 hard court wins

in a row. It's true
Fed's been number ONE for 4
years and still retains

that distinction for
the time being, but how much
longer no one knows.


My 100th post Haiku is at Small Reflections.


For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story.

To see my previous Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thrilling Thursday for Tsonga


Dreams


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played brilliantly against Rafael Nadal, stunning the Spaniard and the crowd ... winning in this 1st men's Quarter Final match in straight sets. He awaits the winner of the 2nd men's Quarter Final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to be played tonight and since it's Friday in Australia perhaps tomorrow's headline will be a Fantastic Friday for Federer or if Djokovic prevails ... Federer's Finesse Fails. No matter what the outcome, it promises to be an excellent match.

Today at Small Reflections I posted Roger Federer's Gland Slam record for my T-13 this week. He's had the longest winning streak in tennis history and holds 12 Grand Slam Championship Titles ... 3 in Australia, 5 at Wimbledon, and 4 in New York at the U. S. Open. He's played in a total of 14 Grand Slam Championship matches, losing the French Open to Nadal twice on the clay court surface. By the end of this season, it's quite possible he'll equal or even surpass the record of Pete Sampras with 14 Grand Slam Men's Singles Titles.

Yes ... I am a bit obsessed when it comes to tennis, but the Australian Open will be over this weekend. Maria Sharapova will play Ana Ivanovic (as I predicted) in the Women's Championship Match on Friday night and the Men's Championship is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.


Thought for Today

We each have a dream inside ourselves,
A gift to us at birth,
To guide us and protect us
On our journey on this earth.

We all have something special,
Each one of us unique
You have to find the courage
To find the peace you seek.

So dream your dream and live your dream
Don't be afraid to try.
Just take your soul by the hand
And let your spirit fly.

by Maureen Weider

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another Word-filled Wednesday

A few days ago I received the following letter and "book excerpt" in email. I watched the video, but wasn't impressed ... in fact it didn't worth my time. The concept, however, felt intriguing enough for me to leave the email in place as I moved on to other matters. This morning while clearing out my my inbox, I rediscovered it and decided to share here because the idea intrigues me still.

Dear storyteller,

212°...The Extra Degree is one of my all time favorite publishing projects. There is something magic about the simplicity of the 212° concept...

  • At 211 degrees, water is hot.
  • At 212 degrees, it boils.
  • And with boiling water comes steam.
  • And steam can power a locomotive.

It’s that one extra degree, just one, that makes all the difference. And, so many times, it’s that one extra degree of effort in business, and in life, that separates the good from the great. How true it is!

The beauty of 212° is not only its simplicity, but also its many applications. You can apply the concept to 212° service, 212° attitude, 212° leadership, 212° kindness, 212° commitment, 212° focus, 212° perseverance...the list goes on. Whether you’re the truck driver or the CEO, you’ll get it! In fact, once you’ve heard this simple uncomplicated analogy for excellence, it’ll be hard to forget!

In the back of the 212° book we have 10 stories to reinforce many of the 212° applications, and I’d like to share the one I wrote on 212° Belief. Enjoy!

Live With Passion,
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths



212 The Extra Degree

What happens when you believe something with all your heart? Belief fuels enthusiasm, and enthusiasm explodes into passion. It fires our souls and lifts our spirits. In 1991, when Successories hired Tim Dumler as a corporate account manager, he shared his goal of becoming number one in the company with his manager, Neil Sexton. But Neil, quite frankly, had serious doubts that Tim could make it through the first month, much less be number one.

Neil’s first two interviews with Tim were conducted over the phone, and he passed those with flying colors. But when Neil met Tim for the first time, he was shocked when Tim told him he was legally blind. He began to lose his sight when he was in the third grade from a rare disease called macular degeneration. Tim acknowledged he would have problems entering orders into the computers, but he had a solution. He told Neil about a machine that he could hook up to magnify the letters on the screen to two inches high. Tim was willing to buy it if he could have the job.

After the conversation, Neil came to my office and explained the situation. Mac said, “Neil, let’s give him a chance,” but I must admit, I had serious doubts that Tim could do it.

Well, we were dead wrong. We grossly underestimated Tim’s passion and his determination to succeed. Even though it took him much longer to enter the orders, Tim made it work. He came in early, he worked late. Whatever it took, he did it.

