Monday, January 31, 2022

January 31--Fellowship

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. 
--Albert Camus

    Part of my daily spiritual practice is reading the meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation. I have included quotes here many times. The theme of the past week was "Everyone Belongs." Writings discussed how Jesus' life was hanging out with everyone, both the "rabble" of society and the "uppities." He made no distinctions between people by class, status, wealth or behavior. He loved everyone. His life was about fellowship, which writer Brian McLaren describes this way: 

Fellowship is a kind of belonging that isn’t based on status, achievement, or gender, but instead is based on a deep belief that everyone matters, everyone is welcome, and everyone is loved, no conditions, no exceptions.

    My "depth of winter" was addiction which reached its peak in my late 20s and early 30s. I found my "invincible summer" in a 12-step program, and with it came the sort of fellowship that McLaren describes and Jesus practiced. That sort of fellowship completely changed my life--it is that powerful. And it has absolutely nothing to do with religion.
    Imagine if we could each practice that kind of fellowship in our daily lives. Isn't that what Jesus was trying to teach us?!?!

Sunday, January 30, 2022

January 30--Symphony of the Heart

Look inside. That way lies dancing to the melodies spun out by your own heart. This is a symphony. All the rest are jingles.  --Anna Quindlen

    Sometimes it is a challenge to separate the symphony from the jingles, the important from the unimportant. I rely frequently on the Serenity Prayer. Is the circumstance something I can change? If so, do I have the courage or gumption to change it? If not, can I peacefully accept it? In other words, am I attempting to mess with something that is not mine to mess with? Yes, that happens!
    Have you ever had a jingle get stuck in your head and drive you nuts? That's the outside world and all its opinions, theories and suggestions trying to sway you away from the knowing symphony that is your heart wisdom. I believe we all have an inner knowing relative to what is best for us in every circumstance. Alas, it is too easy to get distracted by the "jingles." Accessing that inner wisdom is just another one of life's daily practices. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

January 29--Be Bold

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    If nothing changes, nothing changes. Boldness is required to take the first step towards any accomplishment. If I want to lose weight, but keep eating too much and exercising too little ("couch potato"), I can't expect genius, power or magic from that. 
    About this time in 2016, I began a new job doing taxes. I was bold, believing that I had the smarts and the math and computer skills to do the work. My boss, on recommendation of my co-worker, took a chance on me. Since I'm still doing the job, I'd say some genius, power and magic has happened. The genius is my boss, who with infinite patience has taught me so much. Power happens each time something "clicks into place" or the numbers balance. The best has been the magic--new friendships, using my skills to serve others, and phenomenal learning that has benefited not only our clients but also my family's personal tax filings. 
    Just do it!

Friday, January 28, 2022

January 28--Desire Away!

Our aspirations are our possibilities.  --Samuel Johnson

    In other words, if we can dream it, we can do it. I'm so looking forward to "Beam me up, Scottie!"
    I'm a strong believer in spiritual nudges. You may call it intuition, "aha" moments, or gut feeling. Of the bazillion thoughts that roam through our minds, occasionally one "sticks" and causes us to follow the path of manifestation. Such spiritual nudges inspired the two books I have written and brought this blog into form. 
    We are born into a world brimming with desires, with infinite possibilities. We cannot help but have aspirations in such an awe-inspiring playground. Doing and becoming whatever our free will guides us to accomplish is the joy and purpose of being here. I'm digging it!


Thursday, January 27, 2022

January 27--Move, Move, Move

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.  --Kahlil Gibran

    I am one who is recovering daily from being a card-carrying perfectionist, so the "move toward perfection" grates on my psyche. So I'm going with the idea of simply "keep moving" even though the path may not always be smooth and comfortable. 
    Mid-way into my sixties now, I can see the devastating effects on folks when they stop moving. A sedentary lifestyle is not good for anyone, and it is especially damaging the older we get. I see folks get discouraged thinking they must have some sort of rigid and demanding exercise regimen. This is not necessary! Walk to the mailbox. Do an extra lap around the grocery store (because you probably forgot something). Clean your house. Putter in the garden. Take the dog around the block. Dance when nobody's watching. There are lots of ways to keep moving. Here's a very valuable one: practice every day getting down on the floor and back up. Too many folks ignore the importance of that skill until they can no longer do it. One day at a time, march on.
    When one encounters sharp stones, one can build a cairn. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

January 26--Passionate Enough?

Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things. 
--Denis Diderot

    I have tended to be a list maker. I like to complete tasks and check them off in short order. Multi-day, -week, or -month tasks tend to annoy me. I like to get stuff done! Hobbies like crocheting and painting have taught me patience with my get-'er-done tendencies. Sometimes a good thing takes a while. 
    My current great passion is completing the Lego puzzle my son gave me for Christmas. I am a fanatic lover of Legos, and this truly is a "perfect gift." Puzzles are a challenge for me in that I can't get them done quickly. I have to really love the scene to maintain the passion to assemble it. I find that puzzle assembly is meditative--I don't think about matters other than "where this piece goes." This one is teaching me to look very closely and discern--each face is different, some dramatically, some ever-so-slightly. 
    I'm not sure that completion of this puzzle falls in the category of "great things," but I do feel great passion toward finishing it. I will NOT let it beat me, even though it make take me much of this year to get-'er-done. The finished product will be framed, I promise.
    I still LOVE Legos!

So far...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

January 25--Bubbling Good

Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.  --Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 

    I've been digging within for 40+ years. Some of the digging has been very challenging. I've had sore spiritual muscles from some of the effort. But I have most certainly reached the bubbling fountain of good. Digging has taught me forgiveness, self-worth and self-care, how to live without using, how to set boundaries, and how to be in relationship with others. I've learned to trust, to follow my desires, to use my skills to benefit myself and many others. Best of all, digging within has given me a priceless relationship with Something Bigger on which I can and must depend to keep the fountain of good flowing. 
    Keep digging!

Monday, January 24, 2022

January 24--You Be You, Me Be Me

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.  --Harriet Tubman

    My first reaction to this is that changing the world is a more lofty assignment than I care to handle. Since "the world" is too big for me, let's consider "my world." Then I arrive at a manageable level. How can I passionately change my world? I can be kind and live with an attitude of gratitude in my own home. I can care lovingly for Barney, our dog. (Who rescued who?) I can maintain my property in a manner supportive of our neighborhood. I can interact with my neighbors, get to know them and their children. I can grow flowers to brighten my spot on the planet. I can use my skills to benefit others, doing tax work, teaching Melt Method and yoga, and coaching. I can support friends who are going through difficult times. I pray daily that all humans may be kinder to each other and kinder to the planet.
    I birthed and helped to raise two healthy sons who are good men and productive citizens. That most definitely took strength, patience and passion. Oh! I have changed the world!

My woman cave window garden

Sunday, January 23, 2022

January 23--How Good!?!?!

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.  --Marianne Williamson

    I often invite my yoga classes to think of three things they are thankful for, and not just the usual "family, friends, home" answers. I offer the example of our sewer system. I am extremely thankful for that as we would be in a world of hurt without it. We take for granted that we can simply flush the toilet and off goes the waste. 
    How about these items:
  • We can go buy gas easily to take us wherever we want to go.
  • Our traffic system (lights, round-abouts, directional signs, highways, etc.) moves a lot of people with relatively few incidents.
  • We have an amazing variety of goods available to us in grocery and retail stores.
  • We always have a choice. 
  • We can learn how to do virtually anything with the help of the internet. 
  • We have free time and infinite possibilities to use it, rather than having to spend every waking minute on survival. 
  • Trees that appear lifeless in winter redecorate themselves each spring with new growth and colorful leaves.
  • Life is full of an extraordinary array of color.
  • We open the tap and voila! water flows. 
  • Air is free and we can breathe as much as we want. It is a blessing to be able to breathe on our own power. 
  • We have instant means of communication around the world.
  • We are blessed with people who grow and ship our food to stores.
  • Life would be much less grand without that morning cup of coffee. 😉😉
    I feel JOY-full!!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

January 22--LOOK for the Magic!

