“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
“And love says
I will, I will take care of you
To everything that is near”
To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers. Such a beautiful tribute to mothers by Everyday Gurus. It will move your heart, please visit and read.
"Peace is not something you wish for, it something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away."--Robert Fulghum
In an effort to actively do something to create more peace in the world in 2013, I am dedicating a number of my posts specifically to peace. I invite you to join me. We can call ourselves "Bloggers for Peace." Everyone is invited to join.
It has been a challenge to keep up with the weekly photo challenge this year, but this weeks word joggled my memory. Only a few weeks ago I was laying under a tree looking up through the lens of my camera, for no other reason than to get a different point of view.
Yesterday was the first day of spring for me, because I could walk outside barefoot, in a T-shirt and Capri’s, lay down in the grass and soak up the sunshine. The blue sky was brilliant, an almost unreal color with no clouds in sight. Birds chirping and calling as they flitted from branch to branch, tree to tree.
The first buds of leaves were sprouting up toward the sky, soaking in the rays as eagerly as I was. My Tulip’s heads were shyly peaking out from between their leaves. My cat was ecstatic over the movement of all living things, including me. She romped and performed for me, and she even gave me a tummy massage as I was laying in the grass absorbed in the sound, smell, and texture of new life.
Poetry floated through my head as the soft warm breeze circled my ankles. Too bad I did not bring pen and paper outside with me. I did not even bring my camera, at first. I just wanted to be in that moment and experience all of it’s glory in every cell of my body. As the western sun penetrated my skin sending comforting and loving signals to my brain, new thoughts began to bud like the leaves on the trees. I could not tear myself away from this experience.
The winter is long in New Hampshire and spring is often too short. I went inside for my camera so I could capture a memory, a moment in time when my heart was content with all that is in my world. Troubles will come and go, struggles and stress are unavoidable, but there is always hope. As long as life persists there is hope.
Why is the sky so blue, the grass so green, and flowers so brilliantly colorful? Why can we smell the delicious scents around us and feel the textures of life. The universe functions so beautifully by it’s own design, it is intelligent, it is the essence of love expressed. The mystery, the why and the how is part of the excitement of living. Beyond that, there is no doubt in my mind that the origin of this masterpiece we call life is an infinitely benevolent heart, and an intricately wise mind.
Nature is my refuge, my haven and my heaven.
For more photographs from yesterday visit my portfolio blog: http://cherylroth.wordpress.com/
I’ve been away, busy, overwhelmed, entertaining guests, and a little under the weather at times. Life has been interesting, ups & downs, wonderful things and immediate concerns rocking my boat a bit. But if the sea were always calm it would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it?
Last week I enjoyed a lovely trip to the seacoast. It was sunny and warm at first, but later became very overcast. I enjoyed both parts of the day for many reasons; I was with family & friends welcoming spring and love was in the air.
From My Peace TV:
Combatants for Peace is holding the alternative Israeli-Palestinian commemoration ceremony for the 8th time this year. The event has become increasingly important for victims from both sides of the conflict as well as for the wider public who wish to acknowledge each other’s grievances and promote a dialog of peace.
The ceremony boldly touches on the exposed nerves of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and brings together bereaved family members from both sides who call together for the ending of the conflict using nonviolent means.
The ceremony is also attended by artists, public figures and prominent intellectuals, who believe that on such a significant day for the Israeli society we should be reminded that it is possible to create a different reality.
The ceremony is designed and produced by the Combatants for Peace movement who relies entirely on donations, activists and volunteers to carry out its actions including this ceremony that has become its flagship annual event. The number of people attending this event increases every year and last year we enjoyed a turnout of 2000 people.
This year, the ceremony will take place at the Trade Fair Center to accommodate an anticipated larger number of attendees. As the service grows in size, so do the costs while it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise funds from the Israeli public for such causes.
We are relying on the generosity of individuals like yourself and we kindly ask you to help us make this important event happen again this year. We have to raise the necessary funds by the end of February!
