Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Fool

After taking the "Your Tarot Reading" quiz on Facebook and "pulling" The Fool, I wanted to clear up some unfounded ideas about the fool as a personality card for some folks.
I'm going to type in a excerpt from Angeles Arrien's book, The Tarot Handbook; Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols which I have owned since forever. Angeles Arrien is an anthropologist who specializes in cross-cultural myths, symbols and ritual, and with this book allows you self-discovery through the cards. The book was published in 1987 and is still a comprehensive guide to the much debated Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck.
".........the Fool as your life-time personality symbol reflects a person who is seen as highly creative and in need of of variety. Fool people are not foolish or fool-hardy. They are courageous and risk-taking. They come across fearless even though they might feel fear gnawing within them. They are drawn toward and tend to explore the mystical, transcendent, and trans personal realms of consciousness. They inspire the sense of adventure and courage within others. Their sense of wonder and anticipation is contagious.
The Fool is an excellent symbol to use as a visual affirmation to enhance courage, risk-taking and the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new parts of one's life. The Fool represents the energetic essence of who we are, the essence of ourselves which is always whole, healthy. and without fear. This symbol reveals the spirit of who we are, that spirit so often expressed and experienced in those states of wonder, awe, curiosity, and anticipation. This is an excellent card to meditate upon if one is experiencing a lot of fear."
Arrien also lists a few sample affirmations to use while focusing on the Fool.
1. I am a radiant Being.
2. I am a living treasure.
3. I deeply honor and value the unlimited resource of courage that is within me.
4. I respect the nature of who I am.
5. There is nothing to fear.
Arrien also gives us a special reminder about the fool in this book; "The Fool is the state of ecstasy and wonder experienced by all humankind. It is an inherent resource we all have that is waiting to be remembered and utilized".
So, as you can see, the Fool is a wonderful card to have as representative of your personality. So be proud and use this powerful card to your advantage!
For those of you interested in reading more from Angeles Arrien, please follow the link below. Angeles Arrien has written other wonderful books such as, The Second Half of Life; Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, The Four Fold Way; Walking the Paths of the, Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary, and Signs of Life. There are a multitude of other books both on her own and in collaboration with other great authors. Here's her page on Amazon; http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_2_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=angeles+arrien&sprefix=Angeles

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Polyvore

This is so much fun! You gotta try it! Just go! Have fun! Get your creative juices flowing! It's so easy!
Create! Here are a few images I've created using the easy to use tools at Polyvore. In no time at all you'll be publishing your creations to your page or to one of the many groups. If you have to stop in the middle you can save your creation as a draft and go back later. The "editor" is a very simple workspace where you can test out different images to see how they add to your picture. The images are easy to add and easy to remove and you never have to settle for less than you wanted. The available images for you to choose from are practically limitless. You can create your own list of images from the Polyvore pool or use images straight from the Polyvore's pool. Or even use your own images; however if you do use your own images they are up for grabs for everyone else in Polyvore so a little thought before adding your own is a good idea.
Shop! Explore! Blog! There are other things to do at Polyvore. Fun is just a click away! Send me some of your creations.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Onions

I'm cheating! I haven't posted for a long time. I'm taking a shortcut!
I've been visiting with my daughter, Kristi and my grandchildren, Vanessa and Joe who all came to see me from Phoenix Arizona. So of course I took a few days off. We were all living together when I wrote this story. I guess I was trying to be funny in a sarcastic sort of way. This photo is from Flikr's Creative Commons, taken by Bahman Farzad, entitled "onion-sha". For more information on Bahman Farzad click on the title "Onions"

