Word Consciousness

My word, words are powerful! Our daily lives are bombarded with words: internet, books, newspapers, billboards, food packaging, television. Authors study the selection of just the right words to draw readers to a title. Advertisers choose the latest buzzwords to attract customers to their product. Internet gurus have fine honed which specific words are guaranteed to pull an audience to their site. Practicing word consciousness is a wise choice.

This story about words has to do with my seemingly ordinary trip to the grocery store. You ask how could that be? Well, I’ll tell you. I have this sing-along-to-the-radio habit, especially when driving solo. Our car has a handy little steering wheel button for eyes-on-the-road changing of stations. I just keep flipping through until I find a good one. I’m certain I sang a number of different songs on this short trip, but one was notable. It was “I Hope You Dance”. Why don’t you listen to the lyrics so you can guess why this was significant that day?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBSGlXqC4Q

It wasn’t seeing “mountains in the distance” as we live in the Midwest. No, it didn’t make me “dance” while in the grocery aisles or while carrying sacks into our home.

The word consciousness was this

When I unloaded groceries from the car, I looped as many bag handles over my arms as was comfortable. I took the sidewalk up to our back door to unlock it. This gave me access to our entry. Then there is another door between the entry and the kitchen. That door is a simple, solid wood interior door with no lock. However, that day, it would not budge! No matter how I twisted the knob, that door would not let me into the kitchen. I had to go down a set of stairs, through another door and up another flight of steps before I could unload my purchases in the kitchen. Then, I retraced this route once or twice more.

Suddenly, the words to that song hit me, “Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens”! Do I think if I hadn’t sung the song, the door still would have malfunctioned? Probably. However, the synchronistic timing of an old door lock giving up and me singing these lyrics does border on the mysterious.

I’ve had numerous times when I’ve seen the power of words is much more than most realize. For that reason, if there are any song lyrics that are lacking in positivity, I make one of two choices. I either change the station or make up new words if the tune speaks to me.

My philosophy also applies to ordinary writing and speaking. It is usually behind my thoughts on striving for optimism and inspiration. Perhaps our words could affect our lives. I do know a positive slant can certainly increase synchronicity. It is sort of like a wink from the Universe! Using word consciousness appears to be wise. It, at the very least, is a calming practice.

As you journey through life, “I hope you dance.” Whether it is opportunities or literal doors, “whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens” for you!

REBUILDING A CIVIL SOCIETY

Our country has suffered a severe setback in civility. As a result, it created a social, cultural, and political divide. It feels as if a breach has occurred, equaling the distance from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In a similar vein, it seems as if Lady Liberty’s torch dimmed and the crack within the Liberty Bell lengthened. Because of this, it feels necessary that we rebuild our former civil society. Where did we go astray? As a visual arts teacher, I would propose that the shrinking arts offerings are partially to blame. The arts could be a model for reclaiming mutual respect and rebuilding a civil society.

I’ve noticed a distinct decline in arts classes at preschool through college levels. Much of this has been in the past one to two decades. Testing mania as well as economic factors are some of the reasons. However, my purpose is not to delve into these factors. Instead, I’d like to focus upon possible solutions the arts could provide.

How can we effectively stem and bridge this growing divide within our country’s populace? Let’s consider research findings. The focus was upon arts infused schools. I’d like to concentrate upon three positive qualities of note. One was an increase of creative problem solving abilities. A second was improving critical thinking skills. The third one was a decrease in disciplinary violations. The arts obviously empowered these students and enhanced the school atmosphere. These changes would certainly be crucial in a building a civil society. https://www.onlinecolleges.net/10-salient-studies-on-the-arts-in-education/ A peaceable and creative society is upgraded by the arts. Perhaps a hearty embrace of the arts could offer a much needed oasis of help for our country as well.

Here I’ve included three examples. Each demonstrates the transformational power of the arts.

