Wednesday, September 29, 2010

high tech time...sort of

My last cellular phone was the equivalent of two cups and a string. I have never been into the latest and greatest technology, but it was getting ridiculous. A flip phone? Really? There was even a four and a half year period (a.k.a. my days as a poor grad student) when possessing a functioning cell phone was foregone and I lived with a land-line alone. *gasp!* (I had to wear a watch those years.) When I achieved my professional license, I vowed to upgrade my phone for myself. Well, I got the license and kept on flipping my phone open, perhaps in a silent protest of "I don't need anything more" attitude. Then I finally caved and..."Got the latest iPhone, Melissa?" No, no, no...that would be much too up to date. I got a Blackberry. The first few days I wondered if it was worth it, spending the extra money for what really? Having played around with it, I am finding it to be rather useful and I feel somewhat connected to the "modern world" we're living in. Of course, I have not bothered to learn how to do everything on it. It even took me a few weeks to figure out what a pin and BBM was, but I accept that my learning curve on technology is slow. I'm fine with that.

Since I no longer utilize smoke signals in communication, who wants to BBM? Oh, you all have iPhones? Okay, never mind. I'll get one of those when you all have upgraded to the iBrain phone implant.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

tuesday musings

Tuesday has rolled around again. These mornings tend to be very nice. Solo time to catch up on reading, exploring information, decompressing and even introspecting (more than usual). It is a time where I count my blessings and sit in the joy of the wonderfulness I am lucky to have in my life. I refocus my goals and retool the means of achieving them. I reevaluate what I have been doing, reinforcing the good and tweaking the not-so-good.

I love my Tuesday mornings, but I love the rest of my week as well. Different reasons for different times. The beauty of life is that no moment is the same and every one is valuable in one way or another. Take the time to appreciate it all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

taking risks in a chum suit


It's important to find a happy place between total stagnation and blind "dive-head-first-into-shark-infested-waters-while-wearing-a-chum-suit" action. In my experience, there have been times where I played it safe and others where I taken risks. Having an aversion towards boredom and stagnation, I prefer leaning towards the latter of the two.

Lately, I find myself taking more risks, putting myself out there and taking chances, because that is the only way to possibly succeed. (Details forthcoming, but for the time being, these are personal risks not for public viewing. Be patient dear readers.)

For the most part, my risk taking is successful. Engaging in creative projects bring a sense of juiciness to life. Advancing my education (*cough* accruing student loans) has opened my mind and doors wider. Uprooting and moving around the country has allowed me to gain new perspectives and to experience new adventures that have enriched my life and helped me reconnect with my husband. All of these have required some level of risk and have provided such fruitful rewards and experiences.

I am grateful for every experience for even the ones that do not work out as planned have helped me grow and learn about myself. Who was it that said "the only failure is in not trying?" I am not holding back, there are dreams to be had and fruit to be picked.

Fear and excitement can be physiologically similar. Change your perspective and take a chance. Are you holding yourself back from a dream or desire because of fear?

Now where's my chum suit?

Monday, September 20, 2010

i feel good

I have this excited giddy feeling in my soul that good things are happening. Opportunities that I have been actively seeking are going to present themselves with brightness, hope and open arms. Creativity is flowing in my very veins. I feel light and I am luminous and floating. Joy has moved to the forefront and is emanating from my heart. This is what I choose to be and I choose to not let others tarnish this beauty.

My wish for you is that you, too, have moments that feel even better than this!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

sparking spunky funk










Some of the things that sparks the spunky funk in me and make me want to boogie. I stumbles across the video below and it makes me smile. Hope it does the same for you.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

buzz buzz in the eardrum

I am not sure where I am at today, but for some reason I have been more drawn to researching environmental and toxin issues, and health and wellness. I think I have some guilt for treatment my pup for fleas using those icky bug neurotoxins and pesticides. This is very much against my nature. Of course, the following day I was able to find a natural, healthy alternative (different then the natural ones I was using and were not so effective) that we are going to use to maintain a pest free environment.

Though, if you could see the horrifically giant, mandible wielding severed head of the bug that was in my shoe by the door, you might consider a nuclear bomb to fumigate. (And I'm not easily bugged by too many bugs.)

music wafts deftly through the crisp air

and it all feels so powerful to me right now.

doesn't get much better than this

Sit back, close your eyes and enjoy

Monday, September 13, 2010

dreams vs. pragmatic points

Do "practical thinkers" tend to tamp down dreams? Here's a worthy and inspirational blog covering the 10 Lies You Will Hear Before You Pursue Your Dreams. Maybe the pragmatic points come from others or it may come from our own thoughts.

