Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thought of the Day

"Take a Chance" by Katie Estvold created on

from Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson

It was not easy for Abraham Lincoln to be the Abraham Lincoln we know today; it was not easy to be Susan B. Anthony, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr. They were born, as all of us are, with potential greatness...On some mysterious level, despite whatever resistance they felt, the great are those who simply said yes at times when others would have said no. ... Something called to them from a higher place, and they responded to what they heard.
Are we not being called by history to become the greatness that lies in us? What happens to this Earth now is up to us. We can remain who we are and sink further into the troubled world we have already made, or we can allow our hearts to crack open like cosmic eggs, out of which will emerge transformed creatures--our own true selves.

Monday, March 29, 2010

House of Spirit

made by Katie Estvold on Thanks to my friend Alma for inspiring me!!

Right and Wrong

If you click on this link, you'll be watching a 15 or so minute TED talk on how Science can inform morality. I for one said, "Duh." I thought that of course what we learn from science, if we are rational people, should inform our beliefs in some way or another. We are human beings, and we are made to attach meaning to facts. We extrapolate; we create meaning.

But there were some new ideas (really just semantics) for me to mull over. One idea is that because our instinct is to go toward what most preserves our lives (both physically and emotionally) we see those steps as "good" and steps away from that as "bad". In a Christian sense, we may say that if you believe in Jesus that is good and if you don't that is bad. This is because you would believe that it would preserve your life to believe it, and ruin it to disbelieve it.
This is that kind of "survival of the fittest" idea I think. If we think it is more beneficial to our lives to eat and drink and be merry (so-to-speak) then we do this. If we think it is more beneficial to our lives to exercise, eat vegan and live a life of moderation, then we do this. Somehow, we scientifically believe these sorts of things. Scientifically because it is in our brains to believe it. Our cultures inform us what is "good" and what is "bad". This makes an impact in every cell of our being, literally.
What does this mean to me? Where does my mind go?
I was thinking about Druidry and how there are so many different ways of celebrating it, and long ago I decided how I would do it.
There are some people who believe that they are actually doing magic. That they are changing the structure of what is to bend it to do what they want. I don't think this is true. I think that the "magic" is changing the way I think about it. It is purely psychological. It is like meditation. If I can get my mind to believe it is possible, I think it is possible. Does this mean I think they are wrong or bad? No. I just think it doesn't work for me to try and believe this way.
For my body, for my soul, I think it is GOOD that I know how to be positive and make things happen for myself out of confidence and will. That is the magic for me.

It does not explain the gift I have of interpreting oracles and visions...but again, for me, that is part of the MYSTERY of life. I KNOW that scientifically we haven't unraveled all that the brain is capable of, but that does not mean that when we (or if we) finally do, that it is any less MAGIC.
It seems as though I am off-topic, but I need a place to process these thoughts.
There are a million thoughts that I have about what Sam Harris said, but they are not all coherent. It is something that I feel I know as a baser idea, and that I've spiraled up to some higher meaning as time has gone on. These are just different words for what I've already settled in my mind.
Even as I write this I know how disjointed it sounds, but maybe this is where I am today...disjointed in word, but settled in spirit. My mind works so fast, I can barely keep up with it myself.
I am, right at this moment, watching an old Twilight Zone where a little old woman has been afraid of death, but when he comes (as a very young, very sexy Robert Redford), he says "you see, there is no shock, no tearing asunder. What you were afraid would come like an explosion has come as a whisper. what you thought was the ending, is the beginning." Then he takes her hand and leads her out into the sunshine. I sure do love it. Scientifically, I know nothing about any evidence there to support it. But I trust my instinct, and it tells me there is much more about life that we just haven't figured out yet, and I believe it, without so much as a Scientific Fact.
So, yes, Science 'informs' me, but it does not rule me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

5 Habits of Happy People

I found this today on a Yahoo article on "Shine" by Sarah McColl, and just HAD to share it with all of you. I know that any of you who really need this will read it.

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ---Abraham Lincoln
One of the most fundamental ways you can make over your life isn't to lose 10 pounds or conquer your closet clutter, it's to change your perspective into something more positive. While unhappy people, to paraphrase Tolstoy, might be dysfunctional in 10,000 different ways, upbeat folks have some habits in common. Crib from their notes to bring more joy into any day (yes, even a Monday).

Reach out
Studies show that relationships are vital to a positive outlook in life. And it makes sense --- engaging with others reminds you that no matter how crappy your day or foul your mood, you're not alone. A superficial interaction like chatting with the mail carrier can make you feel like you belong to a community, but intimate relationships are what keeps us going even when times get tough. Send a text to a college friend telling her you're thinking about her, or call your spouse just to say "I love you."

Be thankful
This is worth repeating again and again. Each of us, if you can believe it, has so much to be thankful for. There are the big things, like a loving family and your health, but then there are a million little things, too. When you adjust your perspective to be grateful for all that you have rather than bemoan all you don't, you start living life in the positives, and the results are immediate. Learn how to create a gratitude practice.