Donation can be easily and safely made through these links: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sharing-our-bereavement http://www.razoo.com/story/The-Alternative-Israeli-Palestinian-Commemoration-Ceremony-Held-By-Combatants-For-Peace
We would also highly appreciate wider distribution of this call for contribution.
For more details on Combatants for Peace and the memorial ceremony please visit our website: Combatants for Peace
Early Monday morning last week a vary special person I was privileged to know passed away. She lived 101 years but I only knew her during the last year of her life. During that time she had a profound impact on my life.
I only worked for her a little more than 5 months, as an aid. Often I felt that she didn’t really need me, not because she made me feel that way but because she never stopped trying to do everything herself. Of course at 100 you’re going to have some limitations, but she took a walk every day, she did exercises for a leg/hip injury, she sat in the sunshine reading mystery novels, stayed up late watching movies, and went out to lunch or dinner with friends and family several times a week. She lived in her own home, and went to NYC every winter.
Mrs. G as I called her, was a gift from God to me and she became my mentor. Her smile, her sense of humor, her love for people and life, and her straightforwardness were as genuine as gold. She was generous and trusting, and she always made a point to say “thank you” even for the smallest things. Those were the last words I heard her say to me on Saturday 3/2/13.
Those were also some of the last words I said to her last Sunday, because being included in her life and helping her in any way was a great blessing to me. I learned so much from the way she thought, the way she treated people and the way she lived her life. Her attitude and example gave me encouragement, hope and strength at a time when my life was falling apart.
The job itself came at a time when I desperately needed it, but I got so much more than I bargained for. I used to tell her that her house was like Heaven because it was beautiful inside and out, and filled with so much love. It was a calm and comforting refuge during a stressful time in my life, and being in the company of her family and friends was always refreshing.
Mrs. G always complemented me, on my clothes, my hair, my cooking, my driving, and other things, in a way that no one else ever has. It’s not that I don’t get compliments, it’s just that she had a unique way of making me feel special. We had similar interests in art, literature, movies, social issues, spirituality and activities, so I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. I grew to love her very quickly.
I realized at one point that she was the same age as my grandmother, who died about 17 years ago at age 83. She had some of the same furniture and personal items from that era. however, in spirit she didn’t seem old enough to be my grandmother.
Mrs. G. was a timeless woman, very modern and very hip, most of her friends were much younger than her. She was a successful business woman during a time when very few women were running a business. She was also a great mother and a social activist.
I feel honored that I could accompany her to the events that were held in recognition of her life and accomplishments. I am blessed to have been included in her circle of family & friends, even for such a short time. I will always remember with love and gratitude the impact her life has had on mine.
Have you heard of Reiki Gong? It’s a combination of Reiki and Qigong. A friend of mine invited me to a retreat that will be in April in Nashville, TN, but I can’t afford to go (wish I could). However, I was intrigued by the content and decided to look into it further.
So I checked out their FB page: Reiki Gong Dynamic Health. As I scrolled through the posts I came across a post about a project they are working on for mental and emotional health. They are trying to create a practice on DVD for those who suffer with mental & emotional health issues and don’t have access to alternative therapies. Reiki Gong Mental & Emotional Stability Practice DVD · Medstartr. I was moved by this and wanted to share it with my readers.
Personally I have not had a lot of success with so called “modern medicine” concerning my own health issues. I am very sensitive to drugs and find that I do better with natural and alternative practices. Through my work I’ve known many people over the years with moderate forms of mental and emotional illnesses and I never experienced that any of them were cured with drugs. Some of them did better for awhile, but then there was always a need to eventually find a better or different drug. In this type of situation I think it’s worth looking into alternatives.
During this past winter I was helping to care for an elderly woman with serious anxiety and depression issues. She was on 3 different types of anti-anxiety, anti-depression medication and she felt terrible all the time. Most of these drugs have side effects that make you feel ill and weak. She was too old to make significant changes in her life and that made me really sad.
