"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,

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Motivator #9 and more ...

""The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists." ~William J. Clinton, 1997

Have you created YOUR Peace Globe yet?
As Mimi Lenox says ... "If words are powerful ... then this matters." Clicking on the logo above (or at the top of my sidebar) will take you to information about how to get YOUR Peace Globe to decorate & share between now and November 6th in the 5th Launch of Dona Nobis Pacem. We're counting down ...

My new Peace Globes for November's Blog Blast post (#4, 5, & 6) are in my sidebar at Small Reflections along with my first two (previously published in June) and I've sent them to Mimi to publish as well. If you need help adding 'text' to the graphics available from Mimi's blog, I'm willing to assist as time permits. I invite everyone to participate and to visit others too. If you'd like to see 'previous Globes created by others' visit the Peace Globe Gallery by clicking the logo below. My June Blog Blasts for Peace are here and here.

Click for a link to ...
Find more details by clicking this logo ...
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

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunrise-Sunset#4 - BYBS#20 - Sacred Life Sunday

Sunset ... from my front yard
"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
Cherokee Indian Proverb

I was saddened yesterday to learn of the death of Paul Newman, something I mentioned briefly in yesterday's post at Small Reflections. According to Robert Forrester, Vice-Chairman of Newman's Own Foundation ...

"Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one's life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance."
This morning's Daily OM message for Pisces is entitled Cherish the Unexpected and reads as follows:

"You may have to call upon your ability to adapt to ever-changing situations today. Being flexible and spontaneous in your plans might make it easier for you to go with the flow and get full satisfaction from your experiences. If your plans should change at any time today, instead of being disappointed you might want to look at these alterations as chances to explore or discover some new aspect of yourself and your life. Learning to be open to the variety of scenarios that life presents can help you be present in every moment as opposed to ruing the past or worrying about the future. Asking yourself what new things you can learn from being patient with everything life throws your way could make these new and exciting experiences more precious and dear to you.

Going with, instead of against, life’s plan for us enables us to encounter new challenges that compel us to grow in exhilarating ways. The more open we are to the unexpected, the more of life’s treasures we will find. Having room in our plans for last-minute changes means that we value and accept the fact that not everything in life goes as planned and that it is more important to live in the moment and not in our heads—because that’s where we are when we want everything to go our way. By adapting to each situation today, you will be able to cherish every experience as it happens."
Exhaling & feeling grateful for this reminder ... I find myself remembering unexpected circumstances in my own life ... where 'going with, instead of against, life's plan' proved difficult for me until I learned (through repeated experience) the amazing lesson of 'rowing my boat, gently (and merrily) down the stream' ... looking for & counting the many blessings born of 'unexpected turns' in my own life no matter what challenges arose.

Doing what I can with what I have where I am in the best way possible while remaining peace-filled became my walking mantra. As Don Miguel Ruiz tells us in THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, our 'best will vary on any given day' ... so I remind myself regularly to surrender 'worry & guilt' whenever they arise, realizing they serve no useful purpose and tend to drain my energy levels when unchecked. I recognize that my challenges pale in the face of those faced by others ... and I'm humbled as I realize ... there but for fortune, go I.

Recently I learned about the
amazing story of 'Monica' ... a 'Warrior Mom' ... on a recent Oprah Show featuring Jenny McCarthy, author of Mother Warriors and Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. After giving birth to her 2nd daughter, Monica was diagnosed with 'a deadly strain of bacteria ... necrotizing fascitis' (a flesh-eating bacteria) ... which caused doctors to remove her uterus, ovaries, gallbladder and part of her colon immediately ... and eventually to amputate both arms & legs to save her life. In all, there were 37 surgeries and 2 months of 'grueling rehabilitation' before she could return home ... and she spent much of the following year learning to do daily activities again. Apparently there are more surgeries ahead, but Monica says,

"I've come to the realization that things are as they are, and you have to move forward. Life goes on," she says. "There's no sense dwelling on it—that just hurts too much and you don't live your life the way you want to. And with a wonderful husband and two great girls, life is fun."
This morning I feel inspired by Monica ... Jenny ... and all those who choose to respond to overwhelming challenges with such courage and determination. Blessed Be ... and so it is.

