Wasteland

“I thought of the wilderness we had left behind us, open to sea and sky, joyous in its plenitude and simplicity, perfect yet vulnerable, unaware of what is coming, defended by nothing, guarded by no one.” ― Edward Abbey, Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside

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Living authentically exposes us to the wilds of our surroundings. It opens us to the adventures of life and subjects us to the endless joy and peace which is ours for the taking.

When we settle into ourselves we don’t ruminate over what has been or worry about what is coming. We find comfort in what is.

When we deal from a place of love we need not defend our actions nor guard our hearts. We need only be.

What appears to some as a wasteland is often life in simplicity. All that is needed is within and is provided. We need not look past ourselves, just within.

Possibility

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.” - John Sculley

FOT2284There is something magical about watching a baby delight in his wonderment. He will look at his hands and feet with amazement, almost as if he truly knows the miracles of his appendages and is dreaming about where these legs will take him and what his hands will touch. He approaches his world with hunger and curiosity. He is not afraid to reach out for what he wants. And once he grabs hold he isn’t quite sure how to let go.

Imagine our lives if we incorporated a few of these baby qualities back into our lives.

Imagine if we truly looked at life for the miracle it is.

Where have your legs taken you today? Did you use them to travel? Did you take a walk or run? Did you dance? Did you enjoy what your legs did for you today?

What are the textures your hands have touched? Did they feed you? Did they wipe the tears from your eyes or someone else’s? Did your fingers point the way for someone? Did your hand hold another?

Live life in childish wonderment. Study and ask questions about that in which you’re curious. Never stop learning.

Grab onto your dream and don’t let go.

Tree Therapy

I posted a bit of sea therapy a week or so ago, but those who know me know my heart resides in the mountains with a river running through it. While the sea soothes my soul, the joy can’t compete with those of trees. I seem to breathe them in from roots to sky. While the energy from the sea is strong and vast, the energy of the trees is grounded yet unlimited. Perhaps, I’ll just always be a country girl or a hippie-wanna-be; at any rate, enjoy the photos and quotes.

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.  ~Willa Cather, 1913

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. ~Willa Cather, 1913

I never saw a discontented tree.  They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.  They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!  ~John Muir

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far! ~John Muir

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants that grew together, roots entwined, and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth, since we are made of earth and rain.”  ― Pablo Neruda, Regalo De Un Poeta/ Gift Of A Poet

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.” ― Pablo Neruda, Regalo De Un Poeta/ Gift Of A Poet

Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other's company.  Only a few love to be alone.  ~Jens Jensen, Siftings, 1939

Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other’s company. Only a few love to be alone. ~Jens Jensen, Siftings, 1939

I hear the wind among the trees Playing the celestial symphonies; I see the branches downward bent, Like keys of some great instrument. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“And see the peaceful trees extend their myriad leaves in leisured dance—they bear the weight of sky and cloud upon the fountain of their veins.” ~Kathleen Raine, Envoi

“And see the peaceful trees extend their myriad leaves in leisured dance—they bear the weight of sky and cloud upon the fountain of their veins.” ~Kathleen Raine, Envoi

We all travel the milky way together, trees and men... trees are travellers, in the ordinary sense.  They make journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true:  but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings - many of them not so much.  ~John Muir, Scribner's Monthly, November 1878

We all travel the milky way together, trees and men… trees are travellers, in the ordinary sense. They make journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true: but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings – many of them not so much. ~John Muir, Scribner’s Monthly, November 1878

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ~Abraham Lincoln

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ~Abraham Lincoln

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness. ~Kahlil Gibran

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~Kahlil Gibran

 

 

 

 

Uncharted Territory

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~Andre Gide

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When we stumble upon things that make us think or people who inspire us, we delve into new prospects and in the process find parts of our hidden selves. How much knowledge, emotion, and opinion are held within our hearts and minds in which we aren’t even aware? Sometimes the strangest things trigger a flood within us, and in no time we are on a voyage.