Arts – Music and Dance – Cooperation

The first is a flash mob performing a selection from the Sound of Music. They are located in Antwerp, Belgium in Central Station. Notice the spectators spontaneously clapping. I am struck by how contagious their smiles become! The jolt of joy of this perhaps unexpected performance is palpable! Dance demonstrates that it is possible for groups to work together without stepping on others’ toes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

Arts – Listen to the Lyrics – Joining

My second example is Pink Floyd’s song, “Us and Them”. This piece has always acknowledged an inclusion of the other. Because of joining us to them with “and”, it embraces unity. We would do well in today’s world to move beyond divisive “us OR them” feelings. Holding the feeling of “us AND them” in our hearts is healthier. Additionally, the lyrics infer the futility of battle. However, music shows us it is okay if we don’t all sing the same note. When each group sings their own notes, it is possible for us and them to find harmony by working together!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGwtXfIH3bc&list=RDeGwtXfIH3bc&start_radio=1

Visual Arts – Unity Versus Separation

Lastly, here is a beautifully intriguing, twenty-six foot tall metal sculpture. It is located in the republic of Georgia. This monumental display so aptly depicts the uniqueness of each person. Amazingly, it also allows a merging of the two. This is exactly how I perceive the operation of a healthy democracy in action via the arts. We should be able to maintain individuality (without harming the liberties of others). In addition, we should be willing to engage as a congenial whole. Visual arts are quite adept at demonstrating complex concepts such as this.

In conclusion, the arts are one of the most effective ways to achieve group cooperation and cohesiveness while still maintaining the spirit of the individual. It is my hope to create a series on the topic of rebuilding a civil society. With the arts, we can all benefit!

Creativity 101 with 528 Hertz

Many may think that creativity must involve the arts. While it certainly does come to play in visual arts, music, dance, theater and literature, creativity is much broader.

Then there are culinary arts, healing arts, and industrial arts. What about science, mathematics and economics?

Who doesn’t have a problem to solve? Maybe you have some intriguing items you want to use in a different way. How could they be rearranged, reconfigured or redefined? Perhaps you have a shortage of certain supplies, parts or ingredients. It could even be a scarcity of cash. How can you stretch it or use it differently? Maybe you have plenty of virtually any type of resource. How can you use it for the most good? Who could you help?

Creativity can be doing virtually anything in a new and different way.

Call up your imagination and dream a solution. Would you like some help?

I invite you to check out this You Tube video with 528 Hertz. This particular clip is particularly good at activating one’s creative nature. As an added bonus, this one is also said to be the frequency of the heart which affects love, miracles and DNA repair! As with any complementary or alternative healing practice, it is recommended that one’s medical professional be consulted to assure it is a safe practice for you. Additionally, no medical claims are made. This is a meditative experience in which a seated or reclining position is recommended. If you would feel light headed following the session, rest in place until it passes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWKZQOnYiI

Remember Nikola Tesla, If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

Be creative!

2020 GOODBYE BUT THANK YOU

Dear 2020,

I know, 2020, that most earth people are so ready to tell you adieu, adios, sayonara, or goodbye. In fact, quite a number of my kind are inclined to yell good riddance! Not to shock you, but I’d really like to tell you thank you. It must have been tough on you to dish out all the havoc. Here are ten quotes along with my reflections to allow you to realize that some of us may actually have at least a little gratitude.

  1. When everything seems against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. Henry Ford

Perhaps your overwhelming onslaught is what we humans needed to know our true power. Twenty-twenty, you were certainly showing off your power. Thank you for reminding us that we can be powerful as well.

2. Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent of a greater benefit. Napoleon Hill

We are grateful, 2020, that you allowed seeds of benefit to sprout amongst the heartache.

3. It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed. Doe Zantamata

Many of us may need to dig deeply for this one. I have found much truth in this through having lost a child. Thank you for letting us know our inner light truly cannot be extinguished.

4. Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you. Shannon L. Alder

I know each one of us has very different lessons we’ve learned from you, 2020. For me, I am most grateful for the concentrated creative time that you offered. This lesson taught me that I must allow myself time to write, to draw, to paint, to make music.

5. Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. Herman Hesse

Thank you for the not so gentle reminder that when something is taken from our grasp, we’re stronger if we just listen and let go.

6. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen

We are grateful for the cracks. Well, maybe not at first, but eventually we open our eyes and are amazed at the beauty of the exquisite light!

7. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid. Plato

Thank you, 2020, for the dark. However, I am afraid concerned some need a little cuddling on this one. It isn’t easy for those who live alone to snuggle and such with quarantining. However, I am certain with a little more cracking, the fear will dissipate.

8. A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath. Anthony Liccione

We are grateful for opportunities to build bridges between divides.

9. Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every minute of it. Lord Chesterfield

Thank you for helping us to be in each moment of time, squeezing all the available deliciousness!

10. I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa

Oh, 2020, you far exceeded all the other reasons on this one. You gave us so much trouble that it was amazingly easy to find people who sorely needed our love. Thank you so much!