In 1991, Tim’s first year, he was number one out of ten experienced corporate sales reps, with over $500,000 in sales. In 1994 he was number one again with $700,000, and again in 1997 with $950,000. His customers loved him because when you can’t see, you become a great listener. His peers loved him because of his caring, positive attitude.

He was certainly an inspiration to me, too. I asked him one time, “Tim, how do you stay so positive?” He said, “Mac, it’s unfortunate that I’m visually impaired, but I have to tell you that fighting through the adversity has made me a better person. I have come to realize that I have a lot more than I don’t have. I love my family, my work, and the people I work with. I’ve been blessed in many ways.”

Tim’s 212° belief enabled him to overcome many obstacles, and propelled him to success.

Henry Ford said it best...

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t...you’re right.”

P.S. If you’d like an instant “shot of inspiration” just watch our 3 minute 212° movie. Click on the link below. It will make your day, and possibly change the way you think about life!!

212° The Extra Degree

The article above was excerpted from the book "212° The Extra Degree" By Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. It is reprinted here with permission. You may share this story as long as you do not edit the content; leave the links and this resource box intact.

As you know if you've been reading my blogs lately, I've watched lots of tennis matches. This idea of adding just a little bit more energy, inspiration, and/or desire DOES seem to give players like Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic (and this year Tsonga) an edge that makes them hard to defeat. Perhaps this holds true for all things?

It seems I must leave

the links in place

to share here (legally), so I will because

I am curious what YOU think of this idea?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Tennis Troubles and more Temptation

Today was not a good one for the front runners in Women's Tennis. Serena Williams looked lethargic and got trounced soundly by Jelena Jankovic who was certainly on HER game! Justine Henin played well, but Maria Sharapova could do no wrong on the court and won a stunning victory in straight sets. If Lindsey Davenport was watching, I suspect she feels better about her loss to Maria in the second round. I'd like Sharapova's tennis better if she wouldn't shriek.

The Chinese doubles team took the Williams sisters out of the of the running today, and Ana Ivanovic has taken the 1st set from Venus this evening. The only other American left in the draw is James Blake and he plays Roger Federer in his next match. James has played excellent tennis thus far and overcome his 5-set demons, but unless Roger's off his game ... it looks like James will be on his way home soon.

For more Australian Open information click here.

Since I'm about to turn off the computer ... (and since I posted about flowers on Small Reflections) ...I thought I'd stay with that theme here. Although I was a Daisy and a Snapdragon there ... it seems I'm a Lily on this Bloththing.

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.
What Flower Are You?

Because I'm a curious sort,
I hope you'll share your results
in comments below or on your blog
with a link back here
if you decide to play along.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Annie Made My Day and I'm Passing the Award Along

Annie blessed me with this You Make My Day Award last weekend. I am most grateful. As I wrote in a comment to her about this unexpected surprise, this is an award I would have given HER early on in my blogging days if I'd had it to give. Without her support, encouragement and assistance, I'd be struggling mightily to figure things out on my own.

I'm honored to receive it and appreciate Annie thinking of me in this manner, especially since I've not been visiting quite as often for oh so many reasons (not the least of which recently is TENNIS) ... trying to attain some "balance" in my own life.

Apparently the rules say to give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration, making you feel so happy about the Blogosphere. It comes with a warning that you may get this award several times. It is my sincere hope that you do, for I'm certain you make the day for others as well.

I've decided to pass this award on to the following 5 people here at Sacred Ruminations and to 5 others at Small Reflections.

1. Lucy of Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy, and more recently Lucy Creates, is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. Her posts combine lovely visual & verbal images ... consistently engaging imagination and thought. If memory serves, she was the 2nd blogger to "discover" me in this virtual world.

