Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Tao

In a recent post I mentioned the Tao Te Ching. I want to revisit it today because it has brought me such peace in my life and that is something to share.

There are as you know many sacred texts in the world. I find them all to have value and to espouse similar tenets. Did you know that all the world’s religions have a version of the Golden Rule for example? (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you). They all have a story of death and resurrection. They all have a belief in a supreme being. We are more alike in our religions than we are dis-similar. But that is another post!

The Tao is one of the most ancient of texts. It was written by a Chinese scholar named Lao Tsu. The simple wisdom in the Tao appeals to my husband and me. It is uncluttered with additions and subtractions, it is straightforward, it is full of wise guidance.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase “a Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” This is from the Tao. And although the wording is not the same, the phrase from AA “Let go and let God” is found all over the Tao.

These are the main things I get from the Tao: live my own life and don’t worry about what others are or are not doing. The Tao will take care of those who live their lives without care for the planet, or animals, or other people. Let the Tao work its wonders for it always does. Respect myself, respect all sentient beings, walk softly on the earth, follow my path, and let go of anything that is not mine to carry. It lessens the load I carry considerably.

This is not to say that I don’t have challenges! I have plenty of them. I have feelings and emotions but when I remember the Tao, those seem to wash away bringing me back to center and a feeling of peace, knowing that God is in charge, not I.

I can’t tell you how peaceful my life has become by studying, learning and following the Tao. It is a simple, powerful book of Truths that do not conflict with whatever religion you follow. It is extremely spiritual, profoundly wise, and like all simple truths, hard to put into action. But putting the effort into it is worthwhile because soon you will find that the effort has turned to habit, and the habit has turned to a spiritual practice that benefits not only yourself, but everyone around you as well. Just like that pebble that, when thrown into the pool of water creates resonating waves, your actions will spread out to affect many others.

So my invitation to you is to pick up a copy of the Tao Te Ching and start to read it. The translation I like best is by Stephen Mitchell. And the book by Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, is a wonderful book that dissects each chapter of the Tao, bringing it into more focus and into a way we can incorporate it into our daily lives.

Let me know how it goes for you. As always, take what resonates and let go of the rest. That is the Tao in action.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Rabbit Noticed My Condition

I was reading Wayne Dyer's book this morning in my little morning routine of being quiet and contemplative the first 30 minutes or so. He has a book on the Tao Te Ching that my husband and I both love to read titled Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. I've been a follower of Dr. Dyer since his first book came out ages ago when he was still a practicing psychologist. I even got to sit in a small audience back when they taped tapes for sale through Nightengale Conant of his work. Now they make DVD's but back then, I got to hear him talk for 3 days about life. It was great!

So, back to this morning. We always just randomly open the book and read the chapter we open to. The Tao is an ancient Chinese script written by Lao-Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. My husband and I try to practice the Tao in our lives because we find it very wise, quite hard to do, and very effective. I'll get into that in another post, but today's chapter had a poem by St. John of the Cross, a 16th century mystic, that I thought was so sweet and so lovely that I wanted to share it with all of you. It is titled, "A Rabbit Noticed My Condition":

I was sad one day and went for a walk;
I sat in a field.

A rabbit noticed my condition and came near.

It often does not take more than that to help at times-

to just be close to creatures who
are so full of knowing,
so full of love
that they don't--

they just gaze with
their marvelous understanding.

Thank you to all of you who who both chatted and gazed with me this week during my sadness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Tribute to My Friend

It’s funny that my last post was about friendship. As you can no doubt tell, friends are very important to me. I value their presence in my life and do not take the good will they return lightly.

Yesterday I got bad news. One of my favorite client-turned-friend had died. Although she was about 25 younger than I, I considered her to be a friend. I was a friend with her Mother first, when she was growing up, and then as newly married young woman she contracted breast cancer, and through our work together, she and I became fast friends.

My friend came to me as she had heard through her Mom that I did bodywork and could help her move through her treatment. So she decided to undergo Western medicine surgery/chemo/radiation and at the same time do some alternative treatments to bolster her health, remove toxins from her energy field. She did all this with a smile on her face, love in her heart, and a stalwart hope that she would finally be well.