Through talking with her, especially when she had “episodes” or “panic attacks”, I realized that she had built a pattern of thoughts and behaviors over a lifetime that had created her present circumstances. She was helpless, needy and totally dependent but this was not because of her age or illnesses. I know people much older than her who have worse ailments but are less needy and dependent, and not depressed at all. I realized through talking with her that most of her mental and physical health issues would not have developed if someone had taught her to think differently when she was young, and to take care of herself.
That experience gave me a lot of motivation to look at my own thought patterns and to put more effort into caring for myself both physically and emotionally. I have always been inspired by people who are pioneering the way of alternative practices in the west. So, if you have a chance, please check out these pages about Reiki Gong and if you like what you see, give them some support.
Winter is a difficult time for me physically, mentally and emotionally, so I try to find ways to challenge myself. In the past I could challenge the physical elements of snow and ice by just getting out there, shoveling, sledding, driving, photographing, whatever. Now I still try to do those things, but less than before because I have more physical challenges than in the past.
Challenges that limit us can weaken us mentally and emotionally. To strengthen myself I’ve given myself other positive challenges, like yoga. Since I started attending classes last October, I’ve been able to gradually, very gradually, build strength and health physically, mentally and emotionally. It has not been easy and my class attendance was not always consistent for the first couple months, but I have persisted. Now I’m attending classes twice a week and beginning to practice at home as well.
One thing that helped me with my yoga practice was following a beginners yoga challenge on yogajournal.com. I received daily written inspiration on will power, and a weekly video of yoga practice. It was quick, easy, motivational and free.
In March I will be starting a new challenge, and I invite you to join me if you wish. It is a free 21 day meditation course sponsored by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. I know that sounds kind of commercial, but it looks like it could be valuable. Of course, if you’re already a meditation master maybe you don’t need it. But if you are looking for some guidance to start meditating, some ideas on improving your mental or physical health, or just a little inspiration, then why not try it? It can’t hurt, it’s free, and it’s completely accessible at your own time, location, pace and comfort level.
Starts on March 11, 2013. Here’s the link if you care to join in. http://www.chopracentermeditation.com
- Meditation Is the New Yoga: Bringing Mindfulness Into the Workplace (bigthink.com)
- 21 days of Meditation – with Deepak Chopra and Ms Oprah herself (pambustin.com)
- Deepak Chopra (celebrationofnow.com)
- Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra (sebastianhalliwell.wordpress.com)
This woman is now 109 years old and still as optimistic as ever. Please watch this video, it is well worth the full 12 minutes of your time.
Published on Dec 11, 2012
At age 108, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer still practices piano for 3 hours every day. At age 104, she had a book written about her life: “A Garden Of Eden In Hell.” At age 83, she had cancer. Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way – a smile, a kind word, the sun. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: “I look where it is good.”
Standard YouTube License
I cried with gratitude and joy when I saw this video. The song, and the dancing of these women of all ages and walks of life comforted and liberated my heart. Together, regardless of our differences, we can spread a message that every human being deserves respect and to be protected against violence, especially children and women.
Let’s all work together to promote true peace:
- First we have to respect ourselves, our mind and body, by developing them in a healthy, disciplined and productive way that reflects our true divinity.
- Next we have to teach our children to do the same, and to treat others with respect even when we feel they don’t deserve it.
- Finally, as we move through life within our own sphere of influence we can uplift others, help others, provide support, protection and encouragement for those who suffer or have suffered, and we can spread the message of the value of life and true love.
This is my Valentine’s Day gift and wish to everyone: True Love and True Peace through the understanding of your divine value, and the development of the goodness in your heart and life.
Where have I been; in a cave, under a rock or in an igloo? Temperatures in the single digits keep the door closed. Howling wind and creaking windows cause me to pull the blankets closer as I mindlessly challenge myself at solitaire, or watch Netflix. Am I a bear in hibernation?
This winter is no worse than others I have endured before, but it feels worse. I feel trapped, confined, limited, and on edge. I pace the floors, chase dust bunnies, mop up puddles under snow boots, the cleaning never ends. I read, I type, I go out, I stay busy but it really doesn’t matter what I do. I am MIA – missing in action, or missing the action might be more accurate.
