Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My thoughts on the news in Connecticut

It would be impossible to believe that any of you have not heard of the tragedy in Connecticut. I heard it on the radio while running errands. I don't watch the news, or read the paper. I don't get on Facebook often enough to hear the latest news, so I was a little behind the times, I guess. I didn't know what to say about it, really. Everyone was giving their opinions. Some hope and prayers for the lost ones and their families and friends. Some lashing out towards the evil doer that struck down these innocents. Other's sharing in the opinion of why this matters more than the genocides and murders that happen everyday in other countries and the inner cities of our own nation. I tried not to get too wrapped up in this. I didn't know what my opinion was yet. Did I have an opinion? I have changed so much over the years that I'm afraid my lack of outrage or out-crying of sorrow might come off as callous or too passive. The thing is, I just choose to try to gauge my words first. Measure my emotions. Take the time to feel my feelings. And this is what I came up with:

I really am sickened by the thought, the reality, that all those innocent people were slain, especially little ones. And especially right at the holidays.  Now, I've already seen the argument about "why is this more important than other horrible crimes?" Race was brought in, societal rank, and why the holidays have more importance than any other day when these crimes against mankind happen. I don't think this one instance is more important. But I think the timing and situation made us stand up and take notice maybe just a little bit more.
I am not a political person. Nor am I a follower of any real man-made religion. Most of you have probably figured that out if you've read this blog from the beginning. My personal beliefs are just that I don't follow any religion because I choose not to participate in anything that causes separation between us. When we are told that one is wrong over the other, that makes me uncomfortable...and sad.
 I realize not all religions do this, and this is not my soap box for the religious right.
 My point is, no matter what you believe, the Holiday season is known for being a time of peace and cheer. Most children in this country celebrate Christmas, wait for Santa, have joyous Christmas mornings filled with the sounds of laughter and the ripping of paper, the cheerful noise of toys and games. Family, turkey, music, and favorite Christmas movies. Not news of these children and their families losing their lives so needlessly. It makes you take notice. It's not that we don't take notice of kids getting caught in the crossfire of gang related shootings on the South side of Chicago any less, though it may seem to happen that way, as I recently heard it put.
I am a big believer in the saying that everything happens for a reason...also something you would know about me from this blog. And don't get your knickers in a twist, please. I know loss. My husband knows loss. I'm not saying these people had to die. I'm saying, maybe their sacrifice will grant us the unity we so desperately need. We took notice...maybe not the right approach, according to this statement:

 "You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.
It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

**(this statement was recently attributed to actor Morgan Freeman but retracted as not being his statement. It doesn't really matter who said it, it's still an opinion.)
But, I happen to agree. Let's stop sensationalizing horrors. I choose not to read about the shooter. I don't want to know the details. I want to pray for the families, send my thoughts and prayers to them. Know their names, not his. Remember the bravery that was shown by teachers, staff, and children that both perished and survived. Hope for them that their lives can move on peacefully, in time.

I hold on to my hopeful feelings for this planet as I have seen more and more promotions of good deeds. It's becoming a nice pattern, to promote goodness, to perform good deeds, and to take notice of it, and spread it around. I did wonder, and still do, how we are to evolve as a (human) race when we take steps forward in our behavior, only to seemingly take giant leaps back in the shadow of something like this. Why do these things happen? Why was my mother killed by a medication, when she was still too young to die? Why was Noah's mother ruthlessly kidnapped from her home and murdered? These things JUST happened, a few months ago. Why have I heard about two cases in St. Louis, right around the same time we had our own tragedies, where mother's killed their children, then themselves? What is going on in this world? Are more things happening, or are we caring more, taking notice more? 
Or is there a reason behind all of this? To bring the rest of us closer through these other people's sacrifices? 
I don't have the answers to this. I do feel, though, that we tarnish their memories by becoming hateful ourselves. I know that most of you want this kid to burn in hell. I've seen all the things being said about him. What is that going to do, but give people like him their way? Blackening your heart will not get anything done, but make you bitter and hateful. Mourn for the dead, mourn for the living who lost their loved ones, weep for the selfless bravery shown by teachers like Vicki Soto, and celebrate them. Learn from them. Honor them that way. Forget the name of the evil-doer. We really do need to put a stop to sensationalizing murderers, criminals, thugs, and wrong-doing in general. We need to teach our children, no matter their age, that it is not lame to be a peaceful, loving human being. 
Even in the midst of all of this horror, I still see the good happening. We are evolving. It is necessary for our survival to do so. It's up to each one of us to make the choice to calm ourselves during times of duress, choose the softer path; the kinder path. We all feel so separate, but when something like this happens, we feel so much more connected, right? We need to get to the place where tragic events don't need to happen for us to feel that connection, then maybe we can, eventually, see a world where there are no more killings or hateful acts towards each other. 

I wish you all a peaceful Holiday. Love one another, forgive each other. Make this season one of a beautiful new start to a wonderful New Year.

Warmest Regards,

*please read my comment below, it a small adendum to this post, and an important realization I had with a link to an even more important mother's story...
I thank you-N 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give a little Thanks, Share a bit of Gratitude...


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hope this Holiday finds you all safe and sound. In honor of the Thankful season, this post is about just that...being Thankful for what we have.

I spent many years aspiring for 'more' and feeling like I didn't have enough. I am so grateful that I made the changes that I did so that I can now be at peace with what I have, and that is so comforting. Now my husband and I can look to the future with relaxed hope, but we don't let 'want' overwhelm us. We are content with our lives but never stop dreaming of what we still want to accomplish. We just don't let the future overshadow our Now.

I was at work the other night and I was thinking of how I used to get so frustrated there. Then I smiled at the thought of how much I've changed because I don't really get that way anymore. I just go with the flow, and since I'm grateful for even having a job in the first place, I stay grounded in that realization that I need to stay with that "gratitude-attitude", not just at work, but in everyday life, as well.

What helps me with this at work is keeping my mind still and taking each instance as it comes, and trying to do so without judgement. If you stay calm, and keep your mind in your work, and not in unrelated things, you won't get aggravated when work arises and you have to tear your attention away from what you want to think about that is other than the work at hand. (I can speak 'professionally' about this. This was what I used to do on a daily basis, mostly to escape where I was and what I was doing. I used it to make my present moment a means to an end.)
If you stay in the Now and focus your energy on what you are doing, you will do it to the best of your ability. You might even start to enjoy it, or at least the freedom from the resentment you cause yourself by wishing you were in some other place doing some other thing. "What does this have to do with being Thankful?" you may ask. Well, when you practice this, it will become second nature, and you will be grateful for the renewed lease on life and change in attitude you will have giving you a more peaceful calm demeanor. It did for me, at least. And that helped me to remember to be present, and to be aware enough to be grateful for something each day.

You don't have to start B-I-G to start to be grateful. It's probably best for you to start small. As with anything, slow and steady wins the race. You've heard that if you make little changes in your fitness and diet plan, you will be more successful than if you go gung-ho and full force at the gym and cut all your carbs. Don't set yourself up to fail. Start where you know you will stick with it. Some start a gratitude journal. If this sounds great to you, but you know you will only do good for the first few days or even weeks, but know you will tire of it and quit, don't do it that way. Just start small.