12/27/05
Onions
Life is a bitch! Full of hurt feelings, the kind that make your eyes bright red and well up with big old alligator tears. Your throat feels like it’s locking up. Your chest hurts cause you heart is breaking in half and you feel like you can’t breathe. So while all this is going on, you’re acting like none of it is happening, to save face. It’s killing you but you manage. You wait until you’re alone, like in the shower and then you sob. But this is a hollow cry, a counterfeit cry, because it’s lost it’s wallop, its truth, it’s time in reality. Then you wonder why you react to hurt feelings like this. Haven’t you done the work? Haven’t you read numerous books? Watched PBS.
So, just when you think that you’ve solved some of the major problems of the past, an old crisis rears its ugly unrecognizable head. Most likely, a huge and brutal ordeal endured in childhood. Which has, unbeknownst to you, affected your entire life, but you thought you worked it out, you know, dealt with it. By dealt with it, I mean that you’ve taken time, like years. Given the problem a ton of energy, meaning your ongoing life is now unrecognizable so you could roll your sleeves up and really give this wickedness all you’ve got. To keep at it until you know you found a thick layer of deep-rooted pain and peeled it back to reveal feelings you have kept hidden for years (very painful) and then came to some healthy resolution. That would be in a perfect world.
But no! There are many, many layers to these spastic evils and it seems that the troubles are never really solved. They just recede into another level. Another deeper, thinner, more transparent level, that is further and further away from every day life, as a matter of fact, it is just out of your conscience reach. True, its not as painful as the really profound, well hidden ordeals, but never the less, its THERE, a little black mark on your soul, and no matter how tiny it gets, it’s still there. Forever! It’s the place that eternally shows the wounds of living. It’s a special little scar, which can perpetually be reopened, time and time again, by some kind of trigger in your life.
A trigger would be an unknown or unremembered set of events that somehow resemble a deep trauma earlier in life. The really tricky part is while your conscious mind keeps the tempo of your life intact and promotes your existence, thinking every thing is just sunny, your subconscious mind is in anguish re-living the same old upset again. And you don’t really know why you feel like shit, you just do. It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day”, where the guy lives the same day over and over again until he finally gets it right. But of course that is Hollywood so eventually there’s a happy ending. Real life on the other hand is ongoing and never ending until of course you die. So you get to re-live all those horrid disturbances from your early childhood. For your entire life. The other really fucked up part about all this is that you emotionally spiral downward into a terrible depression that you can not let anybody else know you’re experiencing. You can never let them know because they are compelled to fix you, but no matter what they try to do for you, they can never fix it. Besides that, being depressed is not the politically correct thing to do. We are supposed to be able to heal ourselves and deal with the issue at hand promptly and neatly. So you look at how you are dealing with things in your life because that’s the beginning of trying to heal yourself.
What do you see? Your life’s a mammoth muddle and every little thing that happens is bothering you but you definitely don’t have any idea why. You’re basically emotionally unavailable in your own life. It’s just kind of a sketchy vague feeling. Like a dark cloud hanging over you. You can’t see it you just recognize its there, casting a murky shadow on your life. You can’t seem to do or think anything right. That’s when you realize that you’re not dealing with it in a prompt and neat way. The more you think about it the more you realize that you’re a failure, and will forever more be a failure because of some childhood setback that you can’t ever seem to “heal”. So there goes the spiral. Down. Down. Down. And as sad as all that seems, the really sad thing is that people like me raise people like me. It’s a circle. It goes round and round.
Ok! That’s where I am right now. Hopefully, it will change soon. It always does.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review

I just did a book review for Amazon.com. The review is for Monica Reinagel's Inflammation Free Diet Plan. I orginally borrowed this book from the local library and got hooked. I thought I could get by without having the actual book to refer to but I was wrong!
I have been diagnosed with Arthritis and I have had a lot of pain. I changed my diet using the ideas from Monica's book. I actually developed a eating plan based on Monica's inflammation free foods. So, for 30 days, which was so much easier than I thought it would be, I ate nothing but inflammation free foods. My pain disappeared! I slowly started adding back some of the foods I really missed, like yogurt and eggs. I still was not experiencing any pain. Over the next few months I fell back into my old eating habits and gained all the weight I had lost and also was having to deal with all the annoying aches and pains again. Damn It! I did it again! Well, I tried to remember how I got to the inflammation free diet and just couldn't remember all the details, so I bought the book. I'm so glad to have it at my fingertips and feel secure that I can start the diet again. The full book review is below or you can click on this posts title and read the short version on Amazon.

The Inflammation Free Diet Plan

This book was written by Monica Reinagel, forward by consulting editor Juius Torelli, MD. It is a Lynn Sonberg Book, published by McGraw-Hill in 2006. For your easy reference, IBSN 0-07-146471-9

Monica Reinagel has a comfortable writing style an excellent bibliographical reference and index, so everything is simple to find. The book is sectioned into 4 chapters and has a List of Tables and Figures at the front before the foreword.

The first chapter helps us determine our own risk for inflammation and why inflammation is near epidemic. Reinagel maps out exactly what you can do to keep tabs on your own health and how to weave your way through the medical tides. Most important though is that Monica Reinagel reveals a path that you can easily take to a healthier and longer life.

The chapter that was most interesting for me was chapter two because she very clearly shows how the IF ratings were calculated. Reinagel never says exactly what IF stands for but I assume its Inflammation Free. The rating takes into consideration over twenty nutritional factors that affect inflammation. The calculations come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is the basis of the National Nutritional Database for Standard Reference and the most recent update of the database was published in 2004. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index which was sourced from the Glycemic Index Research Institute at Sydney University in Australia. The IF Rating chart also includes for each food the grams of fat and carbohydrate. Reinagel has used the latest information available so we are very up to date.

In chapter three outlines a flexible and easy-to-follow eating plan. You are able to easily modify an eating plan for yourself, so that you can achieve weight loss, reduce pain and allergies, prevent disease and slow the ageing process; all great reasons to watch what you eat. There are a few quizzes so to speak that also help you find the level/plan you need to start with, and some target values to help you stay on track. There is lots of information on meal planning. Then there are some great recipes and even a recipe worksheet (page 60) so that you can work out the IF Rating for your own recipes. She even has tips for calculation of recipes. Using a recipe worksheet Monica shows how you can modify a recipe to realize a higher IF Rating.

The last chapter is the IF Ratings Charts. Monica Reinagel has divided the charts in two ways to make it even easier to find and calculate your ingredients/foods. The first chart is IF Ratings: A to Z, and then the ratings are organized by category to which she has included a Category Guide in the front.

Over all I found the book easy to read and understand. I found the information relevant and learned a few things that surprised me. My only negative issue with the book is that the IF Ratings only include 1600 foods. That is a lot of different foods but while looking through the ratings I found some items that I use frequently missing, like tofu.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Stay-cation"

I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning. Just as I was driving out of reach of my local NPR radio station they were talking about the "new" vacation Americans are and will be taking instead of the usual fare, calling them "Stay-cations". What a fabulous idea! As an American who hasn't taken many "Vacations" I think it will be very good for the American people. First of all, it will prove that we, as Americans can have fun without spending obscene amounts of money. Secondly, and much more importantly, American families might finally find that sacred space of quiet and stillness to actually re-connect on a deeper level to their own families.
It's a very good practice to do with less in an era where conspicuous consumption has been the highlight in our lives to the point of global warming and mass extinctions, where bigger is better and nothing is sacred. Think of it as building character. This is a good time to stay home and stoke the home fires. Get your house in order, make your connections and be prepare for whatever comes at us next with a united front. People are suffering all over the world, including in our own neighborhoods, it would be nice if we stayed home and took care of our local communities, finding a way to hold them up and making them solid again. It can only be good for us to spend more time at home with our families and really get to know our local communities. Really, how many people know their neighbors now days? I was raised in San Francisco, just south of Market, in the early '50's. We knew all of our neighbors up and down the street, no one never locked their doors, we walked to our schools through downtown traffic without adult supervision and we played in the streets all the time. The world was a different place, a slower, closer to home place. I do understand that. As a matter of fact, I am scared to death when I think about the life my grand kids might have to live. We have so many options, to make things right, get back on track and save face, and the world too! So, speaking of staying home, I want to share with you a weblog that has wonderful ideas and is working for a better world. http://www.inhabitat.com/ is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Please visit, be inspired and enjoy this website by clicking on the title of this post.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drawing Day

Today is Drawing Day! It's a world wide event. This event wants to create a million drawings to share today. Here's what they are saying:
One day a year, the world stops to remember that joy we had when we first picked up a pencil and created our first piece of art - that's what Drawing Day is all about. The goal for Drawing Day is simple - to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art. 2008 was the first year of this initiative. Our goal is definitely a long-shot, but we continue to aim for 1 million drawings worldwide. We have no precise measure to know if we reach this goal. If we come close we will all definitely know. Even if we reach 10% of our goal in the first year of this initiative, it will be a great achievement but we will continue aiming for the magic million.
I think this it is one of the really fun and creative online events that is all enclusive. It will bring together lots of people in the spirit of fun and art. Go have fun and visit them by clicking on the title, Drawing Day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Affirmations

I saw Louise Hay on PBS last night. I was lucky enough to catch the last part of Wayne Dryer's show, "Excuses Begone" when Wayne announced that Louise was in the audience. Of course when the cameras focused on Louise Hay she was emitting a wholly healthly and profoundly alive glow. I would say that makes her 82 years on earth affirm that affirmations do work! The universe works in strange ways and was again to my rescue, at just the right time for me to see what I need. So I decided to link bmindful.com to my blog to remind me to focus on affirmations as a tool to make necessary changes, painlessly I might add, and stay on course. Hope this is a help to you as well. I also added a wiget from "Quote of the Day" just to keep us close to great minds. Enjoy your day - I'm going to!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oceans Day June 8, 2009

I love this place! Go! Enjoy! This guy was in hiding last time I was at the Academy but should be back at center stage by now. Earlier this year, the United Nations issued an official resolution designating June 8, 2009 as the first annual World Oceans Day. Now that's exciting!
Speaking of exciting, I learned how to link a title! If you click the title above it will take you directly to the "Celebrate World Oceans Day" page at the Califorina Academy of Sciences, which has planned lots of events to celebrate Oceans Day.
And now for the best part, the most awesome shot of the roof taken by my friend Sherry Brown