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.  --Roald Dahl

    When our sons were young, I read to them every night before bedtime. We all loved the Roald Dahl books like "The BFG" (stands for Big Friendly Giant), "The Twits," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Quentin Blake is the fabulous illustrator of those books. Between those two men--what imaginations and what magic!
    As a life-long gardener, I have been awed by the magic of early morning sunlight on the dewdrops on strawberry leaves. I have watched a spider spin a huge web that glistens in the sunshine. I have laid on a Kansas hilltop with the sun setting to my left and a full moon rising to my right, with a billion stars overhead. In the ocean in Jamaica in December, pelicans fished and stingrays floated by just a few feet from me. Watching "with glittering eyes" is an extremely rewarding practice!

Friday, January 21, 2022

January 21--Use Your Imagination!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
--Albert Einstein

    This quote makes me think of Walt Disney, the fantasy worlds he created and the "empire of imagination" that exists today as his legacy. 
    I had a project. I wanted to dress up the front of a beach cover-up (for when I return to Jamaica--how's that for imagining!!). Logic told me to go to the fabric store, buy a cute patch of some sort, and sew it on. So off I went. Alas, there were no cute patches and those available were all iron-on (logically easier) which would not work on my garment. I roamed the fabric aisles and found some colorful fabric to "do something with." I knew my imagination would provide a solution. I thought about assorted possibilities over a few days, but nothing "clicked." What I really wanted was a flower. Pondering that in my imagination, I realized I could sew one. Then as bonus fun, I found butterfly buttons to attach it to the cover-up. Project completed (see below), thanks to my imagination (and some sewing skills, thanks, Mom!). 
    Imagination is more fun than logic,

Thursday, January 20, 2022

January 20--One with Our Mother

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.  --John Updike

    Let's be extraordinarily grateful to nature for the inspiration! 
    Today I bring you the writing of Thich Nhat Hanh relative to our relationship with our magnificent planet Earth:
At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us comes from the Earth. Everything outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.

Realizing this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. We can begin to walk differently and to care for her differently. We will fall completely in love with the Earth. When we are in love with someone or something, there is no separation between ourselves and the person or thing we love. We do whatever we can for them and this brings us great joy and nourishment. That is the relationship each of us can have with the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well.

If we think about the Earth as just the environment around us, we experience ourselves and the Earth as separate entities. We may see the planet only in terms of what it can do for us. We need to recognize that the planet and the people on it are ultimately one and the same. . . .

A lot of our fear, hatred, anger, and feelings of separation and alienation come from the idea that we are separate from the planet. We see ourselves as the center of the universe and are concerned primarily with our own personal survival. If we care about the health and well-being of the planet, we do so for our own sake. We want the air to be clean enough for us to breathe. We want the water to be clear enough so that we have something to drink. But we need to do more than use recycled products or donate money to environmental groups. We have to change our whole relationship with the Earth. (From Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, 1/18/22)
 Loving our Mother,

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January 19--Forgiveness = Freedom

Without forgiveness, there is no future.  --Desmond Tutu

    Because without forgiveness, we live in a state of anger, resentment and vengeance. There is no good future, neither individually nor collectively, for folks living in that state. There will always be a desire for retribution. We need look no further than our current U.S. political system for a perfect example. The January 6 Capitol riot was a glaring demonstration.
    Forgiveness takes some work. It is considerably easier to hang onto "You done me wrong!" than it is to forgive, let go and move forward. The long term effects of not forgiving are devastating. As individuals, the offender gets to live in our heads rent-free. That's wasted energy that could be put to more productive use. Collectively, if we don't figure out how to forgive and move forward in our country, Mr. Tutu is correct, "there is no future." 
    I've done a LOT of forgiveness work in my lifetime. It hasn't been easy, but the end result is an inner peace and a relationship with Something Bigger that is priceless to me. 
    My bet's on Love,

Let those hurts flow away like
 "water under the bridge"

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January 18--Saved Daily

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.  --Buddha

    Thank you, Buddha, for making this perfectly clear. I would add that we ourselves are the only ones we need to be saved from! We are our own worst enemy.
    I'm gonna get a bit irreverent here. Driving around Kansas, I see often holy billboards that say "Jesus saves." I'm thinking he should be pretty wealthy by now, and I wonder what bank he uses. Does he do online banking? 
    I don't believe in an entity commonly known as the devil, an outside force that causes us to do bad things. That's a scapegoat for poor choices. I also don't believe in any sort of entity that ultimately judges us and sends us to heaven or hell. All such dogma is designed to control and manipulate the masses.  
    "Saving" is a daily practice of living well, in harmony with oneself and others and our glorious planet. That's walking the path. 
Given my love of baseball,
I just couldn't resist this one!