I have a mission statement at the top of this blog that states "Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create." I think if you just feel grateful for something as often as you can, you will be forming a habit that will serve you probably better than any other habit ever could. If you think writing it down helps, try and make a practice of it right before bed. Jot down all that you can remember that you were grateful for throughout the day. This will help you to remember good things about your day, and you won't be dwelling on all of the negative that may have happened.  Not to mention the good nights sleep you will be setting yourself up for. It's sort of a bed time meditation, if you will. Or, if you are a morning person, take time while you are having your coffee or tea and waking up to jot down what you are grateful for and this will help to put a positive spin on your day to come. Or, if you're feeling ambitious, you could do both! Whatever makes you happy.

There is no right or wrong way to do any of this. It's your life. You are the creator of it. You have all the power, you just have to realize it. Take a moment right now to think on situations that made you miserable. What was your attitude like? Now, how about when you were so very happy? What did you feel then? Which do you prefer? You can choose. I've said this before based on something I read by Eckhart Tolle: it's not what happens to us that harms us, it's our reaction to it that does.

Living with gratitude is a step in the direction to taking control of your life. Making yourself the boss of you. You take the power away from individuals that should not have power over you simply by changing your vibrations, your resonance to those around you. You WILL see a difference, I guarantee it. Try it. What have you got to lose? Feeling better about yourself? Happiness? Joy? Loving kindness for yourself and others? Believe me, it's worth it. And it's something you can do that is subtle. People will start to see something different about you, but you won't have to make a huge announcement that you are going on a life changing mission and worry about alienating everyone you know. But if they are your friends, your family, and they love you, they should be happy for you anyway.

Try it and let me know how things go. I want to hear from you. Our lives are a miracle. It's time we realized it and start treating ourselves and each other like the precious beings we are.

I wish you luck, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and, above all, I wish you all the wonderfulness you deserve.

With humble Gratitude,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our visit to the Ripley's Aquarium. The most beautiful creatures we saw here.

Here are some fabulous pictures to share with you of some of the most beautiful things. I hope you enjoy this. Glad I can share it with you.
Our Eclectic Life: Ripley's Aquarium, Gatlinburg: One of the first things we did as tourists to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was visit the Ripley's aquarium. We were told it was a must-see and we...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A great email I received....

Here's a great email I received from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and a link to an article giving more information. It's worth a read, no matter who you voted for...

Thanks for reading!

Dear Nanette,

Clean energy was a big winner yesterday.

American voters not only re-elected a president who made green jobs a cornerstone of his first term and his campaign, they also rejected some of the shrillest champions of Big Oil and Big Coal in key Senate races from Massachusetts to Ohio, from Virginia to New Mexico.

We should be heartened that the fossil fuel lobby could throw $270 million at so many candidates hawking "drill, baby, drill" and climate denial -- and get so little back on their investment.

Apparently, democracy lives ... as does common sense. Voters roundly rejected an extremist agenda that says protecting polluter profits is job one, while the rest of us pay the price in illness, poisoned ecosystems and apocalyptic weather.

That last point was hardly academic this Election Day, as millions in the Northeast are still struggling to recover some shred of normalcy after Hurricane Sandy. Our own New York headquarters was dark last week and it has been both surreal and heartrending to watch people lining up -- all across the region -- for food, fuel and shelter just as winter is bearing down.

The human toll is hard to grasp but all too real: more than 100 people have paid with their lives. Tens of thousands more have lost everything; for them life will never be the same. Dozens of devastated communities are torn apart, feeling suddenly and terribly vulnerable to the next storm on the horizon.

These are the terrible costs of our increasingly extreme weather. Of the ten costliest hurricanes to hit the United States since 1900, eight have occurred in the past eight years -- and that was before Sandy. The latest superstorm only underscores what atmospheric scientists have been trying to tell us: the future is here, and the bill has come due for a century-long binge of fossil fuel consumption.

Will Sandy awaken America from our slumber of climate denial? Yesterday’s thrashing of Big Oil’s candidates is one reason for hope. So is the response to the hurricane from politicians of both parties, who are now grappling with the undeniable reality that their states are at the mercy of rising seas.

But hope is not enough. Action is needed ... and fast.

NRDC is not waiting. Today, we are calling on President Obama to confront the urgent threat of global warming by reining in carbon polluters and dramatically boosting the role of renewable energy in American life. That is our very best hope for breaking Big Oil’s stranglehold on both our economy and our climate.

Toward that end, we’ll work closely with the second Obama Administration to build on great progress already made in so many sectors -- like the new clean car standards we championed that will double the fuel economy of the average vehicle on the road.

But we’ll also be watchdogging the administration to ensure it does the right thing: that the EPA proposes carbon limits for existing power plants ... that the State Department delivers on its promise of a complete and independent review of the climate-wrecking Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ... that the BLM cracks down on dangerous fracking.

Of course, NRDC always stands for the environment, not for any party or elected official.

So if the Obama Administration strays from its avowed commitment to the environment, then we will hold their feet to the fire -- in court -- just as we’ve done with every other president over the past forty years.

As you read this, we are suing the administration to save the Polar Bear Seas from Shell’s reckless plans for drilling in the Arctic ... and to safeguard the very last 284 beluga whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet from oil exploration.

Simply put, we will do everything in our power to help President Obama deliver on his goals of clean energy and environmental protection. But NRDC will hold him accountable -- for our planet’s sake -- if and when he falls short.

As for Congress, it is time for the House Republican leadership and Tea Party members to face reality: the American people are in no mood for more ideological intransigence. By rejecting Big Oil’s candidates, voters sent a message loud and clear that they want more clean energy, less climate denial and an end to the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels.

Those are the priorities NRDC will be putting front and center when the lame duck session of Congress begins next week.

I don’t have to tell you that we’ll be counting on your steadfast support and activism. NRDC’s 1.4 million Members and online activists are the secret weapon behind our courtroom power, policy influence and legislative clout.

In the wake of this pivotal election and Hurricane Sandy, I’ll be calling on you to raise your own voice again and demand that our President and Congress take far-reaching action, at long last, to usher in a new and saner future beyond fossil fuels.

We owe it to those on the frontlines of climate change: All of us.


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. The next few weeks are absolutely critical as we build on new momentum -- born of this election and Hurricane Sandy -- to move America beyond fossil fuels. NRDC is already mobilizing in Washington and across the nation. Please consider making a special, tax-deductible donation today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Please donate to help the Sandy relief

As a member of, I receive regular emails about issues that are important to me, as well as like-minded people around the globe. In my last post, I wrote about the Hurricane and how it affected my thinking and how everyone seemed to be pulling together, but I overlooked putting in a link to donate to the relief fund. Here is a copy of the email I received and a link to donate through Please, please, if you can find it in your heart, donate whatever you can, even if it is positive loving thoughts for these people.

Thank you, Nanette

Dear MoveOn member,

Hurricane Sandy landed a week and a half ago. My family in New York and New Jersey was lucky. Relatives had their houses flooded, and others are still without power or heat. It's bad, and it's going to take time to rebuild. But everybody's ok.

Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of others, things are not ok. Far from it.

People still don't have power or water, basements are still flooded, gas shortages have made it hard to run generators, and temperatures are getting down into the 30s. MoveOn members who have volunteered have told us about finding families wet and shivering in the cold, and meeting people who've stopped eating because they don't have anywhere to relieve themselves.