For many years the weather was tolerable because of my growing family, my work, my community. I was healthy, I had so many ideas and dreams to fulfill, I was busy all the time. The winter was painful but it did not slow me down in the past. I did what had to be done to take care of my family, live happily and stay active in my community.
Now it’s different; my health, my age, our stage of life, our family. I don’t like hibernating like a bear. I want to fly south like a bird, or maybe southwest. It’s time for change, before it’s too late; before I freeze like an ice statue only to melt and disappear when the spring finally arrives.
I want to be free and actively involved in life, contributing something of value. The house and mortgage have become like a ball and chain; the endless repairs are like prison walls. It’s torture, because I love this house. I’ve invested my heart to make it a home. So many memories, so many hopes and dreams not yet fulfilled.
Stay active, keep moving, downsize property and possessions. How much do we really need to be happy? It’s not the material things that make us happy, but the loved ones that are served by those things; our family and friends. Can we pack our family and friends in a bag and take them with us? We can keep in touch but it’s not the same as being together.
Is being together worth being stuck in a painful and unproductive rut, wasting away? Some people feel it is, others do not. I am torn between two natures, two desires, to go and to stay. Some people can afford to do both, but I can not. One thing I know is that I am not a bear, I can not hibernate through the long winter. I don’t want to be MIA from life, I’m not done living yet.
A touching and somewhat related link: http://jamesdez.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/a-letter-from-mom-and-dad/
I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to practice yoga a few times a week consistently since discovering Yin Yoga. This type of yoga is very meditative and less active, which is good for me since I have some muscle weakness issues going on. Yin is concerned with relaxing the connective tissues, allowing for more flexibility, which is very helpful as we get older.
Yin consists of mostly floor poses, some with assistance of a wall, and the poses are held for 3 to 5 minutes. By committing to stillness in each posture, Yin prepares the body & mind for meditation. The breath and awareness of bodily sensations assists in relaxation and not over doing it. I sleep better after Yin Yoga so it must help with reducing stress. Here’s a little tip from Yoga Journal’s online magazine:
“Meditation is an incredibly powerful willpower booster—the practice of returning attention again and again to the breath kicks the prefrontal cortex (the decision-making center of the brain) into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain. Every time you bring your attention away from a wandering thought and back to the breath, you strengthen self-awareness and boost self-control.”
If anyone feels they are not strong enough or flexible enough to do yoga, Yin is a good place to start. I have good days and bad days with my strength, so on a bad day I can still do Yin. I feel a little sore the day after, but some mild stretching and Traumeel (homeopathic anti-inflammatory) usually help me work that out.
- Slow down the yoga way..try Yin Yoga! (timesunion.com)
- Yin Yoga: Deep Stretching Of The Body’s Connective Tissues (casapalmera.com)
I have to share this post by Michael at Have A Dream because it so completely expresses what I have learned about life. Here is an excerpt from the post, but please read the full text for yourself here: What Really Matters
“You see, the measure of life is not its duration but its donation. Those who give to others set into motion a cycle of blessings that often includes the feelings of joy, happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment and a deep, abiding sense of purpose. It is a genuine expression of love and love’s finest hour.”
I had no idea what I would post for this challenge, but after shopping I came out into a strange world of fog and illumination… I only had my phone camera but I had to capture this… as I began to drive home all I could see were lights everywhere…Illuminated raindrops caught my eye…
perhaps I should not be taking photos while driving, who knows where I might end up… It’s as if everyone is still celebrating, the whole town is illuminated… another corner and another picture… I had to pull over and get out of the car… lost in the lights…they have illuminated my soul…I think I’ve gotten a bit carried away with all this brightness…
but when I pulled into my driveway there was a more realistic illumination.
Under the snow in the cold damp earth there are seeds of new life. Winter hides the secret of renewal. One day those seeds will surely burst with energy driving shoots up to break through the top soil. My heart explodes with thoughts of spring, new growth, and the blossoms that fill the air with fragrance. With this thought I can endure winter, seeing also it’s beauty.