Monday, January 17, 2022

January 17--Be Loved

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.  --Anne Sexton

    I love this quote. It's fun. It invites us to pay attention to ourselves, deeply, our desires, needs, wants, even those things due for release. I find that as I have befriended my soul and given it an opportunity to speak, I am better able to be in relationship with others. Our souls are all connected. 
    Here is a practice from author Judy Cannato:

Sit quietly and bring to mind those who care for you—in the present and in the past. As you recall each person, receive the love that is there for you. Let it into your heart. Even if someone has a quirky way of showing love, receive the love. Sift through the dysfunction if you have to, but receive the love. Never mind if the person has never said, “I love you.” Receive the love, one by one. Hold all that love in your heart. Let it penetrate your whole being. How does it feel to consciously, intentionally receive all of that love? Can you allow that to sustain your journey for today?
    Feeling loved, 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

January 16--"To Infinity and Beyond!"

Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies. 
--Ann Landers

    "If I knew then what I know now..." Well, yes, we'd have done things differently. If we had known better, we would have done better. We must let that shit go. 
    My life in general has been truly fabulous, especially, say, the past ten years. I'm on a roll. Can this awesome roll continue? If I focus on good for my future, it can. There will be "bumps in the road," but I hold tight to "this, too, shall pass." Anticipating a good day, every day, works for me. 
    Practicing life,

Saturday, January 15, 2022

January 15--Beauty Is Enough

At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.  --Toni Morrison 

    I'm the one in the family that takes photos. There are typically no Christmas-time photos of me because I'm the only one taking pictures, and I have no need for selfies. Likewise, when traveling, I'm the picture-taker. Given today's quote, I do recognize in myself less and less need to photograph my travel experiences, to simply observe the beauty and enjoy it without seeing it through my cell phone camera. I've been many places where the camera cannot do it justice--the beauty is too far-reaching and spectacular. 
    I am a big fan of art museums. I am in awe of the creative talent of humans through the centuries. I've been to museums in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, San Diego, NYC, Dublin, Rome, Paris, Florence and others. Being in the presence of fine art is a profound experience, and yes, it is enough. It feels so good to stand in a space of awe and wonder, simply appreciating. Art inspires in me faith in the resilience of humanity. 
    Nature's beauty is infinite and everywhere. Even on the familiar route of daily walks with Barney, there is always something lovely to note as we stroll along--trees budding, flowers blooming, snow melting (much needed moisture is beautiful), a mighty weed poking through the sidewalk crack. Noted but not remembered, onward we go. 
    Yes, beauty is enough,

David, by Michelangelo, Florence, Italy--
Far and away the most spectacular artwork
I have ever experienced!

Friday, January 14, 2022

January 14--Becoming What?

The greatest joy lies not in simply being, but in becoming.  --Oprah Winfrey

    If we are alive, we are automatically in the act of becoming. One of my yoga teacher's favorite sayings is "Evolve or die." We are different each day from the person we were the previous day. Interactions and activities change our perspective, we learn about ourselves and the world, and we make choices. I would offer that downtime, "simply being," is a state that helps us make the choices that lead our becoming in a satisfying direction. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

January 13--Sunshine and Shadow

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.  --Helen Keller

    I find this to be an interesting quote from a blind person. I get the encouragement of it--to stay turned toward the source of life, warmth, nourishment, energy. Alas, I don't see anything wrong with shadows. The shadow of a tree is welcome shade. If we consider human shadows, our dark side, well, those shadows are only as negative as we allow them to be. Recognized and released, those shadows inform and evolve us into better versions of ourselves. Kept hidden and ignored, those inner shadows can fester and cause all sorts of undesirable behavior, addiction being a prime example. 
    Enjoy the sunshine, but don't dis the shadows,