Others whose comments lift my spirits
and whose blogs consistently "make my day"
include (but are not limited to):

2. Mama Zen at The Zen of Motherhood
3. The Dream at You May Say I'm a Dreamer
4. MPJ at A Room of Mama's Own
5. Ladybug at Living in the Light I Find

With much gratitude, I offer my usual hugs and blessings to all who pass this way. If you haven't met these bloggers already, I hope you'll visit them in the near future.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday

After reading my Anything but Wordless Wednesday post this week, Elspeth shared that she and a friend have begun to study A COURSE IN MIRACLES and asked how studying the COURSE for 17 years has been for me. As I sit down to write this morning, I believe the most significant effects of my studies may be:

1. the subtle but life-changing shift in my perception of everything I encounter
2. a desire to find peace in all things ... always
3. choosing happiness over being "right" more consistently
4. that forgiveness of others leads to forgiveness of self
5. only my thoughts can hurt me and I can choose to see and think differently in each moment
6. miracles happen all the time and we see them when we slow down and notice
7. all things are "echoes of the Voice of God"
8. love is the way I walk in gratitude
9. we are not alone, but all one
10. I am one with Spirit ... I need but step back and listen to be led and this is true for everyone

There are, of course, many more changes I could share ... but these are central to my way of being in the world these days. Each time I revisit the daily lessons, I understand more deeply and release more "baggage" ... mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm led to books and authors in serendipitous ways when their message is most needed as "an assist" along the way.

Mary sent me this video link in email and after watching, I explored the associated website and found the following text of the poem illustrated with lovely images in the video. I offer both to you this morning if you have the time and inclination to reflect with me today.

THE INTERVIEW WITH GOD

I dreamed I had an interview with God.

“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.

“If you have the time” I said.

God smiled. “My time is eternity.”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”

“What surprises you most about humankind?”

God answered...
“That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again.”

“That they lose their health to make money...
and then lose their money to restore their health.”

“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”

"That they live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived.”

God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while.

And then I asked...
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”

“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”

“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”

“To learn to forgive
by practicing forgiveness.”

“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in those they love,
and it can take many years to heal them.”

“To learn that a rich person
is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”

“To learn that there are people
who love them dearly,
but simply have not yet learned
how to express or show their feelings.”

“To learn that two people can
look at the same thing
and see it differently.”

“To learn that it is not enough that they
forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.”

"Thank you for your time," I said humbly.

"Is there anything else
you would like your children to know?"

God smiled and said,
“Just know that I am here... always.”

-author unknown


I recall discovering Neale Donald Walsch's 1st book CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD and feeling surprised to see that it read like my own journals. I can't help but wonder how many of us there are who dialogue with Spirit in similar ways. I'd love to know.

The Workbook ends with this reminder:
"You do not walk alone. God's angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless."

How's THAT for blessed assurance?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ohmygosh ... It's Happening Again!!!

After Federer defeated Tipsarevic at 10-8 in a 5th set of an afternoon match, causing the evening matches to be delayed several hours ...

it's a tie-break in the 4th set of the Hewitt-Baghdatis match started just before midnight last night ... continuing well into the wee hours of the morning. If Hewitt wins, the match is over ... but if Baghdatis wins they'll play a 5th set even though it's almost 4AM on Sunday in Australia. Of course, as with the matches I recorded while I slept and watched earlier today (and the ones I watched and wrote of yesterday) ... the world knew hours ago of their success (and failure). Yet ... as Einstein said, time is relative and in MY little corner of the world ... the outcome is up in the air still. Considering that it's only late Saturday afternoon here in Southern California as I type this make it all the more confusing.

I offer my sincere apologies to all who don't follow tennis, but 4 times a year I become a bit obsessed with the topic during the four major tournaments ... so please bear with me.

Click for all of the day's results and more.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Haiku Friday - Volume 6

Tennis on my mind.
Watching matches on TV
with the DVR.

Federer displayed
mastery by taking both
matches in straight sets.

Djokovic, Nadal,
Baghdatis, Nalbandian,
Blake and Hewitt too

still alive to play.
Spadea at thirty-three
captured the 5th set.

Williams sisters both
playing well right from the start.
Doubles matches too!

Young Australian gal
took Mauresmo out in three
sets. Who would have guessed?

Davenport returned
looking good but out because
Sharapova won.

Nieminen and Fish
battled on the tennis courts
until Fish got mad

after a strange call
losing concentration he
gave away the match.

Played last night, they're done
but exciting all the same,
knowing not who won.

Roddick and his foe
Kohlschrieber surprised us all
winning the first set.

Andy's way too far
back to play aggressively.
YEA! He's broken back!

Set apiece, it's now
best of three to move ahead.
I shall stop and watch!

* * * * * * *

5:25 PM addendum

Most exciting match
perfect in so many ways,
each played at the top

of his game throughout
numbers were spectacular
winners all around!

Yet, I'm feeling sad.
Andy Roddick "blinked" and so
Kohlschrieber moves on.


Haiku Friday Volume 5 is at Small Reflections.


For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story.

To see my previous Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Living Fully With Awareness and Enthusiasm



The final card in the box of Zen cards
reminds me to:

EXPERIENCE
all things with the
ENTHUSIASM of a child,
as if you were seeing it for
the FIRST time.
This is the Zen mind,
always new,
always aware,
always that of a beginner.
Daniel Levin

Thought for Today
"Life is not what you did, it's what you are doing."
Jim Burns

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

(Anything but...) Wordless Wednesday


If you've here for Wordless Wednesday, consider yourself fore-warned. Lots of words follow this photograph of the lovely deep red rose from my yard, though there won't be more new ones (flowers that is) for a while because I've cut the bushes back as we're supposed to at this time of year. I do have other recent "rose" photos I can pull out of my files if needed.


The 1st time I quoted the Daily OM at Small Reflections, I had serious questions about the message. Today, however, I'm impressed with the message from yesterday (that I discovered and read a day late this morning) on Miracles and "Joy" ... both subjects near and dear to my heart and way of being in the world these days. Lest you missed them, I share the following here.

(from January 15, 2008)
Miracles In Every Day
Joy Always

It is the everyday aspects of our lives that bring us the most joy, even if at first it may seem natural to expect our feelings of happiness to come from the larger events in our lives. By noticing how small things can fill our days with delight, we are more likely to experience the wonder of living. Once we take the time to look around and witness the beauty, kindness, and laughter that envelop us, what may seem like the ordinariness of the everyday becomes filled with the extraordinary detail of each individual moment. If we bring this sense of awareness to our lives for even a few minutes each day, we will begin to see how just blessed we truly are.

Beholding the joy that surrounds us may initially seem easy, but for some it can take a conscious effort to make it a part of a daily routine. When you awake in the morning and set the intention to notice more joy in the world, watch how your day and, eventually, your life is filled with more joy. The more we do this the more apt we will be to notice the sounds of children laughing or the sparkle of dewdrops on a flower petal. Allow this joy to fill your heart fully, and from there it will naturally expand to your entire body and then spread to others, giving them joy as well.

Taking in the small joys of each day expands our feeling of being connected with the world, especially once we become more attuned to them. With each passing day, we will find that these small delights, which bring a deeper level of appreciation for everything the universe has given to our lives, are miracles.

What do you think?

In light of my recent posts about Everyday Kindness, I'd love to know your response to this Daily OM message. I've long been a student of A COURSE IN MIRACLES since I discovered the work originally in 1989. Back then the material wasn't commonly available and I searched unsuccessfully for months before ordering the material online, but more recently I've seen the work for sale at Costco ... so it must be more "mainstream" today.

So ... I'm curious.

Just what DO you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday's Tomfoolery

After composing the Small is Beautiful Top 7 of '07 Review (that took more time than I expected so I didn't get to visit many blogs today) and posting it at Small Reflections this morning, exercising Molly, and watching the Australian Open this afternoon ... I've come up short of inspiration as I sit down to write this post. Therefore, I've pulled out a few Blogthings ... so you can play along if you wish, or not. First, the Sesame Street Personality Quiz.

You Are Elmo

Sweet and innocent, you expect everyone to adore you. And they usually do!

You are usually feeling: Talkative. You've got tons of stories to tell. And when you aren't talking, you're laughing.

You are famous for: Being popular, though no one knows why. Middle aged women especially like you.

How you life your life: With an open heart. "Elmo loves you!"

Hmmm ... I suppose that "fits" as well as any. Big Bird was always my favorite character, but I admired Ernie and found "the cookie monster" endearing.

Carla and Lucy both had "Who's your Inner Rock Chick?" on on their blogs recently.

You Are Sheryl Crow!

