14 July 2018 Inception

Hello to you.  Just a quick note before I get breakfast started.  Not sure the painting on canvas is going to happen today.  We have lots of chores to do today and my butt is dragging a bit.  May be tomorrow?!  Part of the reason I’m so tired is just before falling asleep last night there was a loud explosion like someone set off a firework right in the middle of the street.  I was so pissed!  Not good to try to go to sleep mad.  It was hard to go back to sleep after that.  We found out this morning the sound we heard was someone hitting our neighbors truck!  UGH!

Then there were all the dreams I had that made me think of the movie Inception – dreams within dreams.  I’m with the Kyle I know but I’m like a person within a person as I lay next to him.  Then there is a man with dark hair and dark eyes telling me, “I have work to do.” Then all the sudden I’m in something like a fight scene in a movie on a train with stuff flying everywhere.  Another was of going to a beach that was all vibrant with a lot of teal green going on.  There were seals and I could see a life guard.  Then that same scene was devoid of color, of seals and the life guard – it was all washed out, cloudy and drab.   When my brain is running like that, I don’t wake up feeling very rested.   I guess my dreams are a reflection of the influx of random stuff I’ve been putting in my head via television, movies and internet.

  1. in·cep·tion = 105/6/3 cycle
    [inˈsepSH(ə)n]

    NOUN
    inceptions (plural noun)
    1. the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity.
      “she has been on the board since its inception two years ago”
      synonyms: establishment · institution · foundation · founding · formation · initiation · setting up · origination · constitution · inauguration · opening · beginning · start · starting point · outset ·

      [more]

Sending you hugs, love, prayers and positive vibes through the wires today!

Be kind,
for everyone
you meet
is carrying
a great
burden.

ian maclaren – circa 1898

Adapted from original version: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.” Ian MacLaren was the pen name of Reverend John Watson.
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13 July 2018 My Present (birthday), chalk drawings and Once Upon a Star (poem)

Hello there!  Hope you are doing well today.  Today is my husband’s 34th birthday and he said this morning, “It seems like your more excited for my birthday than I am!”  I replied, “I am!  Today is the day my present got here!”  Long before I met Kyle I can remember standing under a starry sky and asking, “Where are you?!”  Little did I know such a person was on their way to my heart and to my life.  Having a husband like Kyle is proof I must have done at least one good thing so far in this life!

I have been sharing a lot of pictures lately knowing I’m probably going to run out of room lool.  It’s worth the trouble.

Once Upon a Star – (Blog poem I wrote 3 May 2006)

Weary eyes and weary soul my light embers dim

I look into the heavens for Pleiades and sing a faraway song

A forgotten hymn

The sisters dance forever make haste to Venus

A veil of silk and dreamwork

Cast a spell between us

Sitting in my plane of invisible air I fly

Through space and time

To your gleaming spires my voice will cry

Once upon a star

Neither light nor shadow

The distance far

 

10 July 2018 We Are God’s Heart

Hello to you.  Hope this finds you well in whatever time and place this finds you.

Yesterday I took my pink spirit book and a pencil out to our pecan tree to jot down some thoughts that I couldn’t get out of my head.  I am a very spiritual person and quite often the topics that come up relate to the concept I have of God at this phase of my life.  Intelligent Energy.  I have come to believe that all of creation is an Energy construct.  When I lay in bed at night I can see all these tiny little vibrating particles that make up the wall, the dresser, the blankets draped over me….the dogs and Kyle.  When I lay down and gaze at the sky it’s much the same.  An untold number of tiny vibrating particles making reality real.  Each place I look, each breath I take….all God energy.

9 July 2018 – Drawing I did yesterday. It fits this post I think.

Here is what came up in my pink spirit book yesterday:

“Why a man to become a God? Why Jesus? Because human beings make God “care.”  To look at nature without the heart of man, one would think there was no loving God.  Everything is just food.  One energy feeding the next size up.  I saw a black spider wasp disable and dismantle a spider twice its size in seconds.  I’ve seen larger wasps do the same.  The bird I tried to console to its death was attacked by ants before it was completely dead.  Ants attacking and eating a molting Cicada before it can even fly away.  It’s new form devoured just inches from its previous one.  Just energy!  Just food!  One energy form devouring another.  There are no emotions.  There are no feelings.  There is no morality or conscience without human beings.  God can be cruel….nature can be cruel.