My goodness, 2020, you really are much wiser than some of us may realize. You became a master teacher, showing us the power of self, that disasters may have seeds of benefit, that we should be releasing, bridging, living and loving moment to moment. Most of all, we are so grateful for showing us that we can always find light in the darkest of places.

In sincere gratitude, your friend,

Linda

OUR VISITOR

Sometimes there are happenings which are just so astounding that a person questions how in the world it could have occurred. This was one of those times.

A year ago, right before our daughter arrived to celebrate Christmas, my husband decided to surprise me with an early present. We’d just finished our morning meal, so I cleared and cleaned the breakfast bar, anticipating opening my gift on that surface. Then I noticed how brightly the sun was shining through the nearby window, so I pivoted to the counter beneath the window. We found it pleasing to be standing in the sunbeams.

I began opening the sky blue gift wrapping. All at once, I noticed a flutter out of the corner of my eye. Directly in front of us, a mere arm’s length away, a brilliant red cardinal had latched its claws into the window screen! I immediately let out an excited series of “Ahhhhhs…”! It appeared to be watching us as intently as we were studying him. I gazed and cooed at the bird as we stood as a captive audience. No doubt, the shiny foil wrapping paper was reflecting beams of sunlight back to our visitor. He didn’t seem to mind as he continued his visitation. After a minute or so, the bird’s curiosity waned and he departed. My excitement, however, lingered.

Later, I decided to take a closer look at the screen. Amazingly, there were no telltale signs of the claws remaining. The screen is such a fine mesh, I thought the claws would have stretched the minute wires apart. Since there was no remaining physical evidence, it was comforting to know that two of us witnessed the event. Sometimes it is hard to believe it happened, but it is reassuring that my other half of us can confirm it did.

Whenever highly unusual events occur with birds or butterflies in particular, I am inclined to think that our loved ones on the other side of the veil had some influence. We definitely felt it was a message from our son. Nature is an apt messenger. Just as God’s eye is said to be on the sparrow, this event seemed to say our loved ones are watching us as we fulfill the remainder of our earthly duties. May we all be blessed with more of these hope filled miraculous occurrences to brighten our days and lighten our loads!

Empty Chair Holidays

Many lament the approach of holidays when there is an empty chair. Sometimes this can occur due to a loved one with a chronic illness.

Even before we lost our son, hosting for the holidays was becoming a less frequent occurrence, mainly because of the chance of emergency hospitalizations. There was one Thanksgiving, however, our son requested that we host a large gathering at our home. He wanted their daughter to be able to play with her little cousins! Of course, I jumped at the chance! Despite wintry weather conditions we had roughly two dozen relatives in various parts of our home. We got along fine, with everyone enjoying a typical Thanksgiving feast. At one point following the meal, I meandered through the house, noting many animated conversations with relatives in various rooms. I couldn’t find our son. He had retreated to a secluded spot, resting his head in his arms as he sat on an exercise machine. His request was totally a selfless one on behalf of their daughter. It was his last Thanksgiving and I wonder if he suspected that. He was always a generous soul, so I was pleased to be able to honor his wish.

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced many an empty chair from various older relatives. Nothing, however, compares to the deep grief from a seat vacated by one’s child.

While approaching our first Christmas without our son, a dull dread infiltrated my being. It can seem overwhelming to contemplate the extra work of shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning when one’s heart is heavy. What could I do?

One of the things I did during the fall that year, was to begin going through old photos. It was very healing to reminisce via those images. I traversed through the years of raising our son and watching him as he and his wife began their family. Since our granddaughter was only four years old when she lost her daddy, I wanted to give her a way to remember him though these photos. I made her (as well as us) some children’s picture books. One book was of her dad as a very young child. A second one was comparing her dad’s childhood to his adulthood. The third book was contrasting our granddaughter to her dad doing similar things. Of course, the third one was her favorite!

Next, I had to cope with preparing for the holiday itself. Our tree was such a large monstrosity, my husband and I just decided to donate it and purchase a much smaller table top model. This seemed to somewhat ease my mind.

Another issue was that I couldn’t bear to look at the Christmas stockings I had made for our children when they were wee little. The mere sight of any stockings made my heart ache. As our two children are/were well into adulthood, perhaps we could just surrender this tradition.

Interestingly, putting up the smaller tree went quite smoothly. While I was adorning the tree, I opened a nearby window blind. During the decorating, I noticed a flutter out of the corner of my eye. There was a mourning dove flitting at the window. That just happened to be our son’s favorite bird, so it felt as if he was giving me the message that he was still with us!