Down to earth with tons of creative energy
When you talk, everyone can relate to you
"Life springs eternal
On a gaudy neon street
Not that I care at all"

The sad thing is, I don't know who many of these "rock stars" are, but I do know of Sheryl Crow ... so that "fits" too. Typing that here, I'm reminded that I took the How Indie Are You? Quiz at Claire's and didn't know what THAT was either. Fortunately she sent me a Wickipedia reference that explained the term to me, so now I'm better informed.

And finally ... How Good Is Your Karma?

You Have Fantastic Karma

You are a kind, sensitive, and giving person.
And all your good deeds will pay off - if they haven't already.
But you're not so concerned with what you get in return anyway.
You have an innate caring nature - and nothing can change that!
How's Your Karma?

Thought for Today: Wisdom
"Treat everyone and everything with loving compassion. When you see no difference between the sacred and the profane, the saint or the sinner, that is the ultimate wisdom. Daniel Levin

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Musings



It's been a delightful day! After using my early morning time to check email, respond to blog comments, visit a few blogs, play with Molly, and leave a brief post at Small Reflections ...
I had a pleasant lunch with my "happily retired" teacher friends and then ran errands on the way home before taking Molly for an afternoon walk. As I sat down to write this post a few minutes ago, my sister called from the road ... and I just got off the phone after learning all about about what they've been doing the last couple of days and what they plan to do next. They're having a wonderful time ... currently on the coast of Georgia south of Jekyll Island in St. Mary's or Cumberland ... headed for Jacksonville Florida tomorrow.

I'm about to fix dinner then watch TENNIS! It's the Australian Open. I recorded the afternoon matches while I was out running errands and walking Molly. In a few minutes ... the evening broadcast session begins. My brother gave me a racket and taught me the game when I was 11 or 12. I played tennis throughout college competitively, then for fun and exercise for decades. I don't play any longer, but I do love to watch the four major tournaments each year.

Before I turn off my computer for the evening (if you have the time and inclination), I'd like to recommend that you visit Peajay's blog and read her latest two posts. One is Children's Views of Angels, and the second a story entitled, "I Wish You Enough" ... both excellent.

Food for Thought
"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep."
Rumi

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Kindness and Inspiration

This morning, after adding a new link to a 2nd "kindness" resource in yesterday's post on De-lurking and Everyday Kindness, I found myself searching Google to see if there were references to the Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty project from a few years back. I found many and wrote about them at Small Reflections this morning here. As I composed that post, I found myself thinking of a PBS program I watched some ago with Wayne Dyer ... and blogged about briefly here, sharing these two quotes:

"The morning breeze has secrets to tell you.
Do not go back to sleep."
---Rumi

"The memory of God comes to the quiet mind."
A COURSE IN MIRACLES

I awaken early and always have, driving my parents crazy until they hit on the solution of giving me a flashlight and telling me I could read "under the covers" as long as I didn't awaken my sister or them. I've never understood how people can sleep in late, and when I listened to Wayne Dyer discuss his view of this Rumi quote ... sharing how he noticed himself awakening at 3:13 briefly each morning and eventually training himself to put his feet on the floor as a means to stay awake and listen ... I couldn't help but wonder. If we each listened upon waking to the "secrets" whispered to us and trusted ourselves enough to take action, I wonder how many of the problems in our world today might be resolved.

While searching for the post about Dyer's talk this morning, I revisited a few more of my earlier posts with timely and inspirational messages and I've decided to highlight them here, since I didn't have many readers back then so they might be new to you.

On 12-28-07 I shared a couple of personal stories about "gratitude" prompted by a video link from Simple Truths.
On 11-27-07 I passed along a Cherokee "teaching " story I found at Peajay's blog.
On 11-12-07 I referenced the incredible story of Patrick Henry Hughes and his amazing dad in Living on Purpose
.
On 10-31-07 I share links to two inspiring stories of people dealing with life-threatening illnesses, but using the experience to enrich us all ... Randy Pausch and Lisa Kerr. Reminding us that life is a terminal condition for everyone, Randy said,

"We can't control the cards we're dealt.
We can only play the hand we're holding."


So ... How about it?
A penny for your thoughts!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Penny for Your Comments and Everyday Kindness



If you read this blog
I hope that you're commenting.
If you're not, please do.

