The Nature of Negative Emotions

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” ~Sophocles IMG_5725 Negativity gnaws at the spirit leaving the soul stripped and tangled. Our challenges become problems. We focus on what is wrong rather than solutions. Negativity obscures the benefits of learning and growing from overcoming obstacles. It is one thing to make this an internal choice, but quite another when we deliberately share this with the world. When pessimism spreads it is not good for anyone.

Opportunity hides in the solutions of negativity. When we rise above those low vibrations we find there are good things waiting for us.

Peace does not live in the midst of negative emotions. We have the power to live a positive life. Traveling the road of optimism leads to fulfillment. Living a contented life opens the doorway to lasting happiness.

Most of us know at least one person who thinks the world is out to get him…it seems nothing ever goes his way. Doesn’t being around those types of people weigh you down? The influence of a bad attitude can surely ruin a good mood. Try to avoid them. If you can’t, don’t allow them to suck you in.

Negative thoughts are ego based. The spirit offers affirmation you are enough just as you are. Spirit allows you to be you and to reach for your dreams. You will constantly battle with ego while you settle into the peace of spirit.

Protect yourself by allowing the negative forces to pass by.

Focus on the good things in life.

Be grateful for who you are and what you have.

Love greatly. Laugh often. Live your dreams.

“Be too large for worry; too noble for anger; too strong for fear and too content to permit the presence of trouble. Be so powerful that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.” ~The Optimist Creed

The Courage To Continue

suzicate:

On the eve of the 45th anniversary of Camille, I remember as many of my Nelson County friends and relatives.

Originally posted on The Water Witch's Daughter:

It was the night of August 19, 1969 and the early morning of August 20th that death and destruction intruded the land and lives of Nelson County, Virginia. Hurricane Camille came quickly, and it’s strength and greed took everything within it’s path. An excess of twenty-five inches of rain in a five hour period of time pounded the land and the hearts of it’s people. These are my people. The people I love and respect. These are people of courage. People of love. People of hope.

My husband's grandfather's house.

They clung to life through the night in tree branches and on rooftops swept into an uncontrollable surge of water . They called to family members separated by swift rapids until the only sounds left were one’s own heartbeat and the roar of the water. Daylight brought annihilation of life and land they had never encountered or envisioned in their lifetimes. The morning sun brought…

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The Beauty Of An Ordinary Day

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”  ― Charles de Lint

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There are days you stumble across extraordinary beauty. And then there are days you realize even the most ordinary is beautiful in its right. We walk in beauty daily, but often are too caught up in our thoughts to be aware.

The beauty of life shouldn’t have to be so overwhelming it has to catch our eye. When we sink ourselves into living we find it everywhere. Beauty doesn’t have to be seen. We can hear it in the nature’s melody. We can feel it in a touch, taste it in a home cooked meal, and smell it in the trees and flowers. Beauty is what pleases you. When you begin to see the ordinary in an extraordinary light it can take your breath away.

Today I invite you to experience life and beauty. Look around you. What do you see? Take a deep breath. Look again. Now, what do you see?

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Saint Mary’s Wilderness, Take Two

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. - Quoted from Muir Journals (undated fragment, c. 1871) by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945) page 144.

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The trail hugs and all but crumbles into the creek in some places so you have to cross the water several times. The water was much lower than when we hiked Saint Marys in 2011, just as gorgeous but thankfully, less eventful. (Click here for the version of Saint Marys, Take One) I’ve hiked many Virginia water trails, but this is the prettiest and most serene. The terrain is not like other local trails, but reminds me of the landscapes out West.

Whether walking the creek or trail, you are surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Whether walking the creek or trail, you are surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Trees cling to cliffs.

Trees cling to cliffs.

Life depends on the nooks and crannies of the rock for shelter.

Life depends on the nooks and crannies of the rock for shelter.

There are many caverns ard holes in the rocks.

There are many caverns are holes in the rocks.

Within view but off the trails are many screes (rock slides down the mountain).

Within view but off the trails are many screes (rock slides down the mountain).

There are many sets of falls along the route.

There are many sets of falls along the route.

This rock slide along with the large falls with the pool below is another swimming destination for many.

This rock slide along with the large falls with the pool below is another swimming destination for many.

This photo puts the scoop to scale.

This photo puts the scoop to scale.

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At this point, Wylie was dog-gone tired!

At this point, Wylie was dog-gone tired!

Indian Pipe along the trail.

Indian Pipe along the trail.

What’s On Your Mind?

IMG_6653 You got something to say? Spit it out. Do you feel misunderstood? Are you afraid of what people will think? Is it too painful to bear?

Can you write the words you cannot speak? The unspoken heaviness upon our hearts can often be written as poetry, song, or fiction if not in a journal. It provides a release.

Have you ever heard a song that said exactly what was on your heart? Have you ever heard music that stirred your soul? Have you ever looked at a painting and felt you knew the artist? The power of art is the connection between the artist and the viewer.

The desire to create is a strong urge. Does it begin with love, anger, or pain? Or even confusion? I think art evokes emotion because it was created with emotion. What do you find inspires you to create? Think of a song or piece of art that has aroused a strong response from you. What is the similarity between your response and your desire to create? What is different?

Sometimes we need to speak without saying a word; we just need to let it out. We all have outlets to soothe our souls, and many of them come in forms of creating.

I’ve been writing, sewing, and creating art in one form or another since I was a child. At times I wanted to be seen or heard. Other times I disappeared within my creations. There have been times I’ve thrown my anger into written word or my love into a quilt. My confusion has reared its face upon pieces of fiber art, and wonder has worked its way into the stitches. I’ve even created just to tear it to bits.

And then there’s graffiti. How do you feel about it? Does it depend on whether you see it on a bathroom stall, bridge overpass, or alley way? Does it matter more what or how something is written? Personally, as long as the language is not offensive to the public, I think the colors and styles of script found on bridges etc. can be quite pretty. Why do people write graffiti? Is it because they want to be heard? Does it promote inner healing? Graffiti, is it art or vandalism? What say you? IMG_6656

Life On The Peak

“One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.”    ~ Zen Master Futomaki

Pinnacle Rock 2014

Pinnacle Rock is about the closest to heaven as I’ve come. The hike itself is not difficult, and the tranquility on top is a reward in itself. The beauty of mountains and sky takes your breath away. The air is pure and the wind crisp. This is one of those places which remind you there are too many shades of green and blue to name. You can hear owls call from other mountain tops while watching birds fly both overhead and rustle in the nearby underbrush. The perfumes of the trees range from fruity to floral to spicy to woodsy depending on what gets carried by the breeze. This is a place to question life, to contemplate, to meditate, to pray, to feel connected to something more and to be thankful to be a part of it all.

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“The aim of the mountaineer, if he wishes to be an artist in the full sense of word, is neither escape nor “the search for the absolute” as some have claimed, but rather seek that place where “the mystic remains silent and the poets start to speak towards men.” ~Bernard Amy

Wylie, our trail dog, is enjoying her little slice of heaven.

Wylie, our trail dog, is enjoying her little slice of heaven.

"In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there is the promise of... something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb... and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery."    ~ Rob Parker

“In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there is the promise of… something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery.” ~ Rob Parker

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~Edward Abbey

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~Edward Abbey

Rocky Run

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins; not through strength, but through perseverance.”

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This is my second time hiking Rocky Run. The first time was over thirty years ago, and the second hike I accompanied DirtMan.

This is my second time hiking Rocky Run. The first time was over thirty years ago, and the second hike I accompanied DirtMan.

Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it. ~Lao Tzu

Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it. ~Lao Tzu

Massies Mill, Virginia; Rocky Run is spring fed between the Little Priest and The Priest.

Massies Mill, Virginia; Rocky Run is spring fed between the Little Priest and The Priest.

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” ~ Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” ~ Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

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“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~John Muir

We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all. - June 9, 1872 letter to Miss Catharine Merrill, from New Sentinel Hotel, Yosemite Valley, in Badè's Life and Letters of John Muir.

We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all. – June 9, 1872 letter to Miss Catharine Merrill, from New Sentinel Hotel, Yosemite Valley, in Badè’s Life and Letters of John Muir.

Orange You Glad You Stepped Into The Wilderness?

Come on, I'll lead the way!

Come on, I’ll lead the way!

DirtMan and I just returned from vacation in the mountains. We camped out on the river three nights, hiked three wilderness trails, explored a state park, and enjoyed time with family and friends. As usual we had cameras in tow as well as Wylie. I’ll talk more about the hikes and share those pics later.

Today I just want to share a few bursts of nature’s living sunshine we encountered on the trails. While everything is lush with various shades of green and speckled with confetti of wildflowers, there is nothing as intoxicating as the rushes of orange we encounter along the trails.

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Jewelweed, or “touch-me-not”-As a child I used to help my aunt collect these to make an antidote for poison ivy.

Juvenile Eastern (Red-Spotted) Newt

Juvenile Eastern (Red-Spotted) Newt

A cluster of orange mushrooms

A cluster of orange mushrooms

I dropped my camera a few times along the trails. Fortunately, it did not tumble off any of the mountains, but it did suffer a few minor scratches and dings. This little gadget here, the StrapShot EV1, could have eased my journey and protected my camera. This is a hilarious video about it.

Live and in person.

Originally posted on Chicken Wire & Paper Flowers:

IMG_1951I first discovered Suzicate’s blog, The Water Witch’s Daughter, while in the midst of getting sucked down one of those rabbit holes the interwebs are famous for.  Her writing struck a chord with me as her Virginia is for Lovers page gave away she was from the same state. I discovered she lived in Virginia Beach on the coast, but was from Nelson County, just south of here.  The more I got to know her, I realized we were creative kindred spirits and then some.  We picked at the same orchards. I was pretty sure we knew some of the same people and that our husbands would hit it off.

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The Mandate Of Randomness

“Everything we care about lies somewhere in the middle, where pattern and randomness interlace.” ~James Gleick

Footprints in the past

This summer has been spirit led. I put my writing and sewing projects to the side and have focused on living.  With the time I’ve had off from work one would think I’ve focused on productivity. Instead, I’ve enjoyed relationships. I’ve spent countless times with the hubby and a glass of wine in front of the fire pit. I’ve bonded with Oldest over lunches. We’ve spent time dining and hiking with friends. I’ve taken full advantage of having the time to read. I’ve been watching a lot of movies. I even went with a friend to see “Jersey Boys” which I greatly enjoyed. However, some of the home movies such as “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” have torn my heart to pieces. I can sometimes hardly bear the cruelty of humanity. And yet, I was reduced to tears of happiness last night watching a FaceBook video of a junkyard dog who daily walked four miles to receive a meal from a lady who tied up his bag of leftovers for him to carry off. She followed him one day to see what he did with them. He carried them to his hungry friends who included a chicken and a cat. People can learn much from animals.

What I was, am, and will be has always been the same. The waves of me change depending on time and place of deposit. I’ll bet this applies to you as well.

What I was, am, and will be has always been the same. The waves of me change depending on time and place of deposit. I’ll bet this applies to you as well.

We’ve traveled to and fro from sand and sea to rock and mountain. We’ve been called here and there and veered off on our own excursions without rhyme or reason. Yet, it’s all been exactly what I’ve needed. Often what seems random isn’t at all arbitrary. What we need/desire is known and provided in one form or another. Perhaps, unbeknownst to me I was seeking a season of peace and connection. This summer of exploration and connection has soothed my soul and restored my energy. I am thankful for these blessings as my cup continues to fill daily.

The praying mantis is my confirmation of needing a time of stillness and patience, knowing all things will occur in their own timing.

The praying mantis is my confirmation of needing a time of stillness and patience, knowing all things will occur in their own timing.