Some higher forms of life seem even more compassionate than humans or is it just our wanting them to be?  Our influence as observers on the “experiment” affecting how we perceive them?  What came to me during several of my episodes is we are only alive because the rest of existence allows it….just hasn’t figured out a way to eat us more quickly just yet!  Is this why we must not be still too long?  Eat or be eaten?!”

I don’t know that God/Nature is cruel, it’s just super efficient.  Everything around us is part of a perfect design and we, with our feelings and consciousness are the cog in the wheel so to speak!   We are the ones who will go out of our way to save a three legged dog from death.  If this dog were born into a setting without us, it would just be left to die.

I believe we are God’s heart.  Without us, without a Jesus or all the pantheon of other Gods taking human form, God just isn’t all that friendly and or relatable….tangible.

How we love and take care of each other makes God real on this earth.

Later in the day we watched the Queer Eye episode where the Fab  5 went to Gay Georgia to help with a lovely woman and her church community center.  A lot of irony in just that sentence!  They helped Tammye, her gay son, her family and the entire town.  What a beautiful example of what I am talking about!  Without the heart of human beings, without the act of building bridges between different worlds,  empathy, compassion and care, there really is no unconditionally loving God.   We give God all their senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste) and our many beating hearts in which to process this complicated existence.

It’s people like the Fab 5, like Tammye and all those in this world who seek to fill this world with unconditional love that are God’s heart.

http://ew.com/tv/2018/06/19/queer-eye-season-2-episode-1-tammye-interview/

1 John 4:20 20Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Source Internet: Queer Eye Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Broan Fire House episode

9 July 2018 Sleep, Bird in the Water (missions) and Buy the Milk (story)

Hello – how are you doing in your here and now?  I hope this finds you well.  I’m tired again but getting better.  Think I’m getting closer to figuring out what the problem is – being too warm at night.  Link likes to cuddle right up next to me and he runs really warm.  Last night I went out to the couch and it was nice and cool and I actually slept some until he figured out I had left the bed and came looking for me lol.  Then we went back to the main bed and it had cooled down and I slept some more until things heated back up.   I’ve always slept better when it is cooler and ever since we adjusted the thermostat in the house, by just 1 degree higher, I haven’t been sleeping as well!

https://sports.yahoo.com/science-says-sleeping-cold-room-174708555.html

Science Says Sleeping In a Cold Room Is Better for Your Health

Courtney Campbell

Those who prefer to keep bedroom temperatures chilly while catching some shut eye may be on to something. According to an article written by Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, and published by the Huffington Post, our bedroom temperatures can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night of sleep.

Although most of us might not give a second thought to the temperature of our bedroom at night (unless you’re trying to save money), Winter says our rooms should be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. If the temperature goes above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees, it can cause people to toss and turn all night.

Why does the number on the thermostat matter? Our body temperatures naturally peak and decline during a 24-hour period, with the highest numbers occurring in the late afternoon and the lowest ones around 5 a.m. Sleep usually begins when our body temperature drops, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.

If the promise of more sleep isn’t enough, there are plenty of other reasons to keep the air on cool:

You’ll have a more restful sleep.

Research done at the University of South Australia found that certain forms of insomnia occur with poor body temperature regulation. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, a colder room could help your body cool down enough to reach a level of deeper, restorative sleep.

It’ll keep you looking young.

Sleeping in a room warmer than 70 degrees will stop your body from releasing melatonin, one of the body’s best anti-aging hormones. Once we’re asleep in total darkness and our body temperature drops, it releases melatonin and triggers a slight cool-down in the body.

It can help you lose weight.

According to the Huffington Post, naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner says that as your body temperature drops and growth hormone is released, the stress hormone cortisol will also decrease with healthy sleep patterns. When you aren’t able to sleep enough, you’ll wake up with high levels of cortisol-meaning you’re more likely to reach for a box of cookies and have increased anxiety.

You lower your risk for metabolic disease.

One study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of brown fat, or good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories. Over time, this can lower the risk of metabolic diseases.

So, put on your favorite PJs, turn the A/C down to 65 degrees, and get ready to catch some zzz’s. ]]>😴

————————————-

Ugh…..yesterday was an emotional day for me.   It started with watching a video of a man saving an otter from killer whales.  Alas he couldn’t rescue the baby that was with her.  Hearing her scream for her baby just tore me up!  Little did I know this was going to be the tempo of my day!