Many of the worst-off places—Staten Island, the Jersey Shore, Long Island, and New York City neighborhoods like the Rockaways and Red Hook—are home to hundreds of thousands of working class and poor families. Families that don't have the resources to get a hotel room, or take weeks off from work, or wait in gas lines for 7 hours.

It's gotten so bad that Doctors Without Borders has set up their first-ever disaster relief effort in the U.S.1MoveOn members across the tri-state area have been pitching in. But now we're asking MoveOn members across the country to help.

Community organizations are doing some of the best relief work—providing hot meals, distributing supplies, helping residents dig out—and they could desperately use our help. We've identified a few making a huge impact. Can you chip in to help them? Civic Action will cover the credit card fees so every dollar of your donation goes to these organizations helping people in dire need.

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Anna, Eliza, Carrie, and the rest of the team
1. "Far Rockaway: Global Disaster Zone," Outside, November 8, 2012
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If a butterfly flaps it's wings...

This may be a little controversial for some of you, but hear me out, if you will.

I want to talk a little about the tragedies that befall us in this world, and open a thinking process for how to deal with them or think about them.

I got to thinking about the hurricane that hit the New York area while my husband and I were watching the snow fall on the mountain through the window by the fireplace of our challet on our much needed anniversary trip and how, without that hurricane, we wouldn't have the precipitation to create such a beautiful scene for us. I felt guilty for enjoying myself while all those people were struggling to maintain their lives and save their homes and pets. I get that way. Obsessive. Overthinking.

I almost ruined the moment for us.

But then I got to wondering. What if the things that happen really are just meant to be? That's a hard pill to swallow, especially when it's not me who is going through the tragic events of a catastrophe. But I've been through my own tragic events, haven't I? My point is, cycles of life happen. You know the butterfly effect? That bit of chaos theory, named by Edward Lorenz, that states the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before? (Wiki)

So, if this is true, then something happened to cause that hurricane. That hurricane caused weather changes throughout parts of the US. We got unexpected snow on our vacation making a magical moment for us to enjoy at the cost of all those people. At first we were dissapointed at the rain we came into when we first arrived. Then we heard it wasn't going to get any better, but worse...snow. I had to remind myself to take it in stride, enjoy it as it comes. I was then able to see the blessing in our snow. And actually enjoy it. We sat and quietly watched it fall. I did yoga in front of the fireplace and watched as it fell onto the treetops right outside the wall of windows. It was a peaceful tranquil moment that I am grateful for. That's when I started thinking about the reason for our weather in the first place, and my mood shifted.

I started to realize that while we are enjoying this beautiful thing, it had to come at a price. But that's nature, right? This is our experience, that was their experience. That is how nature works. It was teaching all of those people perseverence, right? If it was happening to us (and we don't want this to happen to us, or anyone else) but it would be teaching us perseverence. It would then be our experience. It would be something we would have to go through. We were the fortunate ones, this time, to be enjoying the result. We get to sit in our warm cabin in front of the fireplace enjoying the snow falling. It was a sweet little blessing that we got some snow. The people down in the valley got to look up and see the snow on the mountain tops. But at what cost? At the cost of this hurricane and all the devastation it brought. But...that's nature. That's life. That is the cycle of life. Right?
And that's how that happened, and if something devastating were to happen to us something good might be happening for someone else somewhere else and if that gives them a moment of joy, then so be it. Were we to cease our own lives because of this? I don't think so. What would this world consist of if we all did that every time there was tragedy? Life moves on. It is meant to be lived. And, though there were deaths, and that really does break my heart, live, they did.

 But, what's more, (because I absolutely do not believe a hurricane devastated millions of people so that I could enjoy the snow) this awful thing happened and what was the result? The real result...?

People banded together. People thought about one another, as oppossed to just themselves. It made them think about each other, help one another. It got everybody listening and hoping and praying for these perfect strangers who are scraping themselves back together. News doesn't just always carry negativity for the sake of it. The more things happen in this world, and a lot more is happening, the more we as a human race are persevering. Reaching out to one another. Lending a helping hand. Becoming less selfish. Learning to live lives of servitude. Gaining more compassion for our fellow human beings. Setting our differences aside and becoming One.

These harrowing times are necessary. On the surface they are unfortunate, yes, but without them, with what do we gauge our growth?

So, yes, at first I was guilty for our pleasure at the same time others were having so much pain. But I thought of all of them. Thoughts may not be enough for some of you. But I feel thoughts are things. If every other human being was shaken out of their daily routine or pleasurable moment by the sudden realization of where their pleasure and joy might be coming from, we would all be thinking about one another almost all the time, even if for fleeting moments at a time. Keeping each other in our minds keeps us mind-ful. Staying mindful can heal us. Healing ourselves will trigger a healing in All.

And that, my friends, is how we heal this Planet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A new post on Tiny Buddha...

I am so grateful to Lori at Tiny Buddha (.com) for the opportunities I've had to post my thought on her website. My biggest wish is to help other people to understand that they are not alone in their fear, pain, misunderstanding. If I can write about every drop of human emotion that I (and my husband) have felt and swam through, and made it to the surface again to live a brighter day, I have joy. We are all connected, we are not alone. You are not powerless. If I can make these changes, so can you. Here is another example of how I pulled though another difficult time in my life...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Eclectic Life: Happy Anniversary

Our Eclectic Life: Happy Anniversary: Today is my 10th anniversary and I want to tell you about the man that I fell in love with on November 2nd, 1997, and who I married on Octob...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The cost of Service

I haven't written much on here in a little while. I did, however, write another post for Tiny Buddha and I will post that link as soon as it is up, probably in the next month or so. I've also been doing some work on my other blog, Our Eclectic Life.

Anyway, I've just been up to the same old stuff. Busy, as always, and trying to figure out how to manage it all and still make time for some peace in my life.

Things are so different in our lives now, every day is a big change. I don't do all the same things that I used to do, time for myself has diminished greatly. It's getting more difficult to keep that attitude I've had lately..."It's better to live a life of servitude than to live selfishly for yourself alone."

With so many tasks laid upon me so suddenly to care for and to manage, I feel, at times, that I've lost myself in the process of finding a way to care for everyone else. I do serve. I have a humble heart now. Something quite foreign to me from how I've been in the past. But sometimes I wonder, at what cost?

My husband is starting to voice his concerns more now about the direction our lives are going and what our future is starting to look like. He's worried that a life of servitude is all we are headed for.
He's not a selfish man, but I do think he's yearning for a bit of our "old" life back. I tell him, "things have changed." He asks me, "are they ever going to go back to the way they were?"

The truth is, I don't know. Just when I think I've got another task completed (in helping to prepare my father for life without my mom, for instance), and I think I've made great headway and I'm one step closer to getting it all done, another task arises. He feels it's one thing after another, with everything, our own business included.

It's hard to explain without boring you with all of the details. We're just busy all of the time, every day, with multiple things needing our attention.

We are like everyone else out there, we get overwhelmed, too. But I maintain my philosophy about servitude. You see, I still feel that, even if I am exhausted at the end of the day, even if I got nothing done for myself, let alone anything pleasurable or relaxing, I have still accomplished greatness and I can feel peace for what I've done because I have served another.

But if it's like that every day, and I'm exhausted every day, and I have nothing left for myself every day, how do I get past any feelings of resentment?