Sharing what you think
keeps me writing when I might
slack off for a day.

Finding what you write
in the morning when I check
e-mail makes me smile.

I will do my best
to respond to everyone
as soon as I can.

If you check the box
to receive the follow up
comments , you'll receive ...

Email every time
I sit down to answer you.
Hopefully, you'll smile.


If the rest of this post looks familiar, you must be reading Small Reflections ... and for that I am grateful. Because I've added the Everyday Kindness logo to this blog (and haven't yet figured out how to make the whole thing fit just yet*), I decided to share the following information here as well. If you've seen it already, feel free to jump right to comments and share your thoughts before moving on. *Falling asleep last night, it occured to me HOW to change the size and make it fit ... and now I have. I love learning new things!!!


While meandering through the Blogosphere visiting T-13ers on Thursday, I happened upon this Everyday Kindness logo near the end of a excellent illustrated list entitled 13 Rules for Living. After leaving a comment about the post, I clicked on the logo itself and discovered an invitation to join Claudia in making kindness a commitment during 2008. I was sipping coffee from a favorite mug at the time inscribed with the words, "Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" ... a campaign of a few years back that shifted my awareness at the time. The basic idea was to smile (and perhaps even say hello) to people you encountered, do an unexpected (and perhaps anonymous) thing for someone (whether or not you knew them) like put a quarter in the parking meter when you notice it's expired (especially if you see someone writing tickets approaching). What I remember most about adopting the practice myself at the time was how happy I felt after taking such action.

Since I subscribe to the belief that "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous," I left a comment indicating my interest ... saved the image on my computer to add to my sidebar later ... and made a note to post about it when time permitted, all the while smiling to myself and thinking what an excellent idea this is to share. So ... I'm offering a bit of link-love and some encouragement to anyone who might want to adopt the practice and spread the word.

Sunday morning addendum:
In addition to figuring out how to make the Everyday Kindness logo smaller to fit in my sidebar, I remembered adding another "kindness" reminder to my sidebar when I first started my blogs. It's way down near the bottom and looks like this, and when you click on the purple button ... it takes you to a brief video clip worth watching. Maybe you have time today?


Thought or today

"We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give."

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Haiku Friday - Volume 4 (A Second Hybrid Meme?)


This one Mom of 3
told her was for seven weird
things about ourselves.

I do love giraffes.
In my house they're everywhere
just collecting dust.

Writing all my life
often quite poetically
only for myself.

Clutter everywhere
anything that can be read ...
Time for me to clean.

I don't watch TV
as a rule unless I'm sick
then sometimes I will.

Gardening is fun.
Pulling weeds I meditate
letting go of thought.

Walking at the beach
Molly at my side we meet
new friends all the time.

Anyone can see
laughter is a favorite
happening for me.

Now that I have shared
all of this about myself,
who is next to play?

Here's the challenge, if you dare to accept.
If Haiku is not your thing, choose another poetic form and share
7 Weird Things About Yourself
poetically, linking to this post.
Do it ANY day of the week! Have fun as you play with language and see what happens. Even if you've done this meme before as I have here, it'll be fun to learn more about one another by playing again with a twist. Hmmmmm ... I didn't look until now, but some of the same things there are on this list too.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Five Really Good Things

At zena musings, Carla posted her most recent list of 5 Really Good Things from last week at the request of her friend Liz and invited others to do the same. Since it's been a while since I've done this thing here and here, I thought I'd use this topic for today's post.


1. Listening to the sound of rain on my skylights (and the rooftop) as I fell asleep under my "toasty" new comforter during the recent rain, and seeing the dramatic skies as the storms moved on.



2. Learning how to do new things with my Blogs, experimenting with projects like:
--Blog 365
--Creative Everyday
--Wordless Wednesday
--Haiku Friday (creating a Hybrid Haiku meme and a reflective Haiku)
(meeting new virtual friends in the process), and sharing more of my authentic voice in my writing.


3. Walking barefoot on the beach while Molly ran and played with the other dogs in and out of the surf.



4. Sharing a delicious vegetarian omelet and "Hobo" potatoes with my friend Carol, then visiting back at my house for a few hours, catching up with one another. Connecting with my sister by cell phone and learning she & her husband had their picture taken with Jimmy and Roselyn Carter after church in Plains, Georgia. Seriously!


