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DP: Nothin’ But A Good Time – On The Beach

WP Daily Prompt: Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?

I recently relocated to California and am temporarily unemployed.  I actually have the opportunity to do anything I please on a daily basis…I just have not  been taking advantage of the opportunity, until today.

After my morning workout (a must in order to keep my mood on the up side) I was headed back to the house, but not looking forward to it because I knew all I would do was worry about “when will I start making some money again”. Well, on the way home, my car took a right turn (as if it was driving itself) away from the house and drove directly to the beach.

After parking the car, I bought something to eat, took it with me and found a spot on the beach among a bunch of kids running around having fun. Seeing the kids brought a smile to my face – aah, to be a kid again. As I ate the seagulls gathered around, kinda scary since they were very vocal, but I kept eating since we are not suppose to feed them.

Surf Baby
Surf Baby (taken by Del)

I spread out my towel, settled in and got comfy, then I ate my lunch while I read – The Third Rule Of Ten: Tenzing Norbu Mystery by Gay Hendrick…love this mystery series where the main character is an ex-Buddhist, ex-cop, private investigator. What I enjoyed most of all was laying on my towel digging my toes into the cool sand and soaking up the warm rays.

Want Food (taken by Del)
Want Food (taken by Del)

The sun peaked through just in time for me to be on the beach, as if saying, “You made the right decision to come here”. I call this a perfect day!

WP Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/daily-prompt-good-time/

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DP: New Sensation: Big Hair-Big Jackets-Big Hoops…80’s Stylin’

WP Daily Prompt: New Sensation – Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’

Back in the day, 1980’s, my fashion icon was Janet Jackson. I wore the big black jacket (with shoulder pads) and of course the sleeves had to be rolled up.  I loved playing with makeup back then (not su much now), so I would go all out with the complete makeup look: red lips, eye shadow, liner, mascara, rouge, and red nail polish. As for jewelry, they had to be large hoop earrings. And it wouldn’t be “the look” without the big hair. I had it all!

Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to my pictures from that era, but when you look at Ms. Jackson, my look was not far off from hers. Gotta see if I can find my pictures.

80's fashion - Janet Jackson
80’s fashion – Janet Jackson

I even had a few strands of hair dangling in my face

Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson
"...Ms. Jackson, if you're nasty"
“…Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty”

For me, the 80’s was a  fun decade! Aah, the memories!

WP Daily Prompt – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/daily-prompt-new-sensation/

Season for Nonviolence (SNV): Day 8 – Healing

Day 8 – HEALING:  Today, choose a painful incident in your life and find the “gift” it has given you.  Consciously share this gift with others.

“The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world.”  Marianne Williamson

I try not to think about the most painful incident in my life, the one that shook me to my core, because after seven years, it still hurts, but I’m willing to go there for this day of Healing.

I clearly remember the day of the “incident”; I guess it’s a memory that will be with me for the rest of my life. I was looking forward to the day because my work-team had traveled from different corners of the U.S. to converge at our WHQ for a conference. It was always a productive, but also fun time when we were all able to come together in one location to discuss business and debrief at the end of the day at a local restaurant with a good meal and a few drinks.

My day started as it usually did – up early for my morning 3 mile run. Afterwards, I was on a runner’s high and happy with life. When I got back to the hotel room for my shower, I noticed an email from my dad that screamed, “COME NOW!”. When I saw the tittle, I thought it was one of those email strings being sent around. My dad new I was out of town on a business trip, so I was surprised to hear from him so early. The email had no written content, so I called his house phone and his cell to see what was going on..no answer. I then called his sister to see if they had spoken that morning. They were very close and spoke on a daily basis. She said she had not heard from him that day, but since it was her birthday she was sure they would talk later. I told her about the baffling email message. She said she would check on him.

As I left the hotel and while in the car, I got a call from my aunt with the news that, “your father killed himself”. The words didn’t register right away so I asked her to repeat her statement. She said, “your father isn’t with us anymore”. Now, I’ve given birth twice and even though they were joyous occasions, with each birth came the statement, “never again will I endure that pain!!”. The process of giving birth is no joke. Well, the pain I felt after hearing the news, did not even compare to the pain of giving birth. The birthing process was a physical pain while the knowledge that my best friend was no longer alive was a pain of the heart. I could not breath. I could not think. I could not move. I was in Shock. Our admin made flight arrangement for me to fly back home and my teammates packed my bags and drove me to the airport. I was in a fog for a long time. The other dreaded part of the experience was calling my children to tell them, “grandpa is gone”.

Writing about this major loss in my life still brings up a lot of emotions, but I am now able to “feel” them in a different way. Believe it or not, there are a few healing gifts that came from this devastation. I received the gift of empathy and compassion. The Buddha said, ““Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” I now have empathy for those who have and will loose loved ones. I now have compassion for those who experience pain at all levels. I now have a up-close-and-personal view of suicide and better understanding of the thoughts that may lead to the act of taking one’s life. And, I now advocate for people dealing with mental health issues.

The biggest gift of all is the gift of knowing that tomorrow is not promised (hell, the next minute is not promised) and that I should not take anyone or anything for granted. I happily make time for my children to talk with them, hang out with them, and show appreciation for them each and everyday. Out of a traumatic experience came a better appreciation for life.

 “Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.”  Melody Beattie

David Foster Wallace, a brilliant writer, lived with depression for over 20yrs, but lost his battle in 2008 when he committed suicide. This passage he wrote about suicide seems to capture the essence of suicidal person. It seems he had a good grasps on suicidal ideation. My guess is that he may have had these thoughts regarding his own life. Of course, this is speculation on my part based on his bio. I don’t know his actual thoughts, but I do appreciate his quote about the subject of suicide and depression.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing.

 The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant.

 The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

“I’m touched by the idea that when we do things that are useful and helpful – collecting these shards of spirituality – that we may be helping to bring about a healing.”  Leonard Nimoy

Tomorrow’s Preview: Day 9 DREAMING – what is one thing you can do to honor MLK, Jr’s “dream”?

**Season for Nonviolence campaign, also known as The Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence (SNV), asks us to focus our attention on attaining peace through nonviolent actions. More info at: http://www.agnt.org/season-for-nonviolence**

Questions From Life

The blog: Black, White and Read All Over posted, what I consider to be great questions to ponder, so I took the leap and answered them. http://bwread.co/2013/07/26/i-have-questions-please-help-me-out-with-some-answers/#more-2372

Below are my thoughts to their questions:

1.Why is it called “reality” TV if it’s scripted and seems fake?
Nothing on TV is real, not even the news. Network execs need to make money in order to stay in business, so they must control every facet of the programs shown on their network, including people who work for them. They feel the need to script or edit shows so they will sell and attract advertisers and an audience. The profit margin is “reality” for these execs. It’s all a business!

2.Will racism in this country ever end?
“Racism may be defined as the hatred of one person by another — or the belief that another person is less than human — because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person.” …extracted from the Anti Defamation League.

As far as ending racism in this country, it may end when people are willing to have honest conversations about racism and admit that it still exists. America is a diverse country; we all have different life stories and “reality”. We need to be willing to step outside of our comfort zone, open our heart, invite diverse individuals/groups in to our circle, and get to know people from different races and ethnicity.

Education, personal interaction, and empathy will help turn the tide, hopefully, towards positive changes. We have to start somewhere. I know racism will not end in my lifetime; however, I do my part in helping to bring about positive change.

3.What’s the best advice you could give any couple who is going through a “you cheated on me” situation?
Calmly talk about the situation and what may have lead up to the cheating event! Don’t shout, don’t curse the other person, and don’t blame. Take responsibility for each person’s part in the situation. Respect each other enough to be truthful, be open to hear each other’s reality, figure out where the relationship breakdown took place, and decide whether you both want the relationship to progress or end. If you both want to stay in the relationship and recover, keep the honest communication going. If the relationship is truly over, each person should let the other person go, so you can both move on with their life.

4. What happens to our spirit when it leaves our body?

The question I have is, DOES our spirit leave our body when we die? In my book, death is the end of all aspect of one’s life. What is left behind for others are memories (hopefully good) of how we chose to live our life.

5. If there is only ONE GOD, why are we so divided?
I just read something a professor wrote while researching different cultures and religious beliefs. I’m not trying to debate the existence (or not) of God, but I thought what he wrote was interesting:”…man created god in his image (instead of god creating man in his image). Because man did believe in himself, he created a god in whom he could believe. But the wonders of “reality” are not in the God man created, but in Us and all things around us….”

6. What’s the best way to make yourself happy?
Love yourself and happiness will follow.

7. Who’s to blame? The parents or the teachers? (Have our schools failed our children?)
Parents and Teachers need to work in partnership with each other to teach our young ones. Each entity has influence over the child’s life, so the “teachings” should be consistent. Parents and teachers should communicate with each other, so the child is not receiving mixed messages. Of course this is a simplified answer. The issue is much deeper and has many points to consider.

Thank you Black, White, and Read All Over for inspiring me to come back to my blog after a lengthy absence (took time off to focus on a major relocation and getting settled).

Reference: Black, White, and Read All Over – http://bwread.co/2013/07/26/i-have-questions-please-help-me-out-with-some-answers/#more-2372