Have you ever set out to do something or go somewhere and are pleasantly rerouted? Perhaps you even attempted to do something for someone else and found it was more for your benefit than theirs. That often happens in the essence of giving time and service.

This stumble or rerouting is much of how I came upon most of my creative venues. It’s also how I’ve found jobs and made many friends.

We inspire others as well. I enjoy making jewelry, but it leaves me with painful, swollen fingers so I rarely do it. Nor do I excel at it. However,  I posted some photos of my creations on my Facebook page. A long-ago friend contacted me with a ton of questions which I answered. Before long, she’d gotten in touch with beading communities, bought supplies, and she was off. She had a talent for jewelry making and launched a thriving business. It’s interesting how we are accidentally thrust into situation that move us forward or change the direction of our lives.

Have you ever been the catalyst to someone else’s success? Have you ever had someone else pave the way on a portion of your journey? Tell us the story of your once uncharted territory.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

Sea Therapy

 

Through the blackest night, morning gently tiptoes, feeling its way to dawn.  ~Robert Brault

Through the blackest night, morning gently tiptoes, feeling its way to dawn. ~Robert Brault

To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be. ~Rachel Carson

To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be. ~Rachel Carson

You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. ~Rabindranath Tagore

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. ~Rabindranath Tagore

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ~Jacques Yves Cousteau

"Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth." ~Heinrich Zimmer

“Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.” ~Heinrich Zimmer

 

At The Edge

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” ~Guillaume Apollinaire

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In this round world of ours we create edges of our own. There are borders we refuse to cross, branches we are afraid to climb, and rivers we only dare to swim. Yet, we think about doing these things.

Often it comes down to determination. It starts with intention and continues with commitment.

Have you ever read a five hundred page book? Chances are you didn’t do it in one sitting, but read a few chapters a day.  If you enjoyed it well enough to finish it, you were glad you put in the time.

Every day, people achieve what they presumed to be the impossible for them. People who are afraid of water might not jump right into swimming lessons, but start with getting their feet wet. Some who say they can’t run start out walking down the street and in time end up competing in marathons.

What is it you want to do? Lose weight? Learn to sew? Write a book? Play the piano? Sing? Paint? Take photographs? Take the first step today. Do it again tomorrow. Take it a step farther the day after that and so on. You can do whatever it is you want as long as you intend to do it.

Once we pass the edge, we usually find it wasn’t nearly as scary as we anticipated.

Take the plan out of your head, and put yourself physically into the plan.

“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.” ~ Diane Arbus

The Power Of Belief

Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy. ~ Brian Tracy

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Funny how most of us take criticism to heart while we barely acknowledge praise. We can have one person disapprove and ten who compliment our efforts. What words do we hang onto and replay? We begin to believe those words. We wear it around our necks until it becomes a part of us.

We are each gifted immeasurably, yet many of us lack the confidence to use these gifts.

There is power in belief. The thing to remember is we also have the power to tear apart those negative self-beliefs. We have a choice in what we believe. We can reinvent ourselves simply by changing our attitude about ourselves.

Don’t dismiss the tiny voice who says you can do it. Listen in the silence. Hear the universe cheering you on. Know God created you with love.

Believe in the beauty of authenticity.

Believe in your purpose.

Believe you are worthy.

Believe you are loved.

Believe in yourself.

Believe.

The Lost Art Of Waiting

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Not long ago I needed to fill my car up with gas. All the lines were backed up with at least three to five cars waiting. I pulled into the nearest line and waited my turn. As I got out to gas up I heard horns blasting and a ruckus behind me. Apparently the guy directly behind me cut off four cars to get his gas, and the other patrons were irate. The guy behind him told him he was rude and called him an idiot. However, a guy in the next isle taunted him with names and slurs the entire time I gassed up. My Subaru was empty while the Mercedes who’d cut the others off only needed a splash of gas. The problem for him was this is the type of station that once you reach the pumps you can’t pull around the person in front of you to leave…you must wait. I’m not sure what this guy accomplished other than causing more irritation to himself and others. While I admit, it was in bad taste for the one guy to ride him the whole time, it allowed Mercedes guy time to think about what he’d done. Did he feel a sense of entitlement that he shouldn’t have to wait his turn like the other patrons? Did he not realize he was cutting others off? I didn’t see the actual offense, but only heard about it in the aftermath of accusations. The Accused never offered an apology or excuse. He totally ignored the hecklings while he pumped his gas. Perhaps that was the smarter thing to do though it did not earn him any points with the offended.

I often wonder about people who zip by in traffic and end up waiting at the same stoplights as everyone else. Speeding doesn’t get them where they’re headed any quicker when you’re in a busy city. Perhaps patience, virtue that it is, has also become almost a lost art.

Technology has birthed a “me now” society. People want instant gratification. They want results without waiting. The courtesy of taking turns has blown out with the wind. I do realize there are still many courteous and patient people, but I see less and less evidence of it these days. I mostly hear people complaining about how long something takes rather than how much they enjoyed reading/conversing/resting while they waited.

I try to remember the old adages, “Good things come to those who wait” and “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”. I know when I get hasty or take shortcuts, not only do I make mistakes but I also miss out on living right then and there.

It seems to me I’ve become much more patient as I’ve gotten older. Perhaps it’s one of those life lessons, or maybe practice has paid off. Or maybe I just don’t feel as rushed as I did when I was trying to juggle, home, work, kids, marriage, and a social calendar all at once. How about you? Do you feel you are more or less patient than you once were? What do you think has attributed to the change?

Slow down. Look around. Listen. You never know what you’re missing if you don’t take the time to be aware of life around you.

When We Gather Together

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. ~Khalil Gibran

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Birds of a feather flock together.

As we begin our social lives we start in play groups and as we age we evolve into groups of the same intellectual standards, social issues, sports interests, and hobbies. We even group ourselves by political affiliation, financial status, occupations, and faith.

We depend on one another for company and support. We draw strength, inspiration, and knowledge from one another. We must never forget or underestimate the value of embracing the differences among us as well.

I have people I enjoy relating with about fiber projects, and others I bounce writing ideas and critiques with. Then I have those I can always depend on for a laugh and lift of spirit. And there are those who deeply know me and accept me just as I am. What a beautiful thing it is to have more than one flock in which to belong.

I enjoy my times of solitude, but I greatly enjoy my time with those whom I connect on many levels. Some, I feel are extensions of myself. If we must weather storms, who better to do it with than those of our own choosing.

Do you have a flock, several flocks, or do you prefer to always fly alone?

Here’s hoping you have a blessed weekend of love, connection, and familiarity.

Owning Up

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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Why is it so difficult for people to own their actions? A person who admits they’ve wronged another or made a mistake earns more respect than someone who points blame elsewhere.

The choices you make and the consequences that follow belong to you. When one continuously justifies their actions they will fail to clearly see their responsibility. In doing this they will continue the same path of behavior. When you stop making yourself a victim you will rise above the ashes.

Examine the situation. What can you learn from this? What part did you play in this? Did you provoke someone? Insult them? Did you take something that belonged to them? Did you invade their space? What is your relationship with said person? Do you have a long turbulent history with this person? Chances are slim that you are a random target.

Everyone has a dark side. Emotions often feed this part of us we fear or dislike. The bottom line is when we know the things we don’t like about ourselves it gives us the power to improve ourselves. It makes us more aware of the choices we make and the actions we take. We not only have the power to own our lives but we have the power to make the life we own as peaceful as we dare to be.

Peace cannot be found in the eye of the storm. When we change behaviors that no longer serve us we earn trust in our relationships.

Secure people own their actions. They learn from their mistakes. They conduct themselves in ways which enrich their relationships and end relationships that don’t serve conducive to peace and personal growth.

When you find yourself in unwanted drama, accept your position in it. Apologize for any wrongdoing or speak your peace. Let it go and move on. Until you let go, you will never move on. Until you move on, you will never find peace.