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

January 12--Inside

There is only one journey: going inside yourself.  --Rainer Maria Rilke

    Right now, inside myself is tired. We drove to Colorado on Sunday, returned yesterday--that's a lot of driving (~1200 miles) in the space of three days. It was a successful trip, fulfilling an intention set almost a year ago. That intention was for us to have a new vehicle so that we could turn over our car to our older son and his wife. We left my Nissan out there with them, driving home in our new "Spaceship" (RAV4 Hybrid). It is odd not having my black sedan, Maddie, around. She went to a good home 😉😉
    Two things are very helpful to me for going inside. Those are writing and lap-swimming. The process of writing opens me up to Spirit. Just now, I had no idea what to write, because I'm tired and I don't feel like writing. But I just started writing about that, and voila, here's a blog post. Writing makes me think about how I'm feeling, and that is a good thing. It's too easy for life's busyness to push feelings aside. As for lap-swimming--the repetitive nature of it is meditative. I can think as much or as little as I choose stroking back and forth in the pool. I always feel better after a swim.  
    I'll be in the pool later this morning,

A lovely park ornament discovered
on a Monday walk with Barney in Fort Collins

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

January 11--Fired Up!

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.  --Plutarch

    Alas, this takes me directly to our public education system, which I believe is severely broken. It is broken because we are trying desperately to fill the vessels rather than kindle the fires. Bloated vessels are easy to control and manipulate. Kindled fires are not. In a society whose politics and religions seek continuously to control and manipulate, it is intolerable to have uncontrolled fires, i.e., curiosity, passion, creativity. Thank the Universe for the internal fires that do get kindled and burn vibrantly! 
    Next my thoughts go to "flow." The contents of a vessel just sit there--they don't do anything. Fires move! They contain energy. We thrive when our minds are in the flow, continuously taking in new information, using it, moving with the flow of life, offering what moves us to the world. 
    My husband and I are currently enjoying the high-tech wonder of a brand new vehicle. He has nicknamed it the "spaceship." Many kindled fires have gone into its creation, and the safety features are amazing. My favorite is the adaptive cruise control. We humans could have waddled along forever with regular cruise control, but someone had a idea burst into flames to make cruise control significantly safer and more user-friendly. 
    Let's keep those fires burning!

Monday, January 10, 2022

January 10--Infinity Within

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    This is the basis for the hope I hold in my heart. Humans are continually evolving. We are resilient. We survive. We invent. We pick ourselves up after a disaster. We grow. We dream. All progress comes from within. As Ernest Holmes stated, everything is twice created--first in thought, then in form. Those thoughts lie within us, and they are the basis for all evolution. 
    Also within us, the foundation for our very life on Earth, is free will. We tend to take that for granted, but life would be 100% different if we did not have it. I'm not saying we have always used it well, but without it, Emerson's quote would be meaningless. 
    Choosing to make this day a good one,

by Claude Monet

Sunday, January 9, 2022

January 9--Beautiful Future

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. 
--Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep the focus on the positive, what I want to happen, rather than what I don't want to happen. That makes for a much greater chance of beautiful dreams coming to fruition. 
    For six years running, my mid-January to mid-April time has been consumed by tax prep work. 2022 will be my seventh and last tax season working. This leads to dreams of travel to warm places in wintertime, which I have had to put off. It also leads to "what will I do with myself during those three months?" New dreams other than travel are undecided and unknown, but I am certain that desires will arise--they always do. If nothing else, it will give me more time to play with my new grandbaby. 😉😉
    You can call me "Grammie." 


Saturday, January 8, 2022

January 8--One Step Back, Two SLOW Steps Forward

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change--this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.  --Bruce Barton

    My older son is a delivery driver for FedEx Express based in Fort Collins, Colorado. For two consecutive nights, he was stranded in Laramie, Wyoming. Snowfall, wind and weather shut down all the roads that would take him back home. It was not the rhythm of life he would have chosen, but I am grateful that with the conditions so dreadful, someone had the wisdom to close the roads. And the company paid for hotel, meals, and necessities.
    The pandemic has certainly given us a taste, nay a whole banquet, of "action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change." One of the items of progress that I especially like is working from home. I realize it's not for everyone, but having that option is huge progress on many levels for so many people. 
    While it is tough to witness, I see our current political system's quicksand of divisiveness and ignorance being an excellent example of "out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress." Nothing changes until things get shaken up quite a bit, and the shake-up is going strong now. It's ugly, but I'm hopeful. 
    Happy to be here,


Friday, January 7, 2022

January 7--Life Is Waiting for Us to Say "Yes"

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  --Joseph Campbell

    How many times have I said, "The best laid plans..."? I consider myself an organized person, a planner. There were times in my life when a sudden change of plans would make me crazy. There is a passage in 12-step literature that says (I paraphrase): when the car won't start, most people call a tow truck or repair center; addicts call suicide prevention. I have learned over time to go with the flow. It's much easier than trying to paddle upstream. 
    There are so many things that have made my life wonderful that I could not have imagined 40 years ago--yoga teacher training, working at a church, doing tax prep work, coaching, having and raising children, recovering from addiction--just to name the first few things that come to me. The life waiting for me has been awesome, and I am grateful. 
    This comes from "Every Day Spirit" by Mary Davis:

        Peace is the answer. 
        Joy is the goal. 
        Thanks is the prayer. 
        Love is the road.

    That pretty well covers it!

We got it! Our new RAV4 Hybrid.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

January 6--Smiling Hope

Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier.  --Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    With all things considered, I had a relatively great 2021. I will, however, take even happier for 2022. I'm not one to make resolutions, but I am looking forward with smiling hope and mighty intentions to several things: 
  • Completing my 7th and final season of tax work
  • Traveling to Arizona for a Diamondbacks game and hiking in Sedona (a trip cancelled in 2020)
  • Traveling to Pennsylvania in October for another family wedding 
  • Lots of swimming, golfing and doggie walks
  • Teaching Melt Method and yoga and supporting my coaching clients
  • An as-yet-undecided mystery trip
  • A new vehicle to take us comfortably on our many trips to Colorado
  • Returning for another glorious vacation in Jamaica
  • And certainly, the new grandbaby will be 2022's happiest of all!!!!!
    What are your hopes for 2022?

From my 2021 PA road trip 😀❤

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

January 5--Where's the Fruit?

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom? But we hope it; we know it. 
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Here we are at the beginning of another year. In some respects, the past couple of years have beaten the crap out of us, like maybe the "fruit tree" died. But hope springs eternal. We are alive, so we keep moving forward, plugging ahead, doing the next right thing in front of us. We can get bogged down in all the difficulties of humanity and planet Earth, or we can forge ahead doing the best we can each day. Really, what more can we do? Just like the fruit tree, we have dormant recovery time, and at the appropriate time, we blossom and bear fruit. Every bit of that cycle is necessary both for the tree and for us. 
    Continuing to practice life,

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

January 4--MOVE!

Dance, when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you're perfectly free.

Rumi, an ancient poet.

I don't know
But I've been told
If you keep on dancing
You'll never grow old.

Steve Miller Band, 1970s rock 'n' roll

Shake your booty!!!

Monday, January 3, 2022

January 3--Half Full of What?

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  --Sir Winston Churchill

    Are you a "glass half full" or a "glass half empty" sort of person? While I lean toward the "glass half full" end of the spectrum, I know I have both optimist and pessimist within me. In a society that seems to thrive on pushing fear upon us, it can be challenging to maintain the optimist vibes. I know that a pessimistic attitude does not feel good to my body or my spirit, and an upbeat attitude keeps me feeling healthier and more at peace. 
    In mid-January I will begin my final season of tax prep work. There will be the usual learning curve as we adapt to the inevitable annual changes. Hours are long. The work can be frustrating when needed information is missing. There are difficulties. The opportunities, however, are what keep me going. I love the work. I have learned so much, and what I have learned has been beneficial to me personally, as well as to my clients. I am paid well, and that's travel money! When I get bogged down, I think of my next destination on the globe and that keeps me going. 
    Optimistic about April 15! 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

January 2--You Are Here

Just where you are--that's the place to start.  --Pema Chodron

    When you consider it, there's nowhere else to start from. The past is done, and you can't start something in the future. It's now or never. 
    The new year is the most tempting time to make resolutions to change behavior, break habits, start a new thing. As a many-decades YMCA member, I've seen annually the "newly resolute" show up the first week or so and then fade back into old habits. 
    To accomplish any sort of goal, I'm using two helpful reminders: baby steps and one day at a time. At the moment, I'm heavier than I care to be. My baby steps are not bringing beer and sweets into the house. I don't have to double my exercise schedule or go on a diet. I'm confident that the small changes will take care of the discomfort, and I can do them one day at a time. I'm not swearing off beer and cookies for eternity. 
    Keeping it simple,

Saturday, January 1, 2022

January 1--Thanks, 2021. Let's go, 2022!!

And now let us welcome the new year--full of things that have never been. 
--Rainer Maria Rilke

    January's theme in "Daily Joy" is renewal. Heading into the new year, I like to review and thank the previous year. You may wonder if I simply remember all this stuff. Actually, it comes from a review of my Win List. That's a daily note of all the good/blessings/joys in my life. Writing my Win List is part of my daily spiritual practice. Here are the 2021 items of note...

==Completed my sixth year of tax prep work. 
==MELT and yoga classes were via Zoom only through May. In June I went back to the Clearwater Wellness Center for in-person classes and continued Zooming.
==Completed MELT Method Level II training online.
==In October I marked the 10-year anniversary of completing Forrest Yoga Teacher Training. 

==Son Derek and Caila moved into their new home in Wellington, Colorado in April. It is roomy and a great place to stay for us parents. I spent a full week with them twice during the summer/fall, testing out longer stays in hopes of one day being a grandma. 
==They were married in a magnificent outdoor ceremony in Colorado in October. Dear friend Lanie saved the day by doing wedding outfit shopping with me. I'm pleased to say that I did not cry during the mother-son dance, done to "Days Like This" by Van Morrison.
==My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary in April.
==Sister-in-law Mickey passed in October after a many-years challenge with cancer. 
==We had another great Christmas together at Derek's home in Wellington.

==There were several visits to Colorado including my favorite activity--golfing with my sons. 
==May included a driving trip back east for a great-niece's wedding near Philadelphia. Saw lots of family members, played golf with my nephew at his gorgeous (difficult!) country club, drove through the area of PA where I grew up. Hiked my favorite spot on earth--Alan Seeger Natural Area in central PA. Visited my college roommate--first time we had seen each other in person in decades. 
==I added the Washington Nationals stadium to my MLB quest list--took the train from Philadelphia to Washington, went to the afternoon game (restricted attendance due to Covid) and returned to Phila on the train. An exhausting but FUN day!
==I went on two out-of-town golf weekends with one of my leagues. Didn't golf that well, but had great fun with girlfriends.  
==I enjoyed in early December a fabulous 10 days of relaxation with friends at the Couples Swept Away resort in Jamaica. I shall return!

==Completed my 24th consecutive year of swimming over 100 miles.
==Hip replacement recovery has been excellent. I was cleared for golf and all other activities in February. I had successful physical therapy to strengthen my left leg and hip.
==Received two vaccination shots plus the booster with minimal reactions.
==So far our whole family has escaped a Covid illness except our younger son, who had it in September but recovered fully.

==Barney kept us moving with twice-daily walks. He makes us laugh and his goofy antics never get old. 

==Learned how to be treasurer of the Business Women's Golf League. 
==Felt huge relief getting the nutcase Trump out of the White House.
==When it rains, it pours... we replaced our furnace, AC, water heater and dishwasher all in the first quarter of 2021.
==We have a new neighbor who twice in 2021 brought by a gift of a dozen home-made egg rolls. 
==Dear friend Blanche passed in June.
==Took a (very challenging) watercolor class at City Arts in the summer. 
==We ordered and are awaiting arrival of a new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, making our trips to Colorado more comfy. We will be going there a lot more often because the very best item of 2021...

I am going to be a GRANDMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rock on!