5. Sunsets like this one and the ones in my Wordless Wednesday #4 post this week. I am so blessed to live the simple life I lead as a happily retired educator.


Thought for today:

"Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow." Douglas Pagels

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #4 - Sunset at Home

Sunset from my front yard
at the Beach in Southern California





Wordless Wednesday #3 is at Small Reflections
(It's incorrectly labeled, less dramatic, more mundane
and a bit wordy ... but informative.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Three Quizzes - Do you dare share?


I enjoyed a long visit with my friend Carol today, and as a result ... my brain is tired tonight (actually it's mush). Grandy had a Blogthing at Functiontional Shmunctional about what kind of dessert are you and I ended up cheesecake (a personal favorite actually) and now I want some! While I was at the Blogthing site, I noticed these three Quizzes ... getting these results ... none of which surprise me. Now I offer you the opportunity to dare and share (but only if you have the time and inclination).

You Are 82% Creative

You are an incredibly creative person. For you, there are no bounds or limits to your creativity.
Your next creation could be something very great... Or at least very cool!
Your Intrapersonal Intelligence Score: 96%

Your Intrapersonal Intelligence is Very High

You've spent a lot of time introspecting, and it's really paid off.
You are comfortable with who you are, and you have a life philosophy that you are happy to live by.
And you're always re-evaluating what you believe. Because you learn something new about yourself each day!


Your Interpersonal Intelligence Score: 77%

Your Interpersonal Intelligence is High

You are definitely a "people person." You enjoy spending time with others.
You instinctively understand people, and you are both a good counselor and mediator.
However, there are definitely times when you've had enough. And that's when you cherish being alone.
How Does Your Interpersonal Intelligence Rate?


So ... I'm quite creative, extremely self-aware, and kind of social.
That fits!
Time to share, if you dare :--)



Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday Musings


I've been thinking of my mom today as I've done several loads of laundry and a few other chores around the house. Having neglected these tasks in favor of blogging lately, I'm feeling a wee bit guilty though I often choose to release worry and guilt these days (after cultivating this new habit over time) so I'm not likely to lose any sleep over it. I've enjoyed learning to do new things, meeting new people through their blogs, experimenting with sharing previous writings from my journals, discovering comments, and responding from the heart. Some days I spend more time at the computer than I'd care to admit. My life is so much easier than hers. She never worked outside the home because my Dad didn't want her too, and she did have three kids to raise once I appeared on the scene.

Mom always did laundry on Mondays, and we kids would help her hang the clothes on the outdoor lines to dry. Rainy Mondays always threw her off because she had specific days to do different tasks. Tuesday was for ironing, but I don't recall which specific tasks she assigned to other days. She cleaned, baked, mended, sewed our clothes, darned socks, cooked meals, and volunteered at our schools & at church. We'd sit on the back porch together to shell peas, but Mom didn't let either my sister nor I help with cooking. We did take turns drying the dishes after dinner as she washed them carefully ... never trusting us with that task either. Occasionally she visited over the fence with neighbors, but for the most part was busy all the time taking care of the family.

My mother loved to play the old upright piano in our living room, and we often gathered around to listen and/or sing along. Later in life after all 3 of us kids were married and my had Dad died, she purchased a new piano and and large organ with multiple keyboards, stops, and foot pedals ... setting them up like Liberace and Corla Panda at right angles to one another so she could play each simply by turning on the stool. She watched them faithfully on television when we were kids, and took lessons as a senior citizen ... acquiring new skills with regular practice.

Possibly the time I'm spending at my computer is similar to the time Mom devoted to mastering musical skill, once she had the time to pursue that interest for pleasure. I suspect she'd wholeheartedly approve of me sharing my writing on these two blogs as she shared her music joyfully.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Remembering Taos


Entries from my journal

8-1-07 Wednesday's extended 3 hour writing time
9:15am - I'm listening to classical music as I would at home (with shoes off and water nearby) in the comfy chair I first sat and wrote in upon my arrival a day early on Friday ... which seems like more than just four days ago. Nearby, I have my notes from Suzanne's brief "writing set" for today shared a half hour ago in the dining room after a delicious breakfast and of course all my notes from the sessions and councils to keep me centered and focused.