As Temple Grandin says:

Temple Grandin

“Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be”

Temple Grandin, The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold

So yesterday Kyle and I decided to take the dogs on a walk in the evening and came across a loose dog.  He looked like Spot, probably even the same age, but was a Chihuahua.  He had tags and seemed to be a nice dog but we just couldn’t get close enough to him to read his tags.  Having Link and Spot along with us didn’t help either.  So we finished the walk and I went home.  I put a note about him and his whereabouts on our neighborhood Next Door page to let folks know about him in case they were looking.  Then I grabbed my phone and went out to see if I could get a picture to help identify him.

I didn’t find the sweet boy but I did find something quite tragic in front of my neighbor Fred’s place.  There was a bird in a puddle of water in his front yard.  At first glance I wasn’t sure if it was dead or alive.  When I stopped to really look, I saw labored breathing.  I chose to stop and sit down next to the dying being.  Their wings were all messed up.  I sat and talked to them in soothing tones and stroked their head which they seemed to respond to.  There were tears on my part because I knew there wasn’t much else I could do for the poor thing.  Fred’s cats were out and I knew it was either they were going to get the bird or it was going to be the ants we have around here.  We have ants that wait for Cicada’s to molt and eat them before they even fully get out of their casing!

So I was sitting there and Fred came home and asked me if everything was ok.  I told him about the bird.  He is a hospice nurse and was just home from work.  He was very tired and said, “Why always in my front yard?  The last time it was you telling me about my favorite cat!”  A year or so ago I had been walking and found his favorite cat with it’s throat torn on his front yard.  I had taken the time to tell him instead of just ignoring it.  He told me he had just been on vacation to California and it’s been 8 months since his wife died.  I said that I bet Cindy would be happy that he’s moving on, that she would want him to be happy…he deserved to be happy.  His wife had been sick for a very long time and they both suffered so much with it.   The dying bird I was sitting with was almost symbolic of what they had been through.

He went inside and grabbed some paper towels for me so I could remove the bird to what I hoped would be a safer dying place in my yard.  The bird seemed to find peace in being wrapped and closed it’s eyes as I carried it home.  One last effortless flight.  Alas the space I chose to give this poor thing rest in my yard was later found by the ants.  I think, I HOPE,  the bird had already passed on.  There just was no winning with this case.  I am praying that the bird found a moment of peace with how I chose to handle things.

Remember the message about life is about choices?  What I’ve shared with you illustrates this.  It’s probably happened so many times in your own life and you may not even have been conscious of it!

1) Kyle and I chose to take the dogs for a second walk which we don’t normally do in the summer here.  2) This lead us to the loose dog we wanted to help.  3) This lead me to going back out for a longer walk.   4) This lead me to finding and trying to console a dying bird.  5) This lead me to a loving conversation with Fred about his wife who died after suffering a long illness.

All of this felt like a mission.  I don’t believe that it was “just a coincidence.”  There is the hidden director at work!  Do you heed the direction or do you ignore it?

A long time friend shared a story with me recently.  I don’t know if it’s true story but it was a great example of what I have experienced in my own life when I heed direction from the unseen director….God of energy, the Source….the Universe.

http://www.gospelweb.net/Illustrations/BuyTheMilk.htm

Buy The MilkOr Are You An Angel?
Author Unknown
Bible.Flag
Follow Book & Flag

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had spoken about “listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice.”

The young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?” After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God, if you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply, so he started on toward home. But again, the thought came to him… buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel, and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. So, he stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn down that street.” This is crazy, he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”.

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. “Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.”

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door and said, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but, if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?”

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

The man asked, “What is it?”

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk and said, “Here, I brought this to you,” he said.

The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out,”I ask him to send an angel with some. Are you an Angel?”

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand. Then he turned and walked back toward his car and tears were streaming down his face. He knew then that God does still speak to people… and answer prayers.

 

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold – looks like a man in a box looking for a way out to me. 

 

3 July 2018 Repurposing

Hello to you this HOT Texas afternoon.  Oh my goodness it’s summer lol.  I can’t believe I could forget how toasty and crunchy this time of the year can be.  At least the Cicada’s sing to me all day 🙂

As you may or may not remember, earlier this year I was not myself.  During this time Kyle was tested sorely and one of my precious crystals got tossed really hard on the pavement.  It was just one of the many things that were nearly destroyed when time in the Anger Room in Dallas (https://www.angerroom.com/) would have served us better!  Well we’ve managed to mend our relationship as we always do.  In celebration of our progress, today I decided to try and repurpose or fix the crystal he tossed.  I had saved some of the main pieces and thought it would be neat to soften the rough edges with shells we collected on our wedding cruise to Puerto Rico, to St. Martin in particular.  I know some would cringe at the thought of doing this to a quartz crystal ball but I am very pleased with her new look.  She looks like a queen now and is a fusion of land and sea!

I’m so grateful Kyle has stuck around despite the stormy times we’ve had together.  I’m so grateful he about as unconditionally as is humanly possible loves me and the person I am….as changeable as that can be sometimes!

For those who celebrate the 4th of July, hope you have a great day.  Remember if you have furry loved ones to make sure they are secure before the firework displays start.  They have much better hearing than we do!  We’ve already had a lot of dogs and cats running away around here because of the loud noises.

http://www.wafb.com/story/38566600/vets-warn-pet-owners-about-fireworks-shows-4th-of-july

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) –

Before you shoot off fireworks over the Independence Day holiday, think about your pets.

RELATED: Where you can and can’t shoot off fireworks

Doctors with the LSU Veterinary School of Medicine are warning owners about the dangers of fireworks shows. They say pets like dogs, cats, and livestock have enhanced hearing and are easily startled by the loud noises.

“They have very sensitive hearing, so it’s a lot harder for them to hear and see that than it is for us,” said Dr. Nancy Welborn. “And they don’t know it’s coming, so it’s scary. So the best thing, one, is never take pets to a fireworks show.”

Dr. Welborn says pets will run off and can get lost. She says it’s best to let your pet find a safe spot inside and stay there until the show is over.

“My dog, my personal dog, he hides in a closet, and it’s dark in there. I kind of close the door and he’s fine,” Dr. Welborn said. “They can pick their spot where they want to be.”

Dr. Welborn recommends that if you pet is overly anxious, you consider medication to relieve stress. But you must consult your veterinarian before administering any kind of drug.

Also, make sure your pet has a collar. Microchips are even better, because then you can easily track your pet if they get scared and run off.

Doctors also say you need to keep livestock in mind. Horses and cattle are easily startled, so if you are about to start a fireworks show, make sure it’s a safe distance away from any livestock.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.

2 July 2018 Drawings, Young People Trying to Save the Earth and Nature is Medicine – Even in Prison Cell

If you are curious to read about Felix’s program:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/german-12-year-old-boy-plants-1million-trees-takes-over-un-program-to-plant-a-trillion-more/excerpt from John Large article

German 12-Year-old Boy Plants 1Million Trees, Takes Over UN Program to Plant a Trillion More – By John Large 

“The world is a lot greener thanks to this 20-year-old and his army of “climate ambassadors” who have pledged to plant trees and use youth power to avert climate change.

Ever since he was 9 years old, Felix Finkbeiner has been an international figurehead for saving the planet. In 2007, the German youngster founded a global youth movement called “Plant for the Planet” – an initiative that trains and recruits kids from around the world to plant trees as a means of combatting climate change.

Since its creation, the movement has already made significant progress with the help of over 100,000 enthusiastic youth between the ages of 9 and 12—and he planted his one-millionth tree in Germany when he was just twelve. Alongside the Paris Agreement, Finkbeiner’s campaign is a formidable defense of the planet.”

http://www.dailygood.org/story/2012/nature-is-medicine-even-in-a-prison-cell-nalini-nadkarni/

Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
–Rabindranath Tagore

Nature is Medicine — Even in a Prison Cell

–by Nalini Nadkarni, syndicated from Yes Magazine, Jul 02, 2018

 excerpt, use link for entire article

“The “Moss-in-Prison” project helped me bring my love for trees and forest to men and women in the deepest windowless reaches of the prison system.

The human environment of hospitals is in many ways similar to those of prisons. The “inmates” of both prisons and hospital wards experience extreme stress and anxiety, as their activities and fate are no longer under their own control. Interior spaces are stark and sterile—for punitive and security reasons for prisoners; for health reasons for patients. Their webs of social interactions are entirely dependent on who might choose to visit them; often these individuals are islands in a frightening sea. Behavioral psychologists have documented that the view of nature outside a window or portrayed on backlit panels can reduce stress and speed recovery. In 2013, I found a maximum security prison in Oregon that was open to the idea of showing nature videos to men in their solitary confinement cellblocks to explore whether this might reduce agitation, anxiety, and the violent infractions that cause injury to inmates and officers. We installed a projector in the exercise room of one of the cellblocks and provided inmates with the opportunity to view the videos during their exercise time—one hour a day, three days a week.

After a year, our surveys and interviews of staff and inmates revealed that they felt lower stress, agitation, and irritability, and were able to carry a “sense of calmness” from seeing the nature video when they returned to their individual cells. Most significantly, we learned that the inmates who viewed nature videos committed twenty-six percent fewer violent infractions than those who did not view them, a convincing result for the prison officers and administrators—and for ourselves. Further work is now needed to learn how this “nature intervention” might work in other prisons, and to understand which elements of nature were most effective in bringing light to the darkest parts of our prison system.

I have been intimate with trees—through the curious eyes of a tree-climbing child, the number-filled notebooks of an academic scientist, the borrowed lenses from people of diverse disciplines and experiences, and most importantly, moving the shuttle of a loom that brings together the intersecting threads of nature and the multiple ways that society comes to perceive and communicate insights about our world. Practicing natural history—and the love that grows organically from that action—is a critical thread in the tapestry that makes up our world, an entity that is complex, connected, useful, strong, fragile, and beautiful.”

 

Links:

https://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/en/home#intro – link to his main website with more information  and if you would like to start your own program and or donate.

https://www.theoceancleanup.com/ – reading about Felix made me think of another young man with ambitions goals to help save this planets oceans from being overrun by plastic, Boyan Slat.

We have some amazing young people rising up on this planet and they give me hope for the future.  Thank you for your courage! Love, hugs and positive vibes for all those stopping by today.  I appreciate your visits!

29 June 2018 Appreciation

Hello!  Hope this finds you well in your now as you visit.  We are doing pretty good here.  Sleep hasn’t been coming to either us very easily lately.  We almost missed the narrow window this morning before it gets too hot to take the dogs for a walk!  Kyle had woke up around 3 am and decided to watch The Last Jedi and he wasn’t real impressed with it.  He said it was very slow and it felt like they had a lot of good ideas that they didn’t get put together very well.  Glad I stayed in bed then!

How do you show your appreciation when someone compliments you, gives you something or just does something nice for you?  This morning I did a simple drawing and got the most humorous form of appreciation I could ask for my effort from our dear Link.  He decided it looked like a lovely rug and went and sprawled out on it.  I was too slow to get a picture of that part but did get these pictures of him in his new outfit!  He was so proud of himself.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/appreciation

Some of the finest teachers on my journey have had wings, feathers, fur, whiskers and barks, purrs, whistles and buzzes for voices. Dogs taught me from a very young age you can say a whole lot with just a look.

1 16 16 18 5 3 9 1 20 9 15 14

A P P R E C I A T I O N = 127/10/1

7 18 1 20 5 6 21 12

G  R A T E F U L = 90/9 cycle

In case no one has said this to you today – THANK YOU!

28 June 2018 For You

Hello to you.  Just a quick note.  I hope you can make out the picture from this morning.  I like to draw when there is shade on that side of the house so my pictures don’t come out as bright as I’d like.  I tried doing a trick with a metal tray like in The Fifth Element movie – “Aziz Light!”  – but it didn’t work lool.

The Fifth Element – Aziz Light!

An important thing I keep having to remember is when I do things like my drawings, this blog or whatever to do it for myself first.  I have to check my motivation for doing things.  There have been times in my life when I have done things for others expecting something in return and all I got out of the deal was a resentment!  My husband has taught me during the course of our marriage the important lesson of living without expectations.   If you are going to do something, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

 

Life is short and we have not too much time
for gladdening the hearts of those
who are traveling the dark way with us.
Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.

henri-frederic amiel – 1885

 

My Aunt shared this video on Facebook and I loved it so much I shared it too!  Sharing it here for my animal lovers in case you haven’t seen it.  This video is good for your heart!

Therapy Pets

28 June 2018 Drawings, Moon Pics, Headlines Like Cubes and Extreme Empathy (Daily Good)

Hello to you.  How are you?  I hope you are well.   We are getting our car back today….Yay!  It’s the little things right?!

The moon is full and was just so lovely last night.  I got four new mosquito bites to get these LOL!

This morning when I was looking at the headlines on MSN I started thinking about those nightmare cubes from the Cabin in the Woods movie.  If I click on any of the boