Cultivating Peace

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Columbine Trail, Lake Chabot

Most Saturday mornings find me running at the lake near my home. It’s a difficult, 9-mile run with terrain that changes from flat to 30% slopes and back again through scenery that will catch your breath. Parts of the trail are so narrow that a distracted mind is a footfall down steep gorges; you have to mind the three R’s: Roots, Rocks, and Ruts.

And it’s perfect for me…

This is the last run of the week for which the reward is a long tub soak and a day off for yoga on Sunday. It’s here that I cultivate peace; in my mind, my body and my spirit (ok yoga does that too, but not as much as this run). It’s here that I am able to observe the restrictions and obstacles I’ve been facing without fighting or judging and just breathe into it; work to my edge and focus on letting go. In the midst of this challenge I learn to be attentive, patient and focused; this brings me serenity, peace, solace, redemption.

Renewed, I can go out into the world with my perspective reframed, recommitted to my intentions and able to be the charm in other people’s days and an ambassador of peace.

How are you cultivating peace?

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Me, Me, Me

My LIFE is a puzzle…

…as I fondle the pieces, I find some that have dazzling shapes and make me say, “OoooH, shiny!”

Others are dark and jagged, broken window panes in a vacant old house.

Still others are bland and formless of countless years spent adrift and floundering.

One odd shape sits to the side yet to find its perfect fit.

What a mottled picture of me; out of focus like an impressionist painting in a gilded but aging frame.

I’ve had incredible encounters with people that have been this exquisite fuel seeking to ignite the glowing embers inside of me. Some have sputtered. Others have sparked a blazing inferno of passion and creativity nearly burning me up… 

…but everything cools like molten lava, a hard crust atop a fiery river flow.

 

My HEART, my heart is a mosaic of bits of broken, colored glass; rough and polished stones;shimmery bits of fancy paper; and WORDS, lots of words held together not by a solder of blackened lead nor heavy gray mortar, but by a fine silk thread from a carpet baggers satchel of dreams…

My SOUL is a grain of sand that became a pearl in my grandmother’s necklace that is the bracelet encircling my wrist, binding me to my past, anchoring me to my present, the fortune of my future…

Be Inspired!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to Life of a Minister Mom for nominating me for this award. It was happenstance that our paths crossed (not in the blogosphere) and it was that sort of meaningful coincidence that likely brought us here today!

Seven Things About Me:

  1. I love the outdoors and have camped in a cave, survivor style on an uninhabited island off the coast of Nyarit, Mexico.
  2. Even though I wouldn’t be where I am right now (which I am so grateful for), one thing I would change in my life if I could go back in time would be to have travelled more (sort of nomad style) before I had “settled down.”
  3. I was adopted.
  4. I am a twin.
  5. I’m closer to 50 than 40 but still get carded when I buy wine or beer (running is the fountain of youth).
  6. I’m passionate about healthy, gourmet cooking.
  7. I make at least one new friend every day (not on Facebook). Today it was Sunray.

My Nominations for the Very Inspiring Blog Award:

I started blogging because I was encouraged by someone else whom I met by chance; another synchronistic event. I’ve encountered so many interesting, uplifting and beautiful blogs and bloggers since then. Not all bloggers are fans of these sorts of awards and I appreciate your point of view if that is the case. But please know that I’ve been inspired, moved and transformed for our having crossed paths that I feel you deserved the honor. In no particular order:

  1. http://georgeellington.wordpress.com/
  2. http://realmanure.wordpress.com/
  3. http://runnature.wordpress.com/
  4. http://hurdlestohappiness.wordpress.com/
  5. http://theurgetowander.com/
  6. http://knowthesphere.wordpress.com/
  7. http://timeforarethink.net/
  8. http://2riversphotos.wordpress.com/
  9. http://wheresmybackpack.com/
  10. http://manifestationyoga.com/
  11. http://imeldaevans.wordpress.com/
  12. http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/
  13. http://gypsyroxylee.wordpress.com/
  14. http://antodesimone.wordpress.com/
  15. http://irunibreathe.wordpress.com/

Now for the RULES to follow when nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Ode to “The People Upstairs”

My new home is a unique living arrangement. It’s a four-story, custom home and each level is a completely separate and fully equipped living space. Three families live here (including me). One family occupies the top two stories. Except that I park my car next to theirs in the driveway, I don’t really see or hear from them much. The middle level was recently rented out by a soon-to-be single-dad who has two children (not living with him full-time, but seemingly at their dad’s A LOT). And then there’s my sweet spot at the very bottom and back of the house.

I LOVE my new digs. The peace and serenity of living this close to nature is the reason I chose to live here. And, I’m accustomed to having people living upstairs from me after residing in a condo for 16 years. But that single dad is the most obnoxiously noisy person. I know he doesn’t mean to be and I’ve really had to take a hard look at why this bothers me so much (probably because I get woken out of a dead sleep from heavy shoes dropping over my head at midnight). However, there’s really NO buffer between his floor and my ceiling and he keeps the oddest hours (like moving furniture around at 10PM; seriously dude!). I’ve told him that I can hear EVERYTHING loudly and clearly (including the rendezvous he had the other night) and I’ve asked him (quite kindly I think) to respect lateness of hours, etc. But he seems totally clueless.

Some people lope and bound through their days, clip-clopping like Clydesdales hauling a heavy load. They move loudly through space and time and you can hear them a mile away, even though they aren’t saying a word. And when they do speak, they make no distinction between inside and outside voices; they simply yell what they have to say wherever they are, volleying cannon balls with booming voices.

So in honor of my new neighbor, I found this quite funny poem from Ogden Nash:

Photo Credit: A World of Poetry selected by Michael Rosen

The people upstairs all practice ballet.

Their living room is a bowling alley.

Their bedroom is full of conducted tours.

Their radio is louder than yours.

They celebrate weekends all the week.

When they take a shower, your ceilings leak.

They try to get their parties to mix

By supplying their guest with Pogo sticks,

And when their orgy at last abates,

They go to the bathroom on roller skates.

I might love the people upstairs wondrous

If instead of above us, they just lived under us.

Upheaval

Change is good. It’s inevitable anyway. Life is full of transitions as we journey through one stage to the next and my latest transition to “empty nester” wasn’t the crashing, wrenching upheaval I thought it might be.  Continue reading

Stories from Childhood

My dad was a natural storyteller. He used to weave all sorts of yarns for us when we were kids. He did this to help us relate to the world around us and chronicle our childhood in a magical way.

As we got older, he put them to paper. I don’t think he fancied himself an author, but one of the greatest gifts he gave to me was this memory in published form when my own son was small.

While endeavoring to clean-up and out my son’s room preparing for his moving on to college, I unearthed this gem from my dad…

Continue reading

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

“I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about, and that’s what these clues help us to find within ourselves.” ~ Joseph Campbell Continue reading