A few years ago, I would have been filled with resentment. I still feel the curve of resentment's fingers wrapping around my heart even now, sometimes. In the past, I would feel ashamed or fearful of those feelings. Now I recognize them, allow them, acknowledge them, and let them go. I forgive myself for feeling fearful, not necessarily for the resentment itself. I know that I am human, and I will feel human emotions.

So, how do I get past it even after forgiving myself for them; to feel okay with the way life is right now?

I guess I just remember that there are things that need doing; things that must be done. That I have to take care of myself and decide which things can be said 'no' to. That this is not a selfish act. I need to organize my time, make time for my family and myself, as well. This may seem like a further burden, now having to worry about hurting feelings and saying 'no', managing time more wisely, discussing these things with everyone. But, in the long run, getting these 'ground-rules' set will save a lot of hurt feelings and confusion.

So, isn't this just one more task? Yep. And probably not the final one. But it seems to be a step closer. What I tell Noah is, that, even though he feels we're always "one step closer, two steps back", we're still a step closer. Life has changed. I don't think it will ever go back to the way it was. How can it? Now, the task is managing well with what we have. Everything that one 'deals' with in life is a lesson. And in lessons there are blessings. Whether you see them at first, or not.

You can look at tough times in your life one of two ways. With resentment and anger, or with gratitude and grace. It really is all in your perspective. You have all the power, because you control your reaction, though you may not control the situation. If you constantly have a "woe-is-me" attitude about your life, you will always have that life. If you choose to look for and find, any possible lesson and blessing in your situation, whatever it may be, and learn from it and then be thankful for it, you will be living from your Highest Self, and you will always have THAT life.

And you know what? That's worth living a life of servitude, to me.

Have a great weekend. N

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just a couple of quotes...

I'm writing another article to submit to Tiny Buddha next week, so I'm busy with that at the moment, but thought I'd check in and say HI!

I know this blog is a bit Spiritual and a bit deep at times. That's why I created Our Eclectic Life. It's a place to get to know us better, and an outlet for me to share every day experiences in life with my friends and readers. When I 'came out' about this blog, I was tentative, to say the least. I didn't want my friends to think I was living one life and showing myself around them as another. I just wasn't ready to share this side of me. But when mom and Phyllis died, it was a catalyst for me to live my true authentic life. So, here I am. This is me. And I'm sorta loving it...

I have these quotes from two of my favorite fellas on my refrigerator to look at when ever I can. I'm going to rewrite them, I think. Make them look different so I don't just treat them like the background and really start taking notice of them again.

Though I'd share them with you.

"How to Be Free of the Veil of Illusion?

Perceive things (situations, people, events, etc.) predominately through awareness (presence) rather than thought. Even just observing the minds compulsive and constant judging is the beginning of freedom.

Be at peace by making peace with the present moment."

                                                                                                  Eckhart Tolle

"Every thought that you have impacts you. By shifting from a thought that weakens your energy to one that strengthens, you raise your energy vibration and strengthen yourself and the immediate energy field."

                                                                                                   Dr. Wayne Dyer

Hope this helps in some way. It certainly did me. Not just recently, either. I've been working on this method of being since 2008. Though, I certainly believe in "To each his own", I just know that I have made great strides in my well being and just wanted to share a little loving kindness with you today.

I wish you all the wonderfulness you deserve...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Full Circle...

Today I was missing my mother. Really, really...really missing her. It's been like that for quite few days, actually. Maybe even weeks. Now that things are really starting to settle down and into a routine, I have more time to think, because my mind is not as busy...

But, I must not be thinking about the right things, because I think I have writers block. Inspiration block.

Sure, I've been working on my other blog, but it's like I've been avoiding this one. My first bit of real inspiration came with the idea of needing to write this post, here, and when I opened my notebook, I found something I had jotted down a while back. It's what I used as my last post, "Little Reminders."

I don't know when I wrote it. I know I had done it at work. When it was quiet and slow for a moment. It just came to me, like most of my content. That's why I always carry the notebook (or my iPhone in a pinch does just fine. Yay, technology!).

I had every intention of posting it but didn't get around to it, for whatever reason. It's just what I needed, though. A reminder. Which is why I started this blog in the first place. To keep myself reminded, in check.

I needed that bit of inspiration from myself, I'm glad I found it. In essence, it was the definition of what just happened, come full circle:
Missing my mother has become more unbearable lately. I fear the euphoria of my Shift may be subsiding enough for me to let those "old realities" back in. I know that missing my mother is okay. Human nature. Normal. There is nothing wrong with mourning my mother's death. I know that whatever I feel is okay and I do not want to judge myself for my feelings. Noah feels the same about his mom.

We miss them. It's terrible. Especially with the holidays approaching. With my mom and I, the holidays started October 1st. We did a lot of stuff together for Halloween the whole month of October. She LOVED it. And so did I.

My anxiety grows as that month approaches. I'm going to try to do some of the things I did with mom, with my sister this year, and Noah and I are going to Tennessee for our 10th wedding anniversary at the end of the month, so we'll be there over Halloween. Then I'll just take the rest of the Holiday's one at a time.

I've not felt the new surge of anger that I am hoping I will not have to encounter for the way she was taken from us, and if I'm feeling like this 6 months after my mom's death, will Noah start to go through the same thing as the months go by about his own mother?

I fear the onslaught of negative emotions and behaviors we may face due to this new wave of grief in the coming months. I believe this fear is causing me anxiety and in turn causing me to start having negative thinking.

I feel blocked, aside from busying myself with our other blog (because it focuses on the lighter side of our life). A distraction, if you will. Busy projects to take your mind off the fact that the holiday season and Christmas-time are coming and your mothers are not going to be here.

I've had no enlightened inspiration for myself, or to share with others. I had a sinking feeling that it was all leaving me and I was going to be left without that wonderfulness I had had just a couple months ago.

I was afraid it was all just a bout of manic euphoria brought on by the shock and grief of a sudden death.

I thought I was losing it, including my faith in myself.

Then I picked up this notebook to write about it and found that last entry. It's like I wrote it for myself, for just this moment.

I never posted it. I must have somehow known I would need it, at this precise moment in my life, to restore my faith in myself. To restore my faith in this wonderful Universe and all that it holds for us.

To get me to reflect on this entire situation and be grateful for it. Writer's block, inspiration block, and all.

To remind me to be more mindful next time.

I always talk about synchronicity. It really is awe-inspiring to me when this type of thing happens. It's amazing to me to know I was able to pick out the message in this even in the midst of my fear and pain, because I was feeling fear and pain, and I try so hard to let go of fear and pain. It shows me how far I've come, and how much further I can go. That it is attainable, because I am living proof of it happening to me right now. It is a joy to me that I can share this with you that you can attain the peace you seek. As I've said before, it doesn't (usually) happen over night, it takes faith. And work. But it's worth it. It becomes easier the more you notice the wonderful little things happening for you because it builds your faith in the possibility that all things are possible. This reminds me not to DO and just try to BE.
All I have left to say to the Powers That Be is "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You."
I needed that.
I wish you all the wonderfulness that you deserve...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Little Reminders

Amazing things will happen to you when you let them. Of course, it lies within your opinion what "amazing" is.

I used to be afraid to hope. Afraid because I knew my hopes would be shattered in disappointment.