This morning's meditative walk at 7am was as delicious as the meals and inspiring as the interactions with other writers here this week. I took many pictures ... so many that the memory card is full. I've exchanged it for an empty one, and I've taken some candid shots in the past half hour of writers at work on the way back to my room to retrieve my writing supplies and handy canvas bag I purchased in Red River on the Enchanted Circle Drive just before the retreat began.

Leaving Mabel Dodge Luhan grounds

Suzanne set a swift pace.

Colorful commemorative
floral displays along the roadside


and at grave sites in this cemetery.

A first glimpse of our destination.

Standing in this sacred place,
I noticed stones placed by previous visitors
perhaps in remembrance as some would light candles.

Returning, I focused on a series of
stone crosses along the path like this one.

What a glorious morning
and beautiful morning walk!

The textures of this fence

and this stone wall

(from another perspective)

the beautiful trees overhanging the road

unique homes

and this fence
each drew my camera.

Today's thought in the Big Room says "Give 'til it feels good" ... and I realize the photos I'm talking will make a wonderful email gift to everyone once I return home. I hope others will share their photos also.

I want to remember L's feedback on my photography ... and savor her invitation to take a "photo trip" together some time. She liked "the flow of the way I shoot pictures" ... saying it was similar to her own process. I am grateful. I feel authentically valued because I've seen her pictures and they're AMAZING! I don't believe I'm in her league -- but I'm flattered all the same and trying to let those feelings in and savor them.

Later after creating a few graphic pieces I continue:
I'm grateful for the comfortable chair and the inspirational music, though I miss writing outdoors. It's so beautiful and peaceful here. I'm wishing I had eaten less and hoping the feeling of fullness will pass quickly. Interestingly, my heart feels full also, and I'm grateful for this longer expanse of writing time this morning ... though I'm not sure where it will take me.

"Nothing forced ... nothing held back" ... allowing what comes to show up and surprise me. These feel like blessings too.

The soft chair and gentle music complement the warm roughly hewn spiral wooden column in front of me supporting the wooden beam of the ceiling. The odd shaped doorways, small and low enough to make me bow as I pass through them, add to the ambiance.

11:28am - I've returned to my journal after creating a few more "graphic free-writes" in my sketchbook, and am looking again at the opening pages of this journal ... written back in April.

Distracted by the delicious smells of baking fill the room, tantalizingly ... I'm reminded of the earlier startling smell of smoke coming from M as she took a cigarette break outside in the courtyard about a half hour ago ... and that bringing up vivid memories of life with G all those years ago. I don't understand why people smoke and probably never will, though as I write this I remember S once shared it as "the ultimate act of intimacy with himself" going on to explain the total self-absorption smoking generates ... but I don't choose to dwell on that now.

Choosing to shift gears ...
What keeps me from writing and submitting stories to Guideposts, Readers Digest, the Chicken Soup series and the like?

Excellent question V. What are you waiting for?

Wait -- I asked first! Isn't this cheating to take advantage of me in this manner?

By what rules?

I feel sleepy.

Avoidance?

Maybe, although it's possible I'm actually weary from the late hour of evening sessions, the intensity of morning and afternoon sessions, the wonderful interactions with others, my early rising (as always around 3 or 4 am) seriously cutting into sleep time, writing so long this morning ... especially since I walked yesterday for more the 5 hours and again this morning AND I ate a bit too much at breakfast.

Excuses?

If you think so. Well, I do have doubts that anyone would be interested enough to read what I write.

Self doubt limits you and robs everyone else.

11:45am
C just passed through and invited me to join her and Suzanne in the pergola at noon for a reading. I think I'll go because I'm anything but hungry.

Looking out the window, I notice many butterflies flitting from flower to flower ... and it occurs to me that in addition to suggesting TRANSFORMATION, butterflies mimic or MIRROR my distractibility and varied interests. Choosing that symbol for my "no nametag" introduction here may have multiple implications for me to think about.

I can't help but laugh. This afternoon's session is about "Coming Out Of Hiding" ... how perfect!