Are You Like a Newton’s Cradle?

Tell me if you are like a Newton’s Cradle. Before you decide on any preconceived notions you may have, take a look at this “Amazing Demonstration of a Giant Newton’s Cradle”.

The Newton’s Cradle illustrates kinetic energy transferred from one object to another. It also shows an equal and opposite reaction. Additionally, this device demonstrates that energy cannot be created or destroyed.

When I studied this invention, it brought group dynamics to mind. It made me think of ways we humans may treat one another. Let’s take gossip for one. If even one person tells just one other, look how the swinging spheres so aptly illustrate the passing on of the cruel words. What about hateful or discriminatory choices? Assuming these laws of physics, this negative happening could get transferred along as well.

Now, let’s contemplate giving someone a sincere compliment! The chances are good that the recipient felt so wonderful that they likely complimented someone else. What about loving or helpful choices? Giving love to just one other radiates through untold others and is passed down the line, too! Picture this invention as sharing good vibes with others!

Perhaps you feel ready to answer. Are you like a Newton’s Cradle? Does it feel good to see your actions repeated? How does this device mirror your life?

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. Rumi, 13th C. Persian poet

HEALING AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: 639 HERTZ

All relationships must stem from our relationship with self. The comfort level of being in our own skin and love of self form the basis of what must be present to have healthy connections with others.

The year of 2020 has provided ample testing for all our relationships. With the pandemic, new situations may have been created such as viral concerns, extra regulations in the workplace, Zoom meetings for work and/or family, job loss, more togetherness or perhaps extended isolation. In the political arena, we’ve had a wide margin of differing opinions on various issues. If you feel it is time to heal and build your relationship with self in order to facilitate getting along better with others, you are reading the correct blog!

Tuning forks are a unique way to achieve healing of a wide variety of ailments. The frequency of 639 hertz strengthens and harmonizes relationships with self, family and community. It is said to enhance communication, understanding and tolerance.

One of the most brilliant scientists of all time, Nikola Tesla, stated, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Now, you may find it amazing that something as simple as a tuning fork could achieve such a thing. Just think when you’ve experienced music, you’ve felt the vibrations of the music resonating within your body. As a large portion of our bodies are made up of water, we are easily affected by sound. Take a look at this example of how various frequencies change the pattern of sand upon a vibrating disk. Note how the patterns change from one beautiful form to another. Imagine these healing patterns within the cells of your body!

Different pitches affect different parts of the body. The frequency of 639 hertz focuses on the heart. Tuning forks are often used for this. However, there are many suitable YouTube videos featuring these frequencies without having to purchase a set of forks.. I have provided two examples below.

I personally tried each of these for around seven minutes. Both of them induced the relaxation response with my breath deepening and my muscles releasing tension. To get a fuller response, at least a half hour is recommended for better results. You will notice the second video below is meant to be listened to for an extended period of sleep!

If you have any serious relationship issues, a counselor may prove helpful. As with anything considered complementary or alternative, it is recommended that one’s medical professional be consulted to assure that it is a safe practice for you. Additionally, no medical claims are made. Also, bear in mind that this is a very meditative experience. Plan on sitting in a comfortable position or perhaps lying flat during your session. Just to warn you, it is possible to become light headed, so it is wise to continue to sit or recline until the feeling passes. Happy healing!

IN MY PERFECT WORLD

Each and every one of us have ideals for that which makes our world perfect. One of mine was that all children should outlive their parents. I was wrong.

When our son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it felt earth shattering. It was one of the most devastating possibilities I could have imagined. Prior to his first major surgery, the Whipple Procedure, I was introduced to energy healing. It had positive effects for our son, so it gave us much hope. Two months following the operation, he was actually able to resume his job of heavy freight delivery. This was also during receiving several months of chemotherapy.

