Just to mix things up, I thought I’d give the ladies out there a little mental break. If you’ve been working furiously over the computer, take a moment and scroll through these fine examples of masculinity.
Not into the sometimes furry? How about godlike?
Or if you don’t like fantasy, and prefer sci-fi there’s Battlestar Galactica’s own Apollo.
I’m a little afraid to put up any more. Don’t want to melt anything. Enjoy! And then back to work…
Two years ago I completed my Reiki Master Teacher training. Reiki has been a journey that has quite literally transformed my life. I am a better person because of it; I view people with far more compassion, I am kinder to myself, and I have level of contentment that I had not thought possible. Yeah, really, it’s that good.
In this post, I wrote about what Reiki is, but the bigger question people want to know is, does it really work? Ask someone who’s had Reiki, and you’ll probably get an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ The most commonly reported effect of Reiki is relaxation; which everyone needs more of! Our western society today is one that is driven by stress…we speak of needing caffeine (to speed us up), deadlines, gym, angry customers or bosses, after school stuff for the kids, not to mention paying the bills, keeping a roof over our heads and, especially in today’s economy, getting and keeping a good job. We go, go, go, nonstop from the moment we crawl out from under the covers bounce out of bed till we drop our heads back onto our pillows late at night.
This is not normal. This is not healthy. If you think differently, you’re fooling yourself. The whole body needs to be cared for; not only the physical, but the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our life require tending and nurturing. We all need ‘down time’ or ‘me time.’ That is, we all need time to recharge and re-energize ourselves; we need to de-stress, to relax and to connect with the divine within. There are many, many paths to this, Reiki is only one.
But does it work? This is what most people want to know before they shell out hard earned cash for someone to lay hands on and say that healing energy is channeled through them. I mean, can you think of any more woo-woo statement than that?
So, can its effects be measured? In this study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Reiki was found to improve outcomes in patients after a heart attack. This article discusses how Reiki produced measurable physiologic changes associated with relaxation and stress reduction. This last article is not Reiki focused, but discusses how distant healing techniques produced statistically significant improvement in outcomes for AIDS patients.
In case you don’t follow the links, I’ll let you know that these are not blog posts, or opinion pieces in popular literature. These are clinical trials published in peer reviewed journals. Do they “prove” Reiki works? Absolutely and conclusively? No. Do they demonstrate that Reiki, and other complementary spiritual healing techniques are worthy of further study? Unequivocally, yes.
Reiki is not a magic bullet, it is an adjunct therapy. It does not ‘heal’ or ‘cure’ the recipient, but it is doing something to facilitate improved health in those who receive it. For those who are looking for a gentle, non-drug alternative to increasing their well-being, Reiki is a sound choice.
Here’s hoping you find that which helps you heal.
I really love hearing from you! Drop me a comment, tell me of your Reiki experiences, let me know what you think.
P.S. All pictures are under copyright to me. Please ask permission before use. Thank you!
I took the summer off, sort of. I still had to go to the day job, of course; bills and mortgage…you know how that goes. I had surgery in late June, and that was pretty much the last time you heard from me. It’s not that anything bad happened, but it was this really transformative experience on multiple levels.
At some point in life, you’re going to reach a point where you realize you can’t do it all. I know that everyone’s journey through this life is different. We all face difficulties, and I thank Spirit that, while I’ve had my hard times, mostly my life has been very blessed. But also, that our journey through the adventure that is life is uniquely our own. I reached a point where I recognized that I’d taken on too much, and something had to give, that something was my blog and social media networking. I’m not very technical, I deal better with warm bodies, so when I found myself falling asleep in my chair at 8:30 p.m. over dinner night after night, I knew I had to let the blogging and writing go for the summer. I had other things I had to focus on.
In retrospect, I can see that my exhaustion was part of my healing. It didn’t help that right after my surgery, I found I couldn’t sit to write for protracted periods, it was just too painful. So I fell out of the writing habit in a few short weeks, and then the garden exploded. Not literally, but my part time hobby was not so part time any more. It’s totally been worth it! See:
And then there’s the girls. Remember my little chicks? They’re all grown up:
Isn’t she a beauty?
They only just started laying a few weeks ago, but it’s so nice to have fresh eggs once again.
Frankly, summer up here in the Northwest really has been awesome. We’re looking to break a record, we’re approaching 51 days without measurable rain. That is unheard of for Seattle! It feels like being back in SoCal, with sunny days and temps in in the high 70’s. Gorgeous. I mean really, it doesn’t get any better than this:
I also realized I needed to do some work on myself. With the surgery, and going through my healing process, I realized I had to make some changes. I’m active; at work, in the yard, but it’s not enough to maintain health, so Hub and I joined a gym. I’m not the weight-lifting gym rat that I was in my 20’s or even 30’s, but I’m going. It was a bit disheartening to recognize how out of shape I drifted, but I also was gratified that I can still get on the cardio, and my body still remembers the proper form for deadlifts and squats. I’m eating healthier too, more greens, more salads, less junk food. Even though I still so WANT to run and just get a yummy burger and fries at time. Still do, but FAR less than I used to.
I’ve tried in the past to get healthier, exercise more, yada, yada, blah blah. This time, it seems to be sticking, at least for the last few months. The key, for me, was realizing I’m not perfect. I gave myself permission to fail. We’ve all seen the memes running around Facebook with the inspiring quotes about getting back up, and making mistakes, right? The most important lesson I learned this summer is this: It really doesn’t matter how many times you fall down. What matters is that you get back up. Bounce back up, ease back up, ask for help back up, it doesn’t matter, so long as you get back up.
So this is me, getting back on the blogging horse. I may be rusty, but I’m back. Nice to see you, and thanks for reading.
Emma Meade has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Many thanks to Emma, who shares with me a love of things paranormal. Emma offers up reviews of books, movies and television shows with a paranormal slant. So many I couldn’t begin to catch up. Be sure to check out her blog, especially if you’re looking for your next good read or celluloid adventure.
The rules of the Kreativ Blog award are: You must thank your nominator and link back to her page, tell your readers seven things about yourself, then nominate seven other bloggers. Share that blogging love!
Since it is Weird Weekend, I thought I’d share with you some of my weirder experiences:
1. I used to work in an upscale lingerie and sex toy boutique; entertaining and educational all at once. I’ll never forget the guy who disappeared into the dressing room to try on women’s latex bondage wear. He came crawling out on all fours, paused in front of the mirror, patted his behind and asked, “Do you think my mistress will punish me when she sees me in this?”
3. I am sort of, not really, kinda prepping for the zombie apocalypse. No walkers are making it into my neighborhood, and my neighbors share my dislike for the undead.
4. I follow conspiracy theories. I don’t believe every conspiracy theory, but I enjoy reading about them, and following the author’s research and documentation. Some of my favorites: Roswell – I think a UFO really did crash there. UFO’s in general, abduction phenomena, crop circles, love it! Remote viewing and the military – Men Who Stare At Goats is watered down, but yeah, I think this one is plausible too. Not a conspiracy, but Bigfoot, he’s practically a neighbor here in the Pacific Northwest. Friends of mine swear that they heard one on a motorcycle trip; for a half an hour they could hear it howling and moving about on the side of a mountain. I believe them!
5. I’ve had two sort–of near-death experiences. The first one still vivid to me: I had multiple high fevers when I was very young. During one of them, I found myself floating near the ceiling, looking down on my body, lying on the couch. My mother was kneeling next to me, and her head was down on her arms. I realized she was crying, and then pop! I was back in. The second one, I fell into an empty pool when I worked at the zoo, and was knocked unconscious. Days later, after the concussion and general fuzziness started to fade, I had this urgency of needing to get out of Southern California, that I had other things I needed to do in this life. Within months, I’d quit the job I loved and moved to Seattle. Within a year, I was in nursing school, and within two years, I met the love of my life, now my husband. It was the start of a spiritual journey that is still unfolding.
6. I have found that if you tell the universe what you want, she will provide it. But be careful what you wish for. Found that out once when dating an ex-Navy SEAL.
7. I have found that if you approach what angers or scares you with compassion and an honest attempt at understanding, it can effect change not just in you, but also in what you are confronting.
Now, I pass on the Kreativ Blogging Award to these wonderful writers. Please visit their blogs and say hi:
Do you re-read books? I do. They’re like old friends that I visit with from time to time. The words run across the page, filling my mind with welcome, familiar images, but it’s the emotions they evoke that really capture me, and bring me back again and again.
Lately I’ve been reading and re-reading some of my favorite books for research. Jane Austen, Robert Heinlein and Edgar Rice Burroughs have all been in the rotation. Recently, I needed some insights into character dialogue, so I went to one who excelled at witty banter between clever and believable characters, Georgette Heyer.
Are you familiar with Georgette Heyer? If you write romance or read romance you need to check out her Regency novels. Blazoned across the top of each tattered copy I own, ‘Hers set the style for all the rest.’ It’s true! Georgette led me to Jane Austen, and every other Regency romance is measured against their standards.
Since she was writing in the 1920’s, her language may seem stilted or difficult to follow to more modern readers. Some of her sentences become very involved, and as familiar as they are, I find myself having to go over them once or twice to get the gist of what she’s saying. But that is their charm, and what draws you in. She takes you into the world of fashionable London during the reign of the Prince Regent. From 1811 – 1820, or 1795 – 1837, depending on how you’re slicing it, the Regency period in England is the transition between the Georgian and Victorian eras. When you read Georgette Heyer, you sink into this lost era, the one that brought us Lord Byron and Mary Shelley.
If you want character development, clever twists, and just plain fun, you cannot do better than to read Bath Tangle, the one I just finished tonight. Lover’s triangles, high society, and the lovingly detailed backdrop of Bath, England are blended together charmingly in this frothy romp.
I was looking for arguments, conflicts and fiery exchanges between characters that are desperately in love with each other and trying just as desperately not to show it. Through Lady Serena Carlow and the Marquis of Rotherham, Ms. Heyer dishes up some delightfully spicy fights. Plenty of flame and passion, yet these characters…wait I don’t want to spoil it! Read it and let me know what you think.
My old friends inspire me to be a better writer. I try and write the kind of stories I want to read, and to recapture that sense of wonder I spend time with those stories that have moved me, elated me, made me cry, and made me laugh. I find there are no better teachers.
Do you re-read old favorites? Or go through books once, and then never look back? What writers have inspired you?
Just when I was needing some inspiration for getting back into my blog, I was tagged by the talented Rachel Funk Heller for the Eleven Questions Game. You will definitely want to check out her blog and read the answers to her eleven questions. Here’s her answer to number 4; I want to be at this dinner:
“4. You can invite any three people in the world for a dinner–anyone alive. Who are your guests?
Bill Moyers, Rachel Maddow, and Sting”
Here’s how the game is played:
1. You must post the rules. ￼
2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them
So, here’s what you’ve all been wanting to know about me:
What is your favorite cruciferous vegetable? None. Really, I am not a fan of broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and so don’t eat them. I even tried broccoli sprouts once, thinking to get the health advantages, and had to feed the bitter things to my hens. And they weren’t thrilled with them either.
At what age did you realize Santa Claus, might not be real? I was under the age of 10 because by then I was desperately in love with Han Solo and Santa was definitely a kid thing. I don’t remember though if I was 8 or 9 when I realized that Santa used the same wrapping paper as Mom. Hmmmmm.
Where is the worst place you have ever made whoopee? In a very prickly thicket, with only a thin blanket on the ground. Ex-boyfriend thought it was ‘romantic’ to do it outdoors. Sure, fine, but fewer sticks underneath would’ve made it a lot more comfortable.
What is your favorite rodent? Rats. Really, I’ve had multiple pet rats. They are very affectionate if raised right, and highly trainable. Pet rats come in lots of varieties and color schemes. I mean come on…isn’t that cute?
List your five favorite letters of the alphabet. In no particular order: H, I, J, K, and L.
If you could be a Spice Girl, which one would you be? Probably Sporty Spice, I would love to be able to do backflips.
If you were a super hero, what is your super hero name and your special power? My special power would be talking to animals, and my name would be Chatterbox. I would wander the streets chatting up the pets of your favorite celebrities and then blog about all their deepest and darkest secrets.
What is your Drag Queen name? Take the name of your first pet, and the name of the first street you lived on. Inky Regatta, which conjures up all sorts of images. Hmm, I feel a new character coming on…
Boxers or Briefs? Boxers all the way.
You’ve just made an embarrassing fast dash into an elevator car, after you make it and the door closes, you are panting and out of breath, you look up and there is your favorite celebrity of all time: what do you say? “Quick Han Solo, tell me again what a scoundrel you are!” You notice that’s the second time I’ve mentioned him?
What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time? The chain mail bikini a very old friend made for me one year, worn over my leather bikini, with a swirling cape and trusty sword at my side. Then I wore it to a Renaissance Faire the next year. Oh, what fun that weekend was!
So now it’s my turn! I get to ask the questions, here’s what I want to know about all of you!
Dream vacation anywhere, and I mean anywhere; here on earth, out in the cosmos, favorite fantasy realm or time period, and why?
When did you first realize you were a writer?
How would you like to reach bestselling author status: traditional publishing, with agent, editor and one of the big 6? Or go it alone, a-la Amanda Hocking style, self-published all the way? (If you are already there, which route did you take, and how’d that go for you?)
Last movie you saw, and what’d you think?
You can no longer write! Gasp! How do you express your creativity now?
If you could wave a magic wand and fix just one thing, anything you like, be it pollution, politics, or maybe just the way your hair frizzes when there’s too much humidity, what would it be and why?
Is there life after death? Do you want there to be?
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Who’s on your list? You know, the exception list, as in: “Honey, yeah, Han Solo just called and he’s good to go. You know he’s on my list.” (Ok, so he’s my favorite example)
You can take a trip, and find out 100% absolutely without a doubt that there is a God, but the process of finding out takes a couple weeks, and involves some risk and personal physical sacrifice and pain. Would you take the trip?
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a kid?
Yeah, remember that song, Sister Golden Hair by America? I always loved this line:
“I’ve been one poor correspondent, and I’ve been too, too hard to find, but it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind.”
As the song says, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about all of you out there, blog followers, and fellow WANA’ers. I will be catching up and getting back in the round of reading, following, blogging and tweeting away this week.
Some of the time I was dealing with life issues, some of it I was helping some friends through a few crises, some of it was my own body needing some down time, and demanding it by catching cold.
Mostly though, I needed to step away from writing. Part of that was my own process in writing my WIP, but I also had a breakdown in my faith in myself. How many of you out there have had that moment of questioning: “Is this really worth it? Can I really make this writing thing work?”
The short answer is yes. No, I’m not getting paid yet, but in the round of distractions that kept me from the computer, I kept finding my thoughts straying to, ‘oh, I should write that down’, or, ‘that’d make a great blog post.’ I found the direction I needed for the major conflict in my WIP. I found that even though the words slow down for a while, they always come back.
I recently read an article that said our best solutions come from our unconscious. When we ‘let go’ of an issue or problem that is bothering us, it frees our subconscious mind to put its supercomputing powers to work. I have had plenty to take my mind off my writing angst.
What distractions? I have 26 of them to be exact; chicks arrived! A little over a week ago, Hub went to the post office and collected our order of chicks. Yes, post office, they came through the mail from McMurray Hatchery. And yes, they do just fine without food or water for the trip. They still have a remnant of yolk sac that provides them with enough nutrition and hydration, so they do not need to eat or drink for the first three days. This adaptation allows mama chicken to hatch all her eggs, which can take a few days, and then she takes them out of the nest to get food. It also allows hatcheries to ship live chicks via priority mail.
They have been a handful to care for! Feeding and watering twice a day, changing their litter, plus all my other animal and people chores meant I fell asleep as soon as I was done eating dinner, at 8:30. It’s a good thing most of them won’t be around for very long, the 16 meat birds will be ready for the freezer in 2 months. The 10 egg-layers are going to be the only permanent residents. Here’s some pics of the little darlings. They’ve grown amazingly fast just in the first week.
I’ve also started my garden for the year. Hub built me my first cold frame:
There is sits, with carrots, lettuce and spinach seeds safely tucked underneath and, hopefully, germinating. This weekend I’ll work on getting my tomatoes, beans, peas and corn going. I might try peppers too. Those seeds I’ll start inside though, too cold still for those tender things outside.
So hello again to all my friends out there in the CyberWorld! It’s pretty fast paced out there I know, hope you all remember me. If not, I’ll remind you! I’m looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs too!
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. A cold had me down and away from the computer. Now I have tons of housework to catch up on….ugh. Makes me want to just crawl back into bed again. But, up and at ’em, and still the writing must wait. But, until I can get back to my regularly scheduled programming, please enjoy the following YouTube selections.
Something I will be whole and healthy for; the premier of John Carter. I think I spent more mental time on Barsoom than almost any other literary world, except maybe Pern. I LOVED these books, and always wanted a banth. Please enjoy these clips, I know I did. Now, all I can do is wait for Friday.
More to come soon, on John Carter, on dog training, and of course on the paranormal!
The beautiful and talented August McLaughlin is hosting the very first Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. Her posts never fail to delight, but August has created something very special with this collection of authors. You will definitely want to check out her website tomorrow, February 10th and tour through the blogs of the gifted writers participating. In addition to the lure of the posts there are prizes to be won, including a Kindle and a $99 Amazon gift card.
I’m almost 45 years old, and it took me a little while to stop mourning the loss of my 20-something body. You see, I used to be a gym rat, lifting weights, cardio, swimming; I worked out almost every day to keep my body looking like the girls in the magazines. It helped that I had a very physically demanding job that kept me moving and on my feet most of the day, working as animal trainer.
But somewhere betwixt there and here, I picked up a few extra pounds year after year. I was curvier, and not entirely sure I wanted to be; I was used to thinking of 125 pounds as the end of the world, and now I was a bit beyond that. Hub was happy with me, but was I happy with me?
No mystery in the why. In the ten years between leaving the animal field and now I had moved to another state, changed careers, got married, and worked long hours on the night shift. I had spent my days off doing nothing but eating McDonalds and chocolate comfort food, reading, and sleeping, too exhausted to exercise, then too broke to keep the gym membership. Excuse after excuse. I spent a fair amount of time trying this fad pill or that exercise gimmick to try and lose the weight quickly. You know how well those work, right? Even though I left the night shift and joined the ranks of the daytime, Monday through Friday workers, I’d lost the habit of exercise, and picked up the habit of picking on myself, and spent a lot of time not feeling very pretty at all. Yeah, that’s also a big help isn’t it? I had a bunch of family drama in my life, and I pretty much turned into a hermit. Yes, the stretchy pants are my best friend.
I wanted to exercise more and eat better, but I was never very good at sticking with it. It took me months of self-castigation before I realized I was working against myself with the negative talk. I gave myself a stern reality check. Why would I avoid working out because I couldn’t go lift or run for an hour and half every day? Because I would hear: What’s the use? Anything less won’t do you any good. Oh that little voice in my head! I was trying regain the body I had 20 years ago, and I was using phrases like, you’re so ugly and fat, and you are such an idiot to try and get myself off the couch. For all my time spent meditating and working on my spiritual self and trying to practice love and compassion for my fellow beings, I had precious little to give to myself. Why is it that we are always hardest on ourselves, using words we would never dream of repeating out loud to another person, to bully and browbeat our inner self? I forgot that our strongest power comes from accenting the positive, not the negative. Instead of berating, I turned to offering myself love, and support.
Then came the real shocker. A friend recently posted a picture from that time, and I didn’t even recognize my own form at first. Seriously, the first thing that flashed across my brain was, sheesh, why doesn’t she eat a cheeseburger? With extra bacon? Although I didn’t consider myself unhealthy at the time, I remember a co-worker telling me that when I first started at the zoo, she didn’t think I’d be able to handle very physical quality of the work, that I looked so frail.
I was trying to squish myself back into a square hole when I’d become a round peg. My mental image of the younger me didn’t match the reality of who I was now, not just physically but mentally
Seeing that picture was a turning point. That ultra skinny and well-nigh unobtainable magazine body was not what I thought of as attractive or healthy now. I’d been beating myself up for not having something I didn’t really want anyway. I stopped thinking of the former me as something to be longed for, punishing myself because I was no longer that shape.
When I next looked in the mirror I saw my curves as beautiful, not ungainly. I wasn’t a stick skinny girl; I was woman in her prime. In that moment I was gorgeous in my eyes, and I learned to love my body all over again, when I’d been a fair way to hating it. I stopped whispering hateful messages in my ear, and instead switched to empowering phrases, and looked for ways to adapt my lifestyle to incorporate healthier eating and multiple, shorter bouts of exercise. I realized I was comfortable with who I am now, and while I saw room for improvement, now it was for me. I would define my body as beautiful, not give that power away to the media or the magazines! I can’t tell you I’m perfect at eating right all the time, and sometimes I get so lost in my story I completely lose track of time, but I am consistent about getting back on track, because now I am comfortable in my skin.
Every woman should be able to look herself in the eye, say I love you, and truly mean it. Don’t try and conform to the media’s narrow definition of what looks good, the beauty of a woman lies in her soul. Learn to love yourself and see yourself as a true child of the Spirit, and you will see the beauty we all carry within. Then will shine it for all to see.
Where do you find it? The inspiration to write, to create, to change your life; where do you find your inspiration? Do you find it in your meditation? A walk through nature? A song on the radio?
We all get those thoughts, or feelings that enter our brains and whisper softly, seductively: Do this! But how often do we follow through? What keeps us going?
There are times in your life when a certain song will help you find your inspiration or get you through those tough moments. Here are some of mine! They’re 80’s songs; I told you once before how much I love them! And I am a product of that generation.
Whenever I was feeling blue about a boyfriend, I’d listen to:
When I was a gym rat, and needed inspiration during my workouts, I’d put on:
And when I needed to find that inner strength to make a major life change:
At some point in my life these songs spoke to me, on some level that made me reach down and find the will to keep going. Are they cheesy? Sure, maybe, but they had the power, at some moment in my life, to inspire me to keep going. Finish that work out, give love another chance, take a giant leap of faith.
What are some of your inspirational songs? What makes you want to get up and move? Which one keeps you going when you feel like you want to quit?