How many goals in your life have you not attempted because of this? If you have goals (and I hope you all have many) read that blog post. Then go ahead and take control of putting the cross-hairs on your target and go for it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

i cannot tell a lie

I recalled a memory today from back when I was living on Sherman Street in Denver. I was a poor grad student in my last year of studies, deeper in debt and school work than ever before. Sitting outside my apartment on one of those beautiful sunshiny Colorado days when a local 12-stepper (possibly off the wagon) asked to borrow my cell phone. I replied simply with a "sorry, I don't have one." To which she promptly yelled back, "You're a liar! Who doesn't have a cell phone?!" I was taken a little aback. As she stormed away around the corner, I sat slack-jawed and speechless. Never before was I yelled at for telling the god's honest truth. I really was so poor I could not afford a cell phone. I thought about it for a bit longer and realized, hey, if her second statement were true, why was she asking to borrow mine?

Friday, September 10, 2010

tai chi or insanity

Sitting in a meeting with my back to the window, a few of my coworkers started chuckling audibly at an unusual sight outside. I turned to see a client swinging his arms wildly and thought nothing of it. (I work at a mental health agency.) A few minutes later, when the meeting ended, one coworker stated, "I'm going to go out and ask him to stop." As I got out of my chair and turned around, I viewed the man and his actions again. It was at that point that I realized he was practicing tai chi. The worker went and interrupted him.

I was so saddened by this client having to cease doing something that is so healthy and beneficial simply because a bunch of therapists pathologized his action as part of his mental illness. It is also sad that so many people around here get terribly uncomfortable with what they don't know or understand. Back in Colorado, no one would think twice seeing anyone performing tai chi or qi gong in just about any locale. I would say it is probably more unusual out there to NOT see people in the local park practicing early in the morning.

I often try to educate people who are ignorant to healing arts and contemplative topics. I don't claim to be an expert but I share the knowledge I have and my own experience to try and open peoples minds, even a little bit. And, yes, I get a lot of eye rolls. That's okay, for every twenty eye rolls, I get one person whose mind expands a touch. To me, that is worth it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

mouthy me

Something I have observed about myself, I get much more mouthy and my internal filter starts to falter when I am tired. Thank goodness I know how to be diplomatic, wrangle my emotions and choose my words wisely regardless. Despite that, I think it would behoove me to get more hours of sleep each night. Now, to see if I can put that plan into action...or would that be non-action?

ray lamontagne & the pariah dogs

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

wild rice

Sometimes I feel like my task
is to sort barrels
of wild rice
into individual piles.

And they are large barrels
like those big metal oil ones.

And there is a crow
swooping down to swipe the grains.

This is one of those mornings.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

one year ago today

I posted this picture on my flickr account and here last year and I feel It is worthy of a re-post since the god and/or gods did not hear me the first time.
I have demonstrated much patience over the past year, so I don't feel I'm being too pushy. *knock knock knock* Are you there, money god(s)? I'm ready now.

falling back to school

So here I sit, viewing other blog and social network posts, watching many people send their kids back to school or head back to work and I ponder the meaning this time of year. Having been a student for more years than I can count (guess I should have studied math) and working in schools for quite a few more, this time of year used to bring eager anticipation for the newness of things to come. I still get giddy when I think of purchasing new school supplies.

Things, however, have changed. Not having children of my own and working in a 12-month job for the past four-plus years, this time of year has changed meaning in both the practical and deeper senses. I am not studying anything formally nor am I currently employed in an educational setting, but the new school year coincides with autumn: my favorite time of the year. Something about the crispness that enters the air and the blanket of leaves that rustle with each step makes my heart swell with the beat of the world. I still approach this time of year as a new beginning, a starting over and time to view life with new eyes. Old things are new again and new things are welcome; I am opening my arms to both.

Monday, September 6, 2010

a worthy share

from The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize: public health worker, community organizer, and social activist Jane Addams, born to a wealthy Quaker family in Cedarville, Illinois, 150 years ago today (1860).

She suffered from depression and went to Europe, thinking it would help. She visited a settlement house in London, a place that offered social services to the poor. She was deeply impressed by it, and after founding an experimental house like this in England, she returned to the states to establish one on the South Side of Chicago in the 19th Ward, a neighborhood full of poor immigrants from Russia, Greece, Italy, and Germany. It was in an abandoned mansion formerly owned by Charles Hull, and so she called it Hull House. It had a communal kitchen, a day care, a library, and a little bookbinding business.