Meanwhile, I picked up further learning in energy healing. Every night before I went to sleep, I would work on him and ask for his being completely healed. Roughly six months after I began this practice, I had two momentous visions. One was of a rainbow, the second was of a lighthouse with the rainbow! In relating this to our son later, he shared that he had had two dreams in one night in which a man told him he was healed!

This was so inspiring that I created a five foot tall painting of my visions. A portion of the painting is on my main website page.

Also around this time, there was a popular song on the radio by Chris Daughtry which contained a verse, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it all.” Well, when that song played on my car radio, I would just belt it out at the top of my lungs. Our world seemed in order. It thrilled my heart.

It was especially wonderful when nearly two years after his surgery, he and his wife were miraculously able to conceive a child! Upon her birth, we found she was and is perfect and adorable in every way!

Before our granddaughter saw her first birthday, our son had another recurrence with an accompanying major surgery. I might add, he also had clean scans following each of these two surgeries and the subsequent treatments.

A third time he was diagnosed and treated, then received yet another clean scan. All the while, I delighted to that song about getting what I wish.

Six and a half years past his initial diagnosis, the dread disease returned with a vengeance. One of the most difficult conversations in my life came when our son told me that he just wanted to die. No parent should ever have to hear this. As much as I could not imagine my life without him in the earthly realm, I couldn’t beg him to stay and prolong his suffering. I love him too much for that. In a tearful exchange, I assured him it was okay for him to go. He was released from his ravaged body two or three months later. Interestingly, the song I referenced earlier is titled, “I’m Going Home”. That is exactly what our son desired to do, go to his true forever home.

Why do I share this story today during this potentially tumultuous time in US and world history? It is because everyone holds a differing view of a perfect world. We all aspire toward individual concepts as to what our ideal world should be. Just as I found in regards to our son, it was necessary to weigh my own desires alongside his. Sometimes our wishes can be contrary to the best interests of others. Compromise and loving acquiescence are critical discussion points for the common good as we approach not only personal matters, but national and world affairs as well.

I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you who you are. Anton Chekhov

May you wish well.

IS OUR 2020 WORLD A CRAZY QUILT?

The year 2020 has caused many to question where we are headed. We are in the midst of huge world challenges with what appears to be a hodgepodge of issues. Let’s take a look at what is called a crazy quilt.

This particular style of quilt was first made during the Victorian era in the late 1800’s. Its name was derived from a seeming lack of a constructed pattern. Until I really studied the layout of the fabrics, I assumed it to be entirely random. However, there is a framework. In searching for continuous straight lines, I saw a grid of large squares. Then, within each square there are four adjoined kite-like shapes positioned to resemble the four cardinal directions on a compass. The fact that each piece is created from other smaller sections disguises much of the framework.

These quilts were a clever way to utilize scraps from other sewing. This type of project was popular during hard times or simply in following the philosophy of waste not, want not. My maternal grandmother made this one roughly a half century ago. It contains remnants of cloth from three generations! This is a history of my grandmother’s dresses and aprons and my mother’s dresses and blouses as well as little dresses my sister and I wore.

In looking at each individual piece of fabric, I see beauty and a sense of design and pattern. There may be fabric in another square that coordinates more closely in its inherent characteristics than with the adjoining pieces. However, all are lovely in their own way, fitting neatly against one another as puzzle pieces.

As this quilt has some age to it, it is quite fragile. You may even notice one particular section with the white lining showing. The lighter cloth beneath appears as the darker colored cloth on top is disintegrating.

It seems that the year of 2020 has clearly polarized many factions within the world having to do with economics, health, race relations, science, diversity, politics, etc. It certainly does have the feel and appearance of a crazy quilt.

Let us continue to ponder the makings of this quilt. Maybe if we look hard enough at our world, we can find our cardinal points of direction once again. We can build on our history and still appreciate individual differences of beauty. Those things that are antiquated may fade away and yet inspire our future. We can intelligently utilize our world resources. Perhaps we can all nip a few excess corners to fit as a puzzle of oneness. Do you know what the secret is to moving forward? It is love, simply love, just as the love of my grandmother in sewing this quilt, one stitch at a time.