I am no longer afraid because I removed my attachment to what it is I hoped for. I still hope. I still dream. But now I do it without fear. Without the fear of losing it or not attaining it.

I am in awe of how humbled I am when it happens for me. I am in awe of my acceptance of what is when it does not.

I try to find something to be grateful for in every situation. Even when I become 'aware' of the negativity I revert to at times when I am acting unconsciously. At first, I was disappointed in myself for having those moments of unconsciousness allowing me to have negative thoughts and actions. Now I find it serves me much better to be grateful for those moments that I might be reminded to be more mindful next time.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The coolest birthday gift...

I have a quick little story I wanted to share with you. I don't know why I waited so long to tell it, it was just a quirky little thing that happened, but I was just thinking about it and wanted to share it. I took my son out with me for my birthday two days before my actual birthday (July 23rd). We just went to dinner and shopping all around and then to the mall. While walking through the busy mall, a young woman walked passed us and complimented me on my dress. I was a little taken aback, and I don't take compliments well, but I thought it was very nice. It's fresh and inviting to open yourself up and reach out to someone and offer kind words or a compliment.  We eventually made our way to Earthbound Trading Company, where there are a lot of ethnic wares, posters, incense, jewelry, and unique novelties. A display of cuff bracelets caught my eye. I was standing there with my son looking at all of these bracelets when a lovely young African American woman who was also the store clerk approached us. She also complimented me on my dress. I was appreciative, but found it a bit odd. Two compliments in less than 20 minutes. See, I was wearing a dress that had belonged to my mother. I took some of her things when I cleaned out her house. I explained to the clerk that this was my moms dress and that she had recently passed. The clerk ( I wish I had gotten her name) asked me if I feel my mother. That she is with me. I told her that I did. And this is true, especially after the quantum moment I had had several weeks before. She told me that she just had to come over and meet me, that I had such a calming presence about me; an unusual aura. We spoke briefly for a few minutes more about the other side and she had to go back to work. My son thought that the interaction was "cool" and, frankly, so did I. We have noticed these interactions alot lately, where people have approached me and have stated the calming affect I have or the serene way about me. This is so foreign to me, a far cry from how I used to be, but it is now becoming more of a natural feel for me. I'm getting used to hearing this and realizing that this is me, now. It was actually always me, I just didn't know it yet.
These interactions started even before I lost my mom. In January all of the employees in my department had to meet with a Human Resources representative due to the less than great employee survey results at work. When I got into the lady's office, she was a little harried, rushing a bit because she was late. I was just getting off work at 7:00 am, she was hurrying to get started with me. When she finally settled in to her desk she looked at me and took a big breath and said "Are you always this calm? You just have such a calming affect...I just want to take in a big breath and sigh..."(and she did so). I was surprised at her words. I told her that I was not always this calm, quite the opposite actually. But I have been changing. Realizing what is important in life. Stressing myself into early old age is not one of them. So all of this really started quite awhile before mom died. I'm sure that is a huge contributor to the way I am able to handle the things in my life, now. I just wanted to share these little, but very significant, moments I've had. Speaking out to others, telling them what you feel, what is in your heart, even if it is just kind words in passing, can have a great impact on them. And they, like me, will then be encouraged to keep that feeling those interactions give them, and carry it within themselves, and share kindness of their own. Kindness,'s a cycle, and it is contagious. That's a great thing to spread.

The dress...

The bracelet...

Have a wonderful Sunday...N

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Eclectic Life: It's the little things...

Our Eclectic Life: It's the little things...: Hi, everybody! Hope you had a great weekend! Ours was B-U-S-Y, as usual. I'm blogging a little tutorial on quick curtain making next, I'll...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Eclectic Life: A further introduction...

Our Eclectic Life: A further introduction...: My mother and I didn't always get along. I'm ashamed of that. We had a rocky relationship from about the time I was 14 or 15. I was sassy, t...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quantum Moment

I want to tell you about the day I realized I had my Quantum Shift. I was standing at my sink in my kitchen doing the dishes listening to an online radio station to nature music feeling the breeze through my window, seeing the leaves of the trees flutter in the wind, noticing the flowers in the neighbors yard, the colors so vivid. There were butterflies and bugs fluttering by. The nature sounds mixed with soothing music was calming. I noticed the feel of the warm soapy water, could see the stark blue of the spring sky...and the absolute peace I felt, the beauty of the moment. I felt my connection to my Source, to my mothers Spirit, to the Universe. It was a most precious moment. I could feel my Shift. I said to myself, "I never want to forget this feeling. Please don't ever let me forget this." I actually wept peaceful joyous tears.
About two weeks later I watched a DVD staring Dr. Wayne Dyer called "The Shift", and I could not believe what I was hearing. Dr. Dyer was describing the four parts of a Quantum Moment and I knew for sure what had happened that day in the kitchen.
It was Surprising*. While standing at my sink totally submerged in my thoughts while doing the dishes and listening to that music, staring out the window, I was caught completely off guard and was snapped back into instant reality by the sudden realization that something was happening.
It was Vivid*. I was snapped into acute awareness of everything that was happening around me. The nature sounds in the music and outside. The wind in the trees and the sound the leaves made as they rustled against each other, the birds landing on the neighbors fence, the vivid hue of the purple Iris across from me in the neighbors yard, the breeze billowing the curtain and caressing my face, the blue of the sky and white puff of the clouds. I remember the springtime bugs buzzing around in the dappled sunshine and the sudden realization of the feeling of calm and peace enveloping me. Which brings me to how I also know this had been my Quantum Moment:
It was Benevolent*. I truly felt the presence of the Great Creator. I felt my mother. I felt God. In all things around me. In myself. In the busyness of the nature I was witnessing living it's life outside my kitchen window. I felt a peace like I had never felt before. I knew that everything would work out as it should, and I would have peace with it. My fear and worries left me in that moment, and I felt peace and comfort with my being.
I took a long while to write about this, nearly four months, because I needed to test the 4th Quality.
Whether it was Enduring*. Now, I realize that four months is not four years, but needless to say, I am still changed by this Shift. Even though I have endured through the last four months with this same feeling of change, what really acts as a testimony to my Shift is my actions, thoughts, feelings, and reactions to another tragedy in our lives. Just two months after my own mothers death, my husbands mother lost her life tragically. Between that, returning to work, which is usually a major source of stress and reaction for me, and dealing with all the responsibilities I now face what with caring for my father while working full time and taking care of my own family and managing my own home life, I have continued this new and unexpected way of thinking and feeling that was completely foreign to me at first, but now feels like home. I have endured. I have continued this new way of life. It is still very curious to me how I am still in this state of well-being, through all of the challenges of everyday life, but I am realizing that this is how we are meant to be. We are not meant to have strife and discord, worry and pain. We are meant to thrive. To love and be loved.
I have come home. I've come home to myself. Quantum Shifts usually happen after a great "fall". Mine was the death of my mother. A great shock. A great transformation of perspective. This is just the beginning of my journey. I know I still have a long way to go, but with this new found peace, I've found confidence. I know I am on the right path. I am filled with joy and love.
I wish you all wonderfulness...

*The four qualities I use here are used by Dr. Dyer in his book and movie "The Shift" and are taken from the book "Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives" by authors William R. Miller and Janet C'de Baca

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From The Ashes, Will Burn A New Flame

It's so strange going back and reading a post from a while ago when so much has happened in your life that changes everything. Again. It's like going back in time. My last post really touched on everything I wanted to say at the time. It covered everything, it really did. Then my husbands mother was killed. Just when the pieces were fitting back together, and I was starting to make sense of what has happened in my life, another life event occurs, this one more unbelievable than the last.
Not a car accident, nor plane crash. She was a victim of violence. Proof that the most shocking things can happen to you and your family when you absolutely least expect it and in the blink of an eye.
     I was just recovering from my own mothers death and just figuring that out when this happens to my husband and his family. I should be angry. I guess we were a little, at first. Maybe we're just still in shock. Or maybe it's something else. We are certainly confused about how we are supposed to react to all of these things we are dealing with. When you start to change your life, or rather, your life starts to change you, it's irreversible. I know that is hard for some people to understand. When I witnessed this change in other people it was hard for me to understand. My husband and I have slowly attained different views and philosophies about things. Most things we have always believed in: freedom of religion, gay rights, women's rights, environmental protection, animal rights. But we still had unrest about us. We thought the world owed us something. We had contempt for those who had more than us, or had it 'easier' than us. I got to a point where I hated everything and everybody. I really did. I hated people, I hated my job (this was all the same for Noah, too.) We needed to change.
     I started first. I was watching an episode of Ellen and she was expressing wholeheartedly her gratitude for a man whose book changed her life and who she admired as an authentic caring loving person. I had to see who the heck this was. It turned out to be Dr. Wayne Dyer. The way he spoke impressed me. I am not one to follow 'guru'-types or get into the "next-best-thing". I need my hard earned money and couldn't afford to go out and buy a bunch of self-help books. I had read "The Secret" and was not all that moved. But I did read his books, and I was moved. But I wasn't all that "hard-core" on self-improvement. Then, one day I was flipping through the TV and landed on Oprah. She was interviewing this man and I stopped to listen. His presence was calming, caring. That turned out to be Eckhart Tolle. His story was interesting, to say the least. I found his book "A New Earth" on sale and read it. It sort of changed my life. So I got his other book (also on sale) "The Power of Now". Also a life changer. But I did put them away after I read them and lived them for a while and went back to my "old" ways for about a year or so. I guess I was afraid of change. Afraid of what everyone who knew me would think. But eventually I felt the need for it again. I even found a few other books by Dr. Dyer that I guess I needed.
     Slowly I started my transformation. Meanwhile, Noah started to change as well. I can't really describe it. It's just that you have a realization of what is important. What actions feel right. What thoughts feel right. It just happens, when you allow it without fear.
     I had been reading "Wishes Fulfilled" (Dyer) and noticed that book "Dying to Be Me" (this part of my story can be found in my last post.)
Fast-forward to the end of my last post and just when we're figuring everything out, we get the news about Noah's mom. Now, I'm not going into  huge detail about it here. I don't want to dwell on the ugly aspects of how we lost his mother. This is about the synchronicities leading to healing. The fact of how tragic it was is important, though.
     After his mom passed, we went to be with his family, we dealt with everything there. We came home and further dealt with our grief and confusion over how this could happen to us, twice in three months. I was very confused. I didn't know what to think or how to feel. I wanted to write about it but didn't want to go through it all again. We didn't even tell anyone at first except for a very small amount of friends, and our family, of course. When I got the feeling that the time may be right, I asked Noah if it was ok to write about it. Not the details, but of the togetherness and kinship of his family and all of their friends where they live. When I decided this, I remembered that I had seen on a tweet from tiny buddha where you could submit an article to their site. I wrote an article to the sites specifications, read it to Noah for his approval, and submitted it. I received a response later that day. I was so grateful for Lori at tiny buddha for her kind and encouraging words. Writing that article helped me hash out my thoughts about why this has happened to us. Talking with Noah about everything that has happened to us since March helped us figure out how we feel about all of it. We are still figuring everything out, I'm sure we're still in shock. But having known constants in your life in times like these helps you to feel grounded and sure that you can persevere above even the most tragic and challenging times. I am forever grateful to my husband for being with me through all of my changes and not being afraid that I'm changing so much that he'll lose me or lose touch with me. He is the most accepting, kind, patient person I know. And as a result of that , he's gone through his own positive changes. We are still the same people. We worry that our friends will think we have changed too much and that we have nothing in common with them any longer. This is simply not true. We care about all of them, and have formed irreplaceable bonds.
     I am also so very grateful for such a wonderful accepting forum that I found in tiny buddha. I am so glad I allowed myself to open up and allow all of the possibilities for change and healing that each of us deserve. I so wish that we had our mothers here with us to witness these changes. But, I think that they are. I'm not sure if our loved ones have a hand in our fate at all after they pass, but it sure feels like it. At times, it feels like our mothers made the ultimate sacrifice for our spiritual growth. They've moved to their higher plane, and it seem they are there, nudging us toward ours, here on this Earth. I used to think feeling like this was "hokey". But, now, I'm not so sure.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From Tragedy, Can Come Peace

This is my first post in a long while...I just haven't taken the time to write. Then a tragedy happened in my family. I lost my mother. It's been almost two months. It was sudden and completely unexpected. I've been taking my time contemplating what and when to write. I've written drafts, snippits, ran thoughts and ideas through my head, but haven't posted any of it yet. It wasn't the right time. I suppose now is, I just picked up the computer and decided today is the day. inspiration to get going again, my "nudge", if you will...
 I've been a little more active on Pinterest these last few weeks. Facebook, not so much. Pinterest is more solitary.  I have a board that is dedicated to Blogs worth Browsing...I found a pin from a friend, saw that it was from a blog that was just up my alley ( and on Blogger so I could add it to my reading list, and saw this fantastic idea "Find a Friend Friday" where you can link your blog right there on her blog and search anyone else who has linked up to meet new bloggers. I usually wouldn't do that, I'm still quite new to blogging and mine is not like the others. Although I am crafty, and love to DIY, I have yet to start a blog gearing toward that nature, so I was a little nervous about signing up. But you won't ever know if you don't try, right? Maybe someone might actually read a little of this blog and find a bit of inspiration. So, that's how I decided to get back to writing. I can't very well sign up for "Find a Friend Friday" with a blog that hasn't been written in since January, now can I?
So this is what I've been thinking about...
Since my mom died, I have my own B.C. and A.D.: Before Crisis and After (mom's) Death. Nothing will ever be the same. I haven't really let it all sink in. I've kept myself very busy with taking care of my dad: planning the showing and funeral , finding him a house and getting him moved here near us, getting his finances in order (he had never even seen their checking account), cleaning out their house to sell (still working on that), calling Realtors, the coroner (we're still working with them to get answers), taking dad to his medical appointments (he's a disabled veteran and does not drive), all while taking care of my own family and dealing with the fallout of my 17 year old son not handling his grandmothers death very well (they were very close).  I, of course, am not asking for pity, it's just there's been so much to do, I've had a lot of distractions to keep my mind busy. Not always the best idea, I guess. I haven't really dealt with everything the way I should. But I'm getting there. I take it one day at a time. I've recently decided to speak to a grief counselor. I want to make sure I'm handling things in a healthy way. I believe that everything happens as it should when it should if you allow it. That philosophy is a hard one to accept after something like this happens. You question what you've been brought up to believe in, what you've always been taught. The story is always different when it happens to you, whatever it is.
I had been reading a book "Wishes Fulfilled" by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He gave high praises to a book that was written by a woman named Anita Moorjani called "Dying To Be Me" after she had a Near Death Experience. I acknowledged this with curiosity, planning to read it in the near future (though open minded as I am, I am a skeptic by nature) and continued with my book. A little while later, my mom died. After a while when things settled down a little I thought about that book. Alot. I looked it up and purchased it. It brought me such peace when I needed it the most. If you read any of my posts, you will immediately notice that I am not a 'conventional-thinking' person. I realize that what I believe isn't for everyone. I have changed so much over the years, and I will continue to do so. But I respect others for their beliefs and hope that they would bestow that same respect upon me. I think this world is changing. I see it every day. People are becoming less selfish. Thinking deeper. Accepting more. Connecting more. Becoming kinder. It's exciting.
I'm still working through my grief over my mom. It will take a long time. And even though I gained peace about most aspects of it, there are still rough patches to tend to. I will share as much as I can about it, while still musing about other things that are important to me. I also hope that when everything smooths itself out more I can expand my own horizons and start those things I have been putting off for whatever excuse. If I've learned anything from this great loss, it's that you have to do as well as dream. You don't have forever. You can't waste time worrying about what everyone else thinks. As long as you aren't hurting anyone, do what you love. If you can help someone in any way while you do it...all the better. There's nothing wrong with living a life of service. I learned that in the next book I was compelled to read-"The Shift." Halfway through that book I decided to watch the DVD movie of the same title. The information I gained from all of these sources is invaluable to me.
One of my greatest sadnesses about my mother's death came from the fact that she still had things she wanted to do. It wasn't like she was battling an illness. It was a medication issue and it was sudden and unexpected. And she wasn't done living. I'm not saying she didn't live each of her days to the fullest, she was involved in her church and was an avid volunteer. She loved to get out and go. She had just turned 69 and was very active.  I'm saying we all need to do what makes us happy. Try to be a little more open minded and a little less condemning. Live an unselfish life. Love to the fullest. Forgive wholeheartedly. Hold your loved ones close and dear. Notice everything around you and enjoy it all.  Learn all you can while you can. Choose your battles and decide what it's worth. Judge less. Vow to inspire, and be inspired. After all, we are here to be happy. Sometimes it's hard to think and feel this way especially after a loss, of any kind, and you're feeling lost and confused, maybe even angry. I've been there many times in my life for many different reasons and I'm sure I will be again. I'm human with a human range of emotions. What may be great for me one day could feel like it is falling apart the next. And I'll be writing about it. But I'm learning. And one of the greatest lessons I've learned is to accept myself for who I am. To love myself unconditionally. Nothing can ever be wrong with that.  I am so thankful that I was able to receive the things that have come into my life( like Tolle, Hay, Dyer, Williamson, etc) that gave me the peace and clarity I needed when I needed them to start changing my life (2008). If I hadn't, I would be in a totally different place right now. All I needed was to be ready and allow it as it came. I can trust fully that I will get the answers I need when I am ready for them. Everything happens in this Universe perfectly as it should. We may not be happy about all of it, but our reaction to a situation is what gives us pain. We have the ability to choose. Why not choose to be at peace? I wish all of you peace and kindness, and above all...LOVE.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right...No Matter How Righteous You Feel

The following is a post I read on Facebook not long ago. The original post, or comment made by Rep. Allen West is the original post of an old acquaintance of mine. What follows are comments from several different people, including that same acquaintance. It is copy and pasted, word for word.  I did not change or omit anything that was said. I changed the names, because I would not betray trust or want to embarrass anyone. That is not what I intend to do with this. I just had such a strong reaction to the 'human-ness' of this conversation, I needed to write about it. My intentions are not to judge these people. My opinion is not about these individuals as people, but of my heartache over how people feel about acts such as these, and the fact that it quite possibly represents a lot more of America, of our World, than we realize. I will quote the copied text and follow up with my own words at the end.  I had to think about what I wanted to do with this for several days. I just knew I wanted to do something.                                                                                                                                                              

"Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, commenting on the Marines' video:

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through ...Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter."

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”

(end of Rep. Allen West's comment)

(start comment feed)
"(Jake*)He's right... War is hell. However, since when does two wrongs make a right? All of these "right-wing, war mongers" claim to be Christians, well maybe it's time they start acting like it!!!
 The U.S.A. is better than this! Just because they do despicable things to us doesn't mean we have to do them back. We should be the "bigger person".

"(Ted*-original poster/acquaintance)Jake this is why we live in AMERICA bro. You have the right to have your own opinion even though I disagree and would piss on their bodies as well. I also served in Kuwait and was a living target. I can forgive BUT I will NEVER forget!!!!!!!!!"

"(Susan*this is who sent Ted this article about Rep. West)My husband has been in the military for 18 years and has been deployed 5 times to both Afghanistan and Iraq..and he has not killed anyone..but trust me, he has ducked and weaved and bobed when those rockets come into their camps, he has also been shot at..AND he has seen the dead bodies of our soldiers as they come through to be shipped back to the US. I would hi five my man if he did it! Just saying!!"

"(Jake*)And I trully do appreciate your service. Trust me, I know it's no fun getting shot at, it's even worse getting hit, but where does it end? If taking a human life isn't enough for you that you have to desecrate the corpse as well then that's just sad."

"(Ted*)Well call me SAD but those men were dead when they were pissed on and many others gut us as well as behead us WHILE WE ARE ALIVE......................I have no ill feelings for someone who pisses on a dead enemy......................THAT WOULD HAVE DONE MUCH WORSE TO US IF THEY CAUGHT US ALIVE"

"(Susan*)I don't believe he is saying that..the taliban are in talks with the us right now and they are trying to use this as leverage..REALLY? U need leverage? After everything you have done to US troops, oh wait..ur own damn people..and other troops as well? What he is trying to say..and what I have interpret it to be Nothing was said by the Taliban condeming what they have done..Nothing was done to their soldiers when they decided cruel and unusual punishment was ok for our fellow Americans..than you know what..WHY? why should we be worried about what they think? They pee'd on their dead bodies..How many people did they kill before they were killed themselves? These people are NOT for freedom..they are for instilling fear among their people..So Unless you have been there..Shut the hell up!!(not you jake*..ppl in general) We are better than them..there is NO comparison!!"

"(Jake*)I respect your feeling, but still think it makes us (the U.S.) look bad. Since we claim to be superior to everybody else we should set the example. As I said, " be the bigger person."

"(Susan*)It only makes us look bad because of guys were dumb enough to video tape it. I am sure there have been much worse things done in the heat of a both sides. I think though that there are no consequences when they tape our soldiers being dragged or beheaded. I mean we did not even show the body of Bin Laden..out of "respect" to the muslim world. I personally wanted to see him and see what he has suffered..if that makes me a bad person than so be it. I had family and friends in the WTC..and it was about time!"

 "(Ted*)Jake* I respect your point of view and I even respect your right to want to be or appear to be the bigger person. I am QUITE sure you have NEVER been in combat and never had to experience the SEA of emotions that one has when their next breath could be their LAST.......EVERY night you wonder WHO is NOT coming back to camp(because they are dead), WHO is suffering RIGHT NOW because they LIVE to torture us, WHEN you see the bodies of our YOUNG and OLD military getting ready to be shipped home because they died in action and many were desecrated..............THEN YOU WOULD FEEL DIFFERENTLY!!!!!!!!!! I PRAY YOU NEVER HAVE TO SEE OR FEEL THIS. I HOPE YOUR FAMILY NEVER HAS TO WONDER WHAT HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE TAKING YOUR LAST BREATH."

"(Jake*)You're right, I never have, and I never will see "combat". In fact I never had the chance to serve as you did, not that I didn't try mind you. I wont bore you with the details as to why I didn't get to fulfill my dream of a military carreer, I'll just agree that I don't know what it's like, and again thank you for your service."

"(Ted*)Jake* thanks for trying 2 understand. Thats more then a lot of people who wont even try 2 understand"

"(Dana*a new commenter)Ted*, with my marine son currently deployed to Afghanistan for his 3rd tour in 3 1/2 years. I do not agree with what the marines did however war is hell and unless you have lived day in day out in a war zone and have been wounded (my son 2x in a month) and watched your fellow marines die. You cannot judge others actions. My heart is in tears are here in (her home state*)!"

"(Ted*)I hear you Dana* and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I applaud your son and give him my full support. I know it is hard for most Americans to be okay with it. I am sure a lot of military are NOT ok with those actions. I am."

My first reaction to reading this feed was outrage. But this is not about me judging these people, just the situation. And this is how I feel about the situation of the soldiers urinating on dead bodies and the human reaction it received, at least from this circle of 'friends'. I happen to agree with Jake*.  I share his views about two wrongs not making a right. About being the bigger person. I was appalled that this act even happened. I was more appalled that there are people who actually think that heinous acts like this are ok. And that they feel so ok about it that they get defensive, angry and confrontational while justifying something so mind-crushingly horrible! What has ever happened to all or any of our soldiers in the throes of battle since the beginning of war is ugly, unfair, unjustifiable. No matter what those acts upon them were or are. Violence is cruel. It is terrible. It will affect not just the person to whom it is displayed, but many who are connected to the victim. And as we are ALL connected, it is inexcusable. Ugly monstrous acts are damaging to the mind and Spirit of the person who is acting them, and not just to the one being acted upon, and not just to the witnesses.
Then I felt sadness. Seeing people speaking like this makes me sad. Sad for our World, sad for our Country, sad for our Minds. I try to be hopeful that we as a Nation, a global community, a species would be slowly but surely taking steps forward into the brightness of a New World. A New Mindset. Seeing the unconsciousness of some of the people making these comments made me feel a little deflated. Sad. I was shouting inside my head while reading this feed "No! I implore you! Please don't tell me there are people who believe it is justifiable to desecrate a corpse, no matter who it is!"
 My next reaction to these comments was fear. I fear for the minds of our children that this type of grotesque situation is becoming so commonplace, or has already become this commonplace, that it is discussed as if it were an everyday heated conversation. That our children, and ourselves, are living in a desensitized world where discussions like this are even necessary. Now, I'm not stupid. I realize that time's, they are a-changin'...we don't live in a perfect world, we haven't in a really long time. And discussions like this about this war have been commonplace for well over 10 years. That's the sign of the times, though I wish it were not. I hope that our world changes, so that the times will change as well. We need that change.
Then, after I thought about all of this for several days (I did not want to react too hastily) I realized that I understood. I still do not endorse hateful, vengeful acts. But I can appreciate how these people feel. I realize all of the awful and hateful things that were done to soldiers stir rageful emotions out of us. I felt them, too. No one wants to see or hear of a soldier (or hopefully, any fellow human being) being tortured, drug through the streets and beheaded. That is some one's husband, father, brother, wife, mother, sister...we can all relate to that. Sadness will overtake us when these things happen. Overwhelming feelings of anger and discontent will swell up and envelope us. Our minds get flooded with these feelings, clouding our judgment. Dragging us into unconsciousness. We are not perfect. We are human. We feel. All of us do, even those we do not understand. But the goal that I hope for is that we start trying a little harder. We find and connect with that inner sanctum that God  (whoever that is to you) gave us and use it to be better people. We use it to think before we act/react. That we realize the damage we are doing to ourselves is sometimes far greater than anything anyone else can do to us. You don't have to be any certain way for anyone else. But know that your actions cause reactions. While we are responsible for ourselves, we are also responsible for how we affect others. The changes can be small. I actually saw these "quietings" toward the end of the above comment feed. I could see the calming, the caring, happen. And I realized that this was not something to have outrage over. There was understanding happening there. There is no doubt that we need to change this World. But we must begin the change in each one of ourselves. If you work on yourself, you lead by example. You will shine a ray of hope onto others, you will begin the chain reaction of well-"being".


Sunday, January 1, 2012

I found this tweet right after my last post. See?

Tiny Buddha (@tinybuddha)
1/1/12 1:12 PM
The Courage to Accept Your Own Beauty

Sent from my iPhone

It's time to take the power back...

You know what, everybody? It's time to do things right. Stop making excuses. This is your world, it is what you make of it. You have the power to make the changes necessary for your dreams to come true. If you think that this is easy for me to say, you'd be wrong. All of mine haven't yet. I feel, not even close sometimes...but I'm working on it. And I'm seeing the results. Every moment is another step closer. And I've learned patience. And that gives me peace of mind. I know that what I want, what I need is being developed.
Put all the harrowing, daunting, big picture ideals aside and don't get distracted by the solid form ideas of others, and what they tell you is the right way to do or live.
Focus on the abstract ideas of what you want to do. Look at the small picture.
Dont get overwhelmed with all the multiple tasks it might take to get there. We get so caught up in what all we have to do, we don't get to enjoy the dreaming we need to do of what we want. The worrying only makes more worry. And pain. The dreaming is what brings it all into fruition. The dreaming is what motivates us to act on behalf of ourselves, because dreaming alone does not get the job done. The Universe, like a genie, is probably not going to produce whatever you want out of thin air, unlike what is taught in a very popular book and dvd. I wish it did. But, if it did, what lessons would we learn? We need the bad times as well as good, as much as I hate to say it, otherwise we have no mistakes to live by. Our journey here, I believe, is to learn all we can to reach our highest potential. We act, mess up, learn and fix it until we get it right. I know, it sucks, sometimes...ok, alot. But, it's how we look at it that is the difference. How you react to whatever situation youre having can either cause pain or peace. I know people hate being told this type of message. I did, too. I have gone in and out of my feelings about life alot lately. But I know what I keep coming back to. To this realization: This is what is right for me, right now. There is more out there than what we see with our eyes, what we perceive with our minds. We just have to pull back the veil and look a little closer. It's work. Some aren't ready for this kind of work. It's nonsense to most. A namby-pamby waste of time. But once you do a little, you're on your way. You have a realization that you are in charge. Of yourself and what happens to you. That's a better feeling than obtaining material objects. But...once you become in charge of yourself, everything will start to fall into place. I can say this because I know, I've been going through these realizations for about 3 years. It doesn't happen overnight.
But it happens. Why not try it? See what comes of it. You are responsible for your own happiness. Give it to yourself, you deserve it.

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