As to the meal, our daughter and daughter-in-law were wonderful help with the food prep, so shared work made a light load.

Yes, within the support of our intimate family gathering, there were some tears, but with great love comes great grief. Sometimes our hearts are just so full of love, that some of it can’t help but leak from our eyes.

Any kind of empty seat holidays can be a challenge, whether it be birthdays, anniversaries or traditional holidays. Please consider whatever it takes to get you through it. Maybe create some new traditions. Delegate, simplify and compromise. Take care of your well-being. If you need a grief counselor, perhaps that could be the best holiday gift you could give yourself. Take care and know that my sympathies are with you.

Stars

Astrophysicists theorize it and the Native Americans affirm it while the Book of Revelations declares it. What is it?

…the relationship between stars and other beings.

Scientific analysis has led astrophysicists to tell us that we are made from “star stuff”. The same elements found in stars are also within our bodies.

Native American legends have long spoken of the Star People. Whether they are more human or some kind of other worldly being, I assume they either came from the stars or perhaps shone like the twinkling wonders.

The Book of Revelations reveals that Jesus’ words were “I am the bright and morning star.” We all have our own interpretations. Does this mean Jesus is truly a star? My dreamy, artistic self wants to take this scripture literally.

These lovely and profound comparisons of stars to other beings inspired this sonnet and in the process healed this mother’s soul.

Origami Lesson

My son, when you were ten, a laddie boy,

we bent and creased and crafted paper fun.

of twirly gigs and spinning fans and toys,

of magic planes that dipped and dived and spun.

Progressing next with origami folds,

then fortune tellers by the score we made.

In grouping three, I glued so it would hold.

A flower formed for you that would not fade.

You touched my blossom, made a matching one,

attached together, then exclaimed, “Mom, look,

I made a star!” Oh my! Amazing, son!

Your life too early folded, heaven took.

My fleeting flower offered from afar.

Our son exults as ever shining star.

First publication rights, Lyrical Iowa 2020, 75th Anniversary Edition

Gratitude Especially When Times Are Hard

An attitude of gratitude is crucial, especially during trying times. It is no secret that the year twenty-twenty has been fraught with challenges.

First, let’s think of what happens if we are not looking for things for which to be thankful. This would be akin to taking the “too-too” train to the destination of “Woe-Is-Me”. That little settlement is the hometown of Goldilocks. Everything there is too hot, too cold, too big, too hard or too soft. When we are looking for fault, it isn’t hard to find.

Next, let’s imagine going on a drive. Your assignment is to notice all the green cars. Green may not be the most common hue for vehicles, but if that is on your radar, you will notice them. It is a lot like playing I spy with my little eye, something that is _______. Suddenly to a room full of young ones, they will notice lots of whatever it is to be found!

The same thing is true with gratitude. If we are searching for ways to be thankful, all at once we find far more than we initially realized. The objects of our gratitude don’t have to be large or sparkly or even green. However, it must be someone or something you treasure in your heart, those special people who help to make your life ineffably sublime or that something which perhaps makes your life easier. In fact, it could even be that something which makes your life more difficult if you can find it within yourself to be grateful for the lessons it teaches.

Being thankful during times of challenge may not be the first thing on your mind. In fact, it could very well be the last. When our son was in hospice, I honestly didn’t feel the least bit thankful. It was understandably one of the most difficult periods of my life. Then, I discovered a practice of listing ten gratitudes each day. Finding ten things for which I was grateful was a huge challenge, but I did it. Granted, some of the items I listed were small conveniences, a spark of beauty, or simple, loving glances. But, the lesson I found through the struggle of this practice helped to hold my spirit in a more hopeful place. This year in particular, many have lost loved ones, health, jobs, businesses, homes, normal social outlets and family gatherings, etc. In the face of any kind of loss, gratitude can come to our rescue.

Last of all, let’s try to be like Goldilocks when she found the three items that were just right! Make that list of things that are just right for you. Make it long. Make it a habit to list at least ten each day for which you are genuinely grateful. Especially when you make gratitude a habit, you will be amazed at the transformation it can make in your life!

Here is the start to my list. I am very thankful for all of you readers of my blog. I am grateful for those of you who follow and forward my writings to spread the light so needed in our day and age. Now it is your turn!

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude. A. A. Milne

“Enough” is a feast. Buddhist Proverb

Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. Rumi

No matter the size of your heart, may you discover the rich abundance in “enough” as you fill and clothe yourself in gratitude. God bless!

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!

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