MASKED EMOTIONS: Where Do They Go? What Can We Do?

The topic of masked emotions is currently very timely. Not only are many of us masking our faces for viral protection, but may also be hiding our emotions. Sometimes we are concerned with upsetting others by truly expressing our feelings. Perhaps we are frightened or angry regarding many world issues involving the pandemic, be it concerns over the illness itself, potential of sickness or death of loved ones or perhaps the management or mismanagement of viral spread. We may be upset over economic worries or inequality of human rights, political upheaval or even severe global weather patterns.

Sometimes one feeling can mask another. As grieving a child is one of the toughest bereavements to bear, it can feel as if that grief masks other grief. First we lost our son, then we lost my dad and my brother. We lost these three in a nearly twenty-six month period. Somehow I feel as if I’ve not yet fully grieved the latter two. I know I must deal with this.

For some of us folks, the loss of a child may mask our abilities to function in the world by wallowing in our grief. In this case, the family is dealing with not only the loss of the child, but also of a floundering parent. This extreme emotion creates a reduction of that parent’s life by creating a barrier between self and world. This constant and grievous wall of tears may seem as if it is shielding one from further grief. It is actually preventing the ability to live a vibrant and fulfilling life.

It is possible to find coping mechanisms.

Due to the journey I’ve traversed in the past decade or so, there have been many avenues opened to me regarding health and emotions. I chose this topic for October as this month holds the birthday of our dearly departed son. Many times there are trigger dates such as day of birth, day of death or holidays in which we need to practice extra care in kindness to ourselves.

If we do not feel and release our emotions, it is akin to eating them. However, these feelings do not go the way of food and become excreted through our digestive systems. Swallowed emotions take their toll by parasitically taking up residence in various parts of our bodies.

Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways. Sigmund Freud

Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, has a list of ten affirmations to help those whose lives have been masked by grief.

https://www.healyourlife.com/10-affirmations-to-heal-your-broken-heart

Through working with her clients Louise Hay discovered that people with certain ailments were repressing similar emotions as others with the same malady. Here is a website containing her list of possible dis-eases (as she called them) along with affirmations she recommended for the healing process to begin.

http://lovehonourandrespect.org/emotional-health/louise-hay-affirmations-for-illnesses

Another fascinating figure in the arena of emotions and health is Master Chunyi Lin, author of Born a Healer. In Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, each of five major organs is the seat of certain negative as well as positive emotions. There is a fine balance and interaction between these organs and emotions with subsequent results from either ignoring or enhancing the flow of energy. Here is his site illustrating these emotions on a five elements chart. (Please scroll down to the two five pointed star charts on this site.)

https://www.springforestqigong.com/five-elements-qigong-for-self-healing

At times when I’ve had an intuitive practitioner working on me, they will notice lodged emotions in certain parts of my body. These professionals are capable of assisting the release of our pent up feelings. This enables healing to occur.

Over three weeks ago, I planned my blog topics in advance. This one was to include information from Louise Hay as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Not quite two weeks ago, I found Hay House was offering their incomparable Writer’s Workshop for the first time in a virtual format. Hay House is the company Louise Hay founded. As I jumped at the opportunity, I gratefully spent twenty concentrated hours this past Saturday and Sunday learning more about the crafts of writing and publication. Intriguingly, another workshop attendee, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, contacted me out of the blue. She is a doctor in TCM. Little did I know that the Universe would conspire to tell me my timing was right to delve into the philosophies of Louise Hay as well as TCM!

Glorious is the day when we no longer have the need to mask ourselves from anything!

THINK LIKE WATER

It was sometime in the middle of my art teaching career, there were four sixth grade girls of note. They loved art so much that they had nicknames for one another. The first three names made sense to me: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo. We’d been studying those particular artists. The fourth name, however, was Bob Ross! We hadn’t talked about him in class. While Mr. Ross isn’t found in art history books, his television show did encourage many to pick up a paintbrush and even make a life path of art. I do admire this happy little tree guy with his upbeat attitude as well as his ability to bolster the self-confidence of budding artists.