For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the logo
at the top of this post.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Thought for Today
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. ~Babatunde Olatunji

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PhotoHunt#23 - Multiple Views ...

Note: If you're looking for Sky Watch #13 or Haiku Friday #76 ... you'll find them below this post. Camera Critters, Smiley Saturday, and Haiku Friday #77 are at Small Reflections.

This is my 23rd
Did anyone else think of this initially?
From Wikipedia: The original panel of The View; Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters in 1997.
I'm just wondering ...

Do you see and old or young woman?

Click for others participating in Photo Hunt this week.

For more 'conventional' views ... I shared TWO LOCAL Southern California 'beach neighborhood' VIEWS in my Sky Watch/Haiku Friday post yesterday ... and my WW#49 contains a spectacular VIEW of Jackson Lake at Sunrise ... with 9 labeled Photoshop Elements 'variations' too. So much for planning ahead ... sigh!

Thought for Today

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning." Ivy Baker Priest

Friday, September 26, 2008

SkyWatch#13 - HF#76 Two local sky views ...

Above is my view
when I look toward the beach.
Below another

view when I look up ...
sitting on my patio
on a sunny day.
Note: As always, clicking on the images will 'biggify' them for better viewing.
For others participating in Haiku Friday this week go to A Mommy Story. To see my previous Haikus, click on the Haiku Friday label below this post or in the sidebar.

Thought for Today
"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WW#49 - PSE6 Filter Experiments ... yet again

Experimenting again with possibilities ... just because.
First is the 'original' photo (shared by our instructor) beautiful 'as is' ... but I'm trying to develop a 'sense' of what each kind of filter does. Then I share here 9 'labeled' variations and welcome whatever reactions & feedback visitors might care to share and/or information visitors (who know more than me about such things) might offer in hopes of learning more about such things.

Jackson Lake at Sunrise
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Glowing Edges - 31% opacity
Torn Edges - 29% opacity
Photocopy - 30% opacity
Bas Relief 34%
Pointillize - 35%
Smudge Stick
Film Grain
Neon Glow
So ... what do you think?

Thought for Today
"Beauty comes as much from the mind as from the eye."
Grey Livingston

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Motivator #8

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. ~George Bernard Shaw

Karen Maezen Miller (aka Momma Zen) shared her experience in a daylong meditation retreat (with a group of beginning students) called zazenkai in her post at Cheerio Road last night. She writes:

"During one of these retreats we don't do anything except keep company with ourselves. We're not putting blinders on. We're not imagining some future perfect world. We're not sitting in caves. We see the world sinking into insanity; we see the chaos; we feel the fear and disappointment in our own lives and surrounding us. We just practice keeping company with it, for a change. We practice staying put, for a change. We practice noticing our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, for a change, instead of just impulsively clicking a button to feed the ravenous demons of distraction. This takes utmost courage, perhaps the only courage there really is. The courage to face forward and see how things go."
I share these links here
to remind myself & others

... just because.
Thought for Today
"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." ~Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, September 21, 2008

SunriseSunset #3 and BYBS #19 - Solitude

One more variation of last week's Sunset ...
altered in PSE6 with 'Neon Glow Edges'
Click for others participating in Sunrise-Sunset this week.

"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements." ~Henry David Thoreau

I've struggled with myself this week to remain 'calm & centered' in the face of the 'chaotic times' in our world ... shared a bit of my process in Haiku Friday #75 ... and some things of a lighter nature in Smiley Saturday #20. This morning as I gather my thoughts to Blog My Blessings and share My Sacred Life, I find myself thinking of the differences between 'loneliness & solitude' ...

"Language... has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone."
Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now
the value of 'stillness & reflection' ... and the necessary balance of companionship with others actually 'engaged with' one another, not simply sharing the same space while doing separate things.

"Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society, each of us needs to understand himself and understand others, take care of others and be taken care of himself." ~Haniel Long, poet
I'm grateful for ... those who walk ahead of me (leaving a path to point the way & guide my feet) and those alongside (offering companionship & support on the journey). I pray that those who follow will find their way ... leaving clues behind as they travel their own path. I know we are all in this together. I pray we each remember ...

"Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the logo
at the top of this post.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
I created a few new graphics ... shared two versions of one at Small Reflections this morning and two versions of another here. I'm curious what you think of them & why. You're welcome to snag & share with others if you leave me feedback ... just because.

11:37am Addendum - I just learned that today is an International Day of Peace ... and thought I'd pass that information along ... just because. Apparently it was "... established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first peace Day was celebrated in September of 1982. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace" ... where (according to the background shared at the website), it was suggested that:

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."
Click on the logo to learn more.

Thought for Today

"We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude." ~Helen Hayes

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Photo Hunt #22 - Dirt Road (with 4 PSE6 variations)

Note: If you're looking for Sky Watch #12 or Haiku Friday #74 ... you'll find them below this post. Haiku Friday #75 is at Small Reflections.
This is my 22nd 'Original' Road
as taken one morning near
Taos, New Mexico
... altered 4 ways with Photoshop Elements 6 using
Normal Color Dodge'
'Stylize Solarize - Normal Screen'
'Stylize Glowing Edges'
Click for others participating in Photo Hunt this week.

Thought for Today
"I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand." ~Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, September 19, 2008

SkyWatch#12 - Haiku Friday #74

These 4 photographs
taken last December ... have
been cropped and 'collaged' ...

My unsteady hands
created a bit of blur ...
within 'rainbow' streaks

Cropping images
allows for a more 'precise'
product in the end.

Note: As always, clicking on the images will 'biggify' them for better viewing.
For others participating in Haiku Friday this week go to A Mommy Story. To see my previous Haikus, click on the Haiku Friday label below this post or in the sidebar.

Thought for Today
"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it." Patrick Young

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday #48

Experimenting again ... (this time with 'grids' in PSE6) ...
using beautiful nature photos from Flickzzz.
Click for others participating in Wordless Wednesday.

I'm feeling a bit foolish to realize it's taken me all this time to discover this practical feature in Photoshop Elements ... but now that I have found it, I've experimented with 'cropping' to make things 'fit' specific spaces (rather than 'eyeballing' things) as well. Finally, I used 'stroke outline' to add a more professional look. I shared another collage at Small Reflections today (and shared a variety of awards) in my Whimsical Wednesday post.
So ... what do you think?

Thought for Today
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, September 15, 2008

(Belated) BYBS#18 and Monday Motivator#7 too ...

Monday Motivator #7
Trust your own instinct.
Your mistakes might as well be your own,
instead of someone else's
" ~Billy Wilder

I fully intended to Blog my Blessings early Sunday morning. In fact, promised to do so in my 'Unconscious Mutterings & More' post ... created & published shortly after sharing Sunrise-Sunset #2 on this blog . I thought I might add them to my Sunrise-Sunset post as I did last week, but that just didn't work out for me. My grandmother and father reminded me often that 'good intentions pave the road to hell' ... but this day has been a challenging one for a variety of reasons.
I apologize to PERBS (who came looking for this post yesterday).
I appreciate the comment she left on yesterday's post to let me know she'd dropped by and fully intend to check out her BYBS & other posts (as I normally do) as soon as time permits ... perhaps later today if all goes well.

After 'muttering unconsciously' at Small Reflections ... I went on in that post to write:
"I haven't slept well the last few days ... had a nasty headache and feel 'marginal' this weekend, as if I might be coming down with something," then went on to write about some 'free-floating anxiety' I'm feeling around 'real issues over which I have no control." Then I let my fingers share thoughts rushing around in my mind a bit ... and ended with a 'link' to Mimi Lenox's Blog Blasts for Peace & some 'peace-thoughts' ... took Molly for a walk. When I returned & sat down at my desk, I discovered my computer was running a 'disk check' yielded a message telling me that some programs had been disabled.

I may have mentioned previously that my new Dell laptop has been 'crashing' periodically ... and when the 'dreaded blue screen with the dire message appeared yet again' ... I stopped everything and called Dell Tech Support. Interestingly, there was no long wait 'on hold' for a technician ... a fellow (with a difficult to pronounce name but told me to cal him Mark) came on the line within a couple of minutes to 'assess' my problem ... asked permission to 'take control of my computer remotely' ... and since it wasn't letting me do much of anything (neither Mozilla nor Word would load), I said okay (even though my previous experience with 'Paul' on my old laptop came to mind immediately).

'Mark' concluded I must have a virus and proceeded to tell me that he could 'take care of this' for me if I'd sign a contract and pay $239 which would cover 4 'major' incidents in the period of one year and unlimited 'minor' ones. In the more than 7 years I've owned Dell computers and called for assistance, no one has ever told me such a thing ... and being the conservatively 'mindful' consumer I am I had many questions. When he was unable to answer them to my satisfaction, I spoke with a 'supervisor' ... but it seemed they were both speaking from the same script. Eventually, they HEARD the message that I wasn't buying ANYTHING until I'd explored other options ... control of my computer was returned to me ... and the call ended. Apparently there's an email in my MSN box I can reply to should I change my mind.

Interestingly, the new Dell 'worked' after the call ... and although I got more 'error' messages periodically throughout the day, I was able to visit some blogs and respond to emails ... and for this I'm grateful ... especially because what follows is my (very timely) Daily OM 'Pisces' message:

"You may find that a resistance to accepting other people’s suggestions may make it difficult to make changes in your life today. It might be that you feel the need to protect your own interests, and you might feel the desire to control various situations as a result. Perhaps you could consider working on loosening your need to be in charge of things today. This would be a good time to learn how to be open to new thoughts and ideas. You may find that you will gain a greater sense of security over your responsibilities when you allow yourself to listen to other people’s suggestions. If you do feel your need to direct others arise, simply remind yourself that no matter how much you resist, change will occur with or without your input.

Making an effort to be responsive to at least one new idea helps us relinquish our need to feel control over a situation. Needing to be in charge often means that our fear of letting go overshadows everything else. Our feelings of power give us a false sense of security. We might think that things will remain constant, but change is the very essence of life. When we remember that the only thing we have control of is our minds, however, we become more open to the world around us. Change no longer scares us and we are able to feel our resistance to new ideas softening. By loosening your need for control today, you will set the necessary groundwork to transform your life."

I love serendipity! Clearly, I needed this reminder of things I know and write about often ... 'Change is the very essence of life ... the only thing we have control of is our minds ... we are able to feel your resistance softening ... by loosening the need for control ... and set the necessary groundwork to transform your life.' ... I opted to do just that ;--)

So ... although I started writing this post Sunday afternoon, when it didn't 'come together' I saved it to finish this morning (or dump ... depending). I'm grateful this Monday morning for many things ... and here are just a few:

1. I slept like a baby all through the night ... and awoke without a headache.

2. I followed through with my intention to meditate and write in my journal this morning before turning on the computer.

3. The Dell booted 'functionally' and everything seems to be working even though it gave me a series of error messages when I shut it down yesterday evening.

4. I'm taking things at my own pace ... in my own way today ... and methinks that's a good thing!

For others who 'Blog Their Blessings'
go to My Blog Rolls and/or click on the logo
at the top of this post.
For those who participate in Sacred Life Sunday
click the logo below:
Thought for Today
"I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. "
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunrise Sunset #2 - Filtered Variations

Sunset from the deck above my garage
... as originally photographed but with wires removed.
You can click for 'similar' view shared previously ' as photographed with wires' and/or click on images themselves to 'embiggen' for a better view.With 'paint daubs'
With 'brush accented edges'
With 'film grain' filter
With 'orange neon edges'
Thought for Today
"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." Arthur Schopenhauer