Live your passions
Even if you spend 8 hours a day at a job that doesn't exactly have you leaping out of bed in the morning, you can still find ways to do the things that make you feel most alive. In fact, you owe it to yourself for your own happiness and well-being. Whether it's making doll house furniture or roller skating, taking part in activities you love gives your life a sense of meaning and pleasure. Be creative about how you're going to work your passions into your day --- maybe you can form a book club at work or start writing that novel on your lunch hour. Read more about how to make the most of your daily life.

Make do
We live in a culture obsessed with buying stuff, and when we're sad, many of us turn to retail therapy for a quick boost. But that high is short-lived and leads us to spending money we don't have which, doh, only makes us feel worse when the credit card bill arrives. Instead of turning to shopping malls to buy the thing we hope will suddenly make our life happier and complete (never works, does it?), make the most of what you already have. Try "shopping your own closet" (or your man's) and wearing that other 80% of your wardrobe you seldom get to. Or give what you already own some TLC to breathe some new life into it. Maybe your kitchen just needs a good scrub down --- not a new refrigerator --- to feel shiny and new again. Every time you have that impulse to spend, make an effort to make do with what you already have.

Enjoy the simple pleasures

The best things in life, just like the bumper sticker says, often aren't things and they're usually free. Think babies laughing instead of Porsches. Get lost in the way the sun comes through your windows, the vibrant yellow of spring's first daffodils, or a perfect piece of golden toast. Make it a point to bring pleasure into your life and to really savor the delights that are abundant around you already.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


No pictures just yet...I have trouble with my new camera taking the best pictures and I don't have the picture program I use to have, so I make do. It is sort of like going from speedboat to a used car...however I love having to take more time to get what I want. Is that weird?
I was cleaning out my former work room and found myself looking at half finished projects and old ideas and was so so glad to have had that experience of owning my own business and selling my art, but so so glad to be done with it, as I was going through my old school/teachery things and adding to them. I loved thinking today about a classroom in which I would perhaps hang banners of little woodcut ladies across the room who would be holding signs for proofreading marks or math helps. That excites me these days...
I wish I could get excited about loosing weight. The yo-yo of it all for the past 8 years just gets me down. I know what I need to do, as it has worked for me twice, but I have willpower that would fill a thimble, so it fades after about 2 months. I figure, could the third time be the charm?! Why not.
For today, I've been clearing and cleaning and filling our truck with the excess of a few years, and tonight is Earth this bodes well as you know how much I love metaphor. Could it be that the FINALLY cleaning out of my home means I am ready to loose weight? I take it as a good sign.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


letting sunshine just come and go
it comes and it goes
but I know it is just over the edge and it is coming again

watching the river go but stay
inside the riverbed
it stays
but it is always going

the wind blows over it all
and flips tiny rocks
into rivers
and icy water off of edges
and clouds over the sun

i watch it go by
and i sit inside of it
and feel myself a part of it all
a part of the going
a part of the coming
a part of the flipping
and the offing
and the overing

i sit inside of it
eyes closed
mouth turned up
serene with the changing

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This fills me...

Do not dwell in the past,
do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment.

I know that at 6 years old, I was in the moment. I was on my grandma's lap, loving the squishy-ness of it. I was smiling and feeling loved and was IN that moment.
How to do that as a busy mama/adult/teacher???
One single moment at a time.

more on "in-the-moment" to come...

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I noticed this rock at the beach because of how the pool of sea water seemed to be holding it up like a diadem, in both hands, upward. I'm happy that I see life this way.

These are kindred words:

"Siddhartha learned something new on every step of his path, for the world was transformed and he was enthralled. He saw the sun rise over forest and mountains and set over the distant palm shore. At night he saw the stars in the heavens and the sickle-shaped moon floating like a boat in the blue. He saw trees, stars, animals, clouds, rainbows, rocks, weeds, flowers, brook and river, the sparkle of dew on bushes in the morning, distant high mountains blue and pale; birds sang, bees hummed, the wind blew gently across the rice fields.
All this, colored and in a thousand different forms, had always been there. The sun and moon had always shone; the rivers had always flowed and the bees had hummed, but in precious times all this had been nothing to Siddhartha but a fleeting and illusive veil before his eyes, regarded with distrust, condemned to be disregarded and ostracized from the thoughts because it was not reality, because reality lay on the other side of the visible. But now his eyes lingered on this side; he saw and recognized the visible and he sought his place in this world. He did not seek reality; his goal was not on any other side. The world was beautiful when he looked at it this way -- without any seeking, so simple, so childlike. The moon and the stars were beautiful, the brook, the shore, the forest and rock, the goat and the golden beetle, the flower and butterfly were beautiful. It was beautiful and pleasant to go through the world like that, so childlike, so awakened, so concerned with the immediate, without any distrust."

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (c. 1951)

*if you are not sure, Siddhartha is The Buddha*

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Bliss

who follows a blog,,
who wrote down this quote about following your bliss:

"Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track that has
been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be
living is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open where you
didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you
that wouldn't have opened for anyone else."
~ Joseph Campbell


I KNOW I've believed this, and I go in and out of really seeing it.
Sometimes I still go back and forth, in my heart, about homeschooling my kids or being a public school teacher...but if I indeed look at where doors opened and where I've met people who've helped me, it was in being a public school teacher. I know this.
When I follow my bliss, my life is on track.

I will keep believing it and following it and see where it leads me!