Even though teaching about Bob Ross wasn’t on my list of priorities, toward the end of my career, I did show a brief video of him just because it was a fun and optimistic piece to show at the end of the year. There was one single line in this clip (see below) which had always intrigued me, “think like water.”

I decided I wanted to go explore the concept of thinking like water at a nearby hiking trail. A river winds through this nature preserve. It was quite nostalgic when my husband and I were there as we spent many peaceful afternoons on this path with our children when they were young. This seemed the best place in the world to contemplate how to think like water.

Here are ten ways I perceived we could think like water.

1. Water is necessary for life. Play an indispensable part in the lives of others.

2. Water seeks the path of least resistance. It is most natural and productive to go with the flow.

3. Water goes around obstacles, ever flowing. If, in the process, the obstruction is stationary, water wears it down. Go around barriers, wear them out, and be persistent toward your goal.

4. Water is capable of being solid, liquid or gas. Be flexible to change when given different environments.

5. Water is nurturing. Not only does it provide habitat for critters of the air, land and water, it also creates endless entertainment for humans who love water activities. Be an uplifting and supportive presence.

6. Water may be the most refreshing drink. Have a welcoming, revitalizing spirit for others.

7. Water is cleansing. Leave a place cleaner than when you arrived. Whether you are camping or shopping or anything in between, the only evidence you were there should be a tidy and clutter free space.

8. Water puts out fires. Settle disputes being cognizant of the quantity of your inner resources.

9. Pools of water contain many wonderful things at the bottom. Know that at your inner core you hold many hidden treasures.

10. Water has the capacity to match the essence of what is near. If it is a calm day, the beautiful hillsides and graceful trees reflect upon the still waters. A stormy hour is mirrored by the whip of white caps. All the while, the water remains comparatively placid in the deep. Echo the being of others back to them, allowing a calm demeanor to shine forth through your eyes.

These are my ten thoughts of how we may think like water. As our bodies are comprised of a high percentage of water, perhaps this is food water for thought. We could each easily say, “I am water”, so join me by thinking like it, too!

LESSONS OF THE LILACS

In our area, a lilac bush typically blooms around the first of May. Their blossoms are a welcome, heady fragrance which herald the transition from spring to summer. The arrival of lilacs invites deep inhalations to revel in the once-a-year sweetness. This time of year, the air is thick with the echoes of bird song and the buzz of bees. It brings to mind carefree days and sunny skies with perfect shirt sleeve temperatures.

One year ago in May, our lilacs had the heaviest crop of blooms they’d ever produced in the nearly forty years since my husband transplanted the suckers from other bushes. We had so many bouquets, we had to share our bounty to spread the joy!

Over the past two summers, however, some of our lilacs didn’t fare so well. In fact, I thought they were nearing the end. Many to most of the leaves dropped. Strangely, once October arrived, this year and last, a few fresh leaves sprouted, plus we had a small number of fall lilac blossoms!

I researched autumn lilac blooms and found when the plant has been stressed, it can revive with fall flowers!

This gives me such hope! I just think of the tremendous challenges our entire world has encountered this year on many fronts. The lesson the lilac offers is that when our world is stressed, it can still bloom again. Yes, things will look different. Some of our people will be on the other side of the veil. Some institutions will be changed. However, just as Mother Nature so aptly illustrates, the sweetness and joy can and will return. Just close your eyes, pray, imagine and smile. We can take a deep inhale. Take yet another. Do you smell it yet?

EMPOWERED LIVING: How Visual Arts Skills Apply to Daily Life

During the last few weeks of my thirty year elementary art teaching career, I decided to take an impromptu survey of some of my classes. While students were deeply engaged in their projects, I quietly approached each one individually to ask a question. It was, “If you named the most important thing I’ve ever taught you, what would it be?” It amazed me that even though no other students were privy to the answers others gave, that nearly all responses fell into one of three areas.