The first challenge ended in victory. She was clear for several years and for as long as we lived in Chicago, she would fly in from another state far away, visit her family, and have some bodywork sessions. After we left the area she and I would occasionally be in town at the same time and she would come to me for what we laughingly called her “tune ups”.

Several more years passed though, and I had not heard from her this year since Christmas. Her Christmas card did not carry the same energy as all the previous ones and I began to suspect something was up. I finally emailed her on Monday, the day she passed away. Her valiant fight was over and she was at peace. Her husband who as a young groom took on the news of his wife’s cancer with courage and commitment must be devastated that their worst fears were finally realized. Her parents and her brother must be devastated too. The problem is that like Princess Diana, my friend carried so much light and joy. There wasn’t a person in the world who thought ill of her. The world is a bit dimmer because she has left it.

My friend was one of those unique people who lit up a room when she entered. She always made people feel at ease and cared for. She was a good listener and always was optimistic. She loved her family and friends deeply and was devoted to them. She was there for everyone and everyone was there for her. You just couldn’t not be. She was that kind of special person.

I wish you, too, had known her. Your life would be much richer because of her. Perhaps you have your own special friend who brings this to your life. If you do, cherish your friend, for the days are short.

“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, “Did you bring joy?” The second one was “Did you find joy?” (Leo Buscaglia) If this is indeed the criterion, my friend is well on her way in her journey!

Charles Caleb Colton said, “True friendship is like sound health: the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.” I feel sad to have lost my friend but feel secure in knowing that what we had will continue beyond false barriers such as death. I know she is still my friend. I know she will be with me in my heart for the rest of my own life. I know that my life is better for having known her.

And for her, I like to think of Walter Scott’s quote:
“Death….the last sleep?
No, it is the final awakening.”

Enjoy your journey, dear friend. I will meet up with you before we know it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Friendship from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (selected sections)
"Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
.....For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed....
that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence.....
let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit."

For some reason I am feeling sentimental today and thinking about all the wonderful beautiful friends I have had over my lifetime. Some are still with me. Others have moved on, some to the great beyond. New ones arrive with frequency and I am struck by how they always seem to be the perfect person at the perfect time.

So I wanted to take a moment out of my life to say how grateful I am for my friends. I am privileged to have friends from very young ages to very old ones and all ages in between. They all are loved and cherished by me. Each one brings me some enlightenment and joy. Thanks to the computer age I now have internet friends, ones I’ve never met nor am not likely to, but with whom I connect on some level, sharing thoughts and feelings and life stories. How amazing is that!

Then there are the friends who have taught me really hard lessons, like boundaries, or standing up for myself. Their friendship comes in different wrapping but they are just as valuable if not more so than those who are easy to be with and with whom I laugh readily. The ones who wound me are my beloved teachers who love me enough to hurt me. They love me enough to try to teach me lessons that are hard to learn. I hope I have been a good student, making their efforts worthwhile.

So today, Sunday, I am grateful for them all, in all their packaging. I am so fortunate and blessed to call so many wonderful people friend.

Tell me about your friends and how you view friendship.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Golden Heart Award

Thank you to Angela Recada who gifted me with the Golden Heart award. Angela’s blog is a breath of fresh air showcasing her art, love of family, rescued pets, and her dreams for travel and learning new languages to add to her many accomplishments!

I would like to pass this award celebrating “creative, caring souls” on to the following blogs:

Annie at Blissful Bohemian
Sema at Affirmart
Tabitha at ichoosebliss
suZen at Erasing the Bored
Jan at Awake is Good

Just enjoy this award ladies. You are each of you creating, giving, soulful and marvelous beings!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Color Quiz Answers

Thanks to everyone who gave this a go. Most of these answers are fairly obvious but there were a couple of stumpers in here. I'm posting these a bit earlier than I said I would since I will be gone all day tomorrow. Here are the answers!

1. Most attention getting color is RED
2. BLACK is, of course, the color associated with villains.
3. PURPLE, the color of royals
4. Rooms of YELLOW cause the most arguments.
5. The color most hospitals use to promote relaxation is GREEN
6. Public servants in Rome wore the color BLUE. It is the basis today of our police uniforms and those of other civil workers.
7. BROWN is the color that implies genuineness and reliability
8. PINK causes people to loose energy. There is a visitor's locker room in some professional football stadium that is painted pink for this reason!
9. Chinese brides traditionally wear RED for their weddings.
10.The color thought to be least appetizing is BLUE.

So there you have it! Pretty straightforward for the most part. Hope you enjoyed this little summer detour! Nice and light! xo

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fun Color Quiz

After two weeks of less than spectacular internet reception I hope we are now on the right track. We had new equipment installed on Friday, lost contact again on Saturday (grrrrrr) and as of this very moment we have it again. This is the frustration of rural living and also makes us realize how darn dependent we are on the computer and the internet. Heaven help us all if we ever loose the connection as a country! Or world!

On the bright side, I found this old color quiz in my papers which are scattered all over my office thanks to the installation of the new equipment! I totally forget where I found this but I thought I for one need something light to think about so here is the color quiz. Answers will be posted on Wednesday!

1. What color is most attention getting?
a. Black
b. Yellow
c. Red

2. What color do villains most often wear?
a. Black
b. Red
c. Blue

3. What color is associated with royalty?
a. White
b. Purple
c. Green

4. People loose tempers most often in rooms of which color?
a. Black
b. Yellow
c. Pink

5. What color do hospitals pick to promote relaxation in patient rooms?
a. Pink
b. White
c. Green

6. In ancient Rome, public servants wore which color?
a. Blue
b. Brown
c. Red

7. What solid reliable color implies genuineness?
a. Green
b. Brown
c. Black

8. What color causes people to loose energy?
a. Green
b. Blue
c. Pink

9. Bride in the west generally wear white but what color do brides traditionally wear in China?
a. Red
b. Beige
c. Green

10. What is the least appetizing color?
a. Black
b. Yellow
c. Blue

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Primio Meme Award

Thank you to Silke of Metamorphosis for giving me this Primio Meme Award! The rules of this award say I am to state 7 facts about myself and then give this to 7 people. Such a fun way to bring more awareness to other blogs! Thank you, wonderful Silke! You are a gem and I hope many people come to your blog through this! Same for my 7 people below!

Here are my 7 facts:
1. When my husband and I were engaged, he was in the Navy and on course to be a career Naval officer. I was still in college and was the first woman to take the Naval Orientation course at Northwestern University as I felt it was important to know about what my husband was doing! I also had to do some fast talking to get myself into the course! In addition, I got the highest grade in the class, but that was hardly fair since I was a senior competing with freshmen! Sitting at home on Saturday night and studying was something I am sure not one of those young men did their first quarter in college while it was status quo for me!

2. I am a wimp but push myself to try things, like the zip lines in Costa Rica. Scared me to death but I did it!

3. I married the same man twice: once in 1967, and once in 1997 in a recommitment ceremony, witnessed by our three sons! I was still in college for the first one, and our kids were all out of college for the second one!

4. I am allergic to shellfish. This is unfortunate since we spent the first year of our married lives together going to the lobster pound in Boston and buying lobsters and clams for Friday night dinners! Believe it or not, at the time it was less expensive than hamburgers!

5. I would love to go to Africa! And Alaska!

6. At age 13 I fainted dead away doing my first speech. Now I speak in front of many and it seems ok. I still shake, but now I see the audience so differently!

7. Seven is my lucky number! I love the number seven!

That's it! Now for my seven award winners:

Joanne from A Whole Latte Life
Cheryl from Perspectives on Life
Eleyne from Rainbow Writing
Ginny from Ginny Piech Street
Anne from Aging Lite
Carolynn from A Glowing Ember
Mermaid from mermaid

Enjoy their blogs if you haven't had a chance to visit them before! Ciao!