Women boarded at Hull House, and it was also a neighborhood center, a performing arts center, and a space where book club meetings and classes were held. Two thousand people showed up each week from the area, and Hull House grew to add a dozen more buildings. Addams wrote about it in some of her books, including Twenty Years at Hull House (1910).

Addams was a leader in the women's suffrage movement, fought for immigrants' rights, and lobbied for labor reform. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

She's the author of several books, including The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909) and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I have been pondering my hair lately. Not in a narcissistic "nothings more beautiful than naturally curly hair" sense, more in a what does my hairs means to me? Being a curly girl to a straight-hair mother, my early dealings with hair included being secured by my mothers legs so she could hold me still enough to tackle the mass of knotty curls. Pig tails and braids were (and to some extent still are) a long haired curly girls salvation. No More Tangles was a god-send. I adored my braids with the red yarn bows tied at the bottom.
Adolescence, a difficult and awkward stage in many a child's life, was even more difficult because I did not have the hair I wanted. Hello 80s, I want feathered tresses! Alas, that is not what my hair wanted to do.

High school was when I started using my hair as a tool. Right eye? I had one but it was hidden under my "freak punk chick" hair. And I grew it long. Really long. Of course, when the curls sproing up, the length could not be appreciated, but I knew it was down to my backside. My hair became entertainment for my best friend in our tediously dry English class. (How many times can I get the chills from Bernadette stretching and boinging my curls?)

College (the first time around) was when I truly began to appreciate and learn to work with my curls, and I grew to love them. I started attracting much positivity for the amount of tresses that cascaded down my back. Friends protested every time I stated I was thinking of cutting it.

Suddenly, there came a time that I realized I was being identified too much by, and hiding behind, my hair. It was time for it to go. Finally, I went from that super-long to shoulder length. A weight was lifted, figuratively and literally, from my shoulders. The hair that was cumbersome and often out of control, was now quicker to wash and simpler to brush. I felt free.
um, yeah
As the years have passed, my hair has taken on many variations. I symbolically cut it a few years back to let go of the past and once again feel free. Now, I am symbolically growing it again. With good nutrition and lots of care, my hair has grown considerably.
What does it means to me today? It means I am embracing all that is me. I have reconnected with my true self in so many ways and the long curly locks represent this process.

(I have no recent photos but it is time to take out the camera again. Perhaps a new, long haired pic will follow shortly.)

bark softly and carry a big stick

I adore having a dog. Can you tell?

Friday, September 3, 2010

i color outside the lines


Those of you who know me and/or my father (a.k.a. Big Joe) are aware that three weeks ago he had an unfortunate and severe meeting of his cranium to the pavement when he wrecked out on his road bicycle. Due to the extent of his injuries, he has no recollection of the accident. He was riding early morning on a two-way, four-lane major road that is under extensive roadwork. We have deduced that he must have clipped a piece of debris on the road or a gap in the busted out pavement. He was not hit by a car as evidenced by his bicycle being unscathed. Tumbling over his handle bars, he landed face/head first into the ground.

Being early morning and traveling solo, a lonely passerby saw him lying face down on the ground and called 911 (thank you, whoever you are). He spent a few days in the hospital with a broken nose, abrasions, two areas of brain hemorrhaging and pain all over, but he is healing.

My father talked of being worried that his fear would get the best of him and he wouldn't ride again. He's proving himself wrong. A week out of the hospital he had already replaced his mangled helmet with a new, unmarred one. After follow ups with the neurosurgeon and the trauma doctors, and getting clearance to return to regular activities as he feels ready, he is already out on his bike and riding.

My dad is amazing. Oh, did I happen to mention he is also above retirement age (he is still working) and lost most of the vision in one of his eyes Less than two years ago? Yeah, he's an example of resilience and bravery...and maybe a little bit nuts. But that's why I love him!

Now here's the point, dear readers: If being 60-something, half-blind and having slammed your head into the pavement isn't enough to hold "Big Joe" back, what excuse can any of us possibly have for giving up on our goals?

Now get back back on your bike and ride.

Billy Bragg - Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards


I have never claimed my life is boring,
and this I love.

What an intense and chaotic day yesterday was!
Clients in crisis, people dealing with intensity and strange happenings all around.

However, nothing a little tart cherry juice (yum!) and a deep breath couldn't handle. (Though yoga class brought lots of charlie horses in my muscles, but I have a feeling that was a result of beginning chiropractic adjustments last week.)

Okay, Friday, bring it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

morning puppy

morning puppy
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Apologies for another Boddington post, he just makes me all mushy inside with his cuteness. This is what I wake up to in the morning. Happy sigh!