The first was “I am creative”. “There is no such thing as a mistake” was the second. “Famous artists” were mentioned as the third. Upon further inquiry regarding famous artists, it seemed that many of the artists of renown experienced difficulty in their lives, and yet they made something of themselves. The assumption, of course, was that my students felt they could overcome adversity as well.

What if we adapted these attitudes for our lives?

Let’s begin with the first one. I am creative. You may exclaim, “Oh, but I’m not an artist,” or “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Instead, think of your life as a work of art. If that is too much of a stretch, you could start smaller, maybe a week, a day or even just a moment of your life. You get to fill that time with whatever you desire to create. It could be as simple as making a connection with another person, or planting a tree, cooking a meal or cleaning and waxing your car. A painting is made with one brushstroke at a time, eventually filling an entire canvas. What are you creating with your life from one moment to another?

The second one is, there is no such thing as a mistake. It was always concerning to me when a student would constantly erase their efforts. I had a drawing I made with some chickens in which I included a wire cage. Chicken wire, as you may know, is made with a hexagonal pattern. I truly had made an unintentional “mistake”. I inadvertently drew a line straight through the middle of a hexagon. I was too far into the project to start over and I happened to be drawing in ink! With some thought, I turned the center of that hexagon into a cobweb. Then, I would show this to my students and ask where my disguised error was. Some classes would guess correctly, but to others it was invisible. There is freedom in using critical thinking skills to transform so called mistakes to our advantage. How could you apply this to your life?

Well, as to the famous artists, I was pleasantly surprised on that one. But, upon thinking through the years, the troubles of various artists had tumbled from my tongue. There was Van Gogh who had a difficult time settling on an occupation. Michelangelo’s mother died when he was a baby. Later, as an artist, he was forced by the Pope to pause his passion of sculpting to do a monumental four year painting. At the end of Matisse’s life, he made accommodations to being wheelchair bound. He switched from painting to large scale collages, and had an assistant attach each piece. Renoir was able to continue painting by tying his paint brush to his arthritic hand. There were artists whose work was judged as unacceptable by an art critic who called them fauves or wild beasts. This inspired an entire art movement. Additionally, quite a number of artists’ parents frowned upon the arts as a livelihood as it wasn’t perceived as a lucrative option. Yet, though all these difficulties, they persevered. These artists survived and even thrived by becoming their true selves. How could you rise above challenging issues in your life?

No one has a perfect life with no difficulties. From the outside looking in, I suppose some lives may appear ideal, like Barbie and Ken dolls. But when you truly know life, one may realize that perhaps challenges exist for a reason. If you ponder on your troubles of the past, what did you learn? How did you overcome? Was there a bigger, hidden message to you regarding what transpired and how you progressed through this time?

Perhaps you could live with the mindset of an artist! Create each moment. Work with any “mistakes”, turning them into opportunities. By striving through difficulties, learn the lessons of your life. Art is much more than creating a pretty picture. It is about living a beautiful life!

THE GIFT

Yesterday I treated myself to a long overdue visit to the spa, mask and all. It had been nearly a year since I’d had an hour massage. I thought it wise to use my gift certificate before it expired.

For some strange reason, I wondered if the house cell phone would ring before I left for my appointment. It did, twice. The first was an unknown number, so I didn’t pick it up. It rang a second time as I headed out the door. My personal cell phone wasn’t showing any calls, so whatever it was didn’t appear to be urgent.

When I arrived at the spa, I was greeted by a young friend. (Okay, we were neighborhood girls who rode the school bus together days, years, decades ago!) Looking forward to a massage, I told her I was pretty good, but I’d be a lot better in a few minutes. Then we laughed. She exclaimed, “Oh, you make me think so much of your mother!”

Later, this caused me to do some soul searching. In my entire life, I don’t know if anyone has ever told me I resembled Mom. I frequently have heard people say, they saw Dad in me. Of course, as a little girl, this was concerning to me because I wasn’t a boy! However, I did have his facial structure, eyes and hair color. Recently in pondering over some old photographs, I noticed something. In photos from my wedding day, I did see my mother’s smile and expression which is echoed within my own.

While Mom and I have been enticed to occasional spurts of giggles in recent times, I’ve not seen Mom in a carefree, laughing state for fifteen and a half years. Due to her having had a series of strokes and Dad not being here to help her, she’s in assisted living, wheelchair bound with right side paralysis.

A while back, a relative told me of a friend whose mother had also had a number of strokes. It was very challenging for this friend because her mother was constantly wanting things. The difficulty was not in the wanting, but in the inevitability that her mother would never like those things once she possessed them. Apparently some stroke patients suffer with the inability to be satisfied. It was news to me that this could actually be a side effect of my mom’s condition as well. While this information didn’t make it easier for any of us, it put a whole new light on my situation with Mom. Maybe it helped me to delve a little deeper into my pool of patience.

It is uncomfortable to be on either side of this discontent. For the person who’s had this type of stroke, it must feel like being locked in a cage of much dissatisfaction. Being locked from the outside as a helper is frustrating as well. There can be a wide range of emotions from sorrow and anger to elation and pleasure from both the person locked in as well as out depending upon the occasional breakthroughs of satisfaction. It is tough to observe the role reversal of a parent who once nurtured my siblings and me. She has become the one who needs nurturing now, but is not always able to accept it.

To be fair, yes, there have been things with which Mom was satisfied. She does wear her new glasses. There have been various clothing items which she has been pleased to wear. My sister devised a brilliant way to placate Mom into accepting the socks we would buy her, but that is our little secret!

However, there are times we deal with her frustration of non-acceptance. She wanted new shoes. I cannot tell you how many pairs of shoes I’ve ordered for her. Plus, we went to shoe stores and even orthopedic medical professionals to have her fitted. Inevitably, she always goes back to her old. stretched out, worn down leather shoes.

Then there were the lift chairs. She had her mind set on a certain kind of chair, different from the one she already had. We had a number of chairs brought in to her from a store. The sales lady went above and beyond to find options which included Mom’s desires. You guessed it, she’s back in her old chair. These are only some of the examples.

Currently, she’s been requesting a couple of new, let’s say undergarments. I purchased her some looser fitting, modern options to try. She did not care for them. She wanted a certain size and style of her tried and true brand. It hasn’t been long ago that I got her some new ones with that description. I had to alter them because they were too small. When I reminded her of this, she still insisted she had to have that particular size. As she was adamant, I had to make a trip out of town and found the only two in the store of that size in the only acceptable color of white. I suspected it could be a futile effort.

Well, I had my lovely massage and as expected, I felt a lot better. In fact, my body was as loose as a limp noodle. On my drive home, I pondered my friend’s observation, like my mom, huh?

Remember on my way out the door, our home cell rang? It was Mom. We talked after my appointment. As her speech is extremely limited it generally involves twenty questions on my part to determine what she wants. I suspected what she wanted. It was about the new undergarments. They were too small. I took a deep breath and asked her what she wanted to do. She innocently responded in a commonly used answer with about as many words as she can string together since the strokes, “I don’t know.” I felt a calling to enter more fully into the halls of understanding and empathy. I desired to empower her, to offer choices. Perhaps I was softer and kinder. It was as if I was having a conversation with myself. Maybe I even inspired the smile we share. We are one, you know.

I contacted my friend later to thank her for her tremendous gift. No, it wasn’t the gift certificate, but it was far more valuable. It was her gift of timeless insight into the inheritance of the intangibles, one of which was my sense of humor and the sharing of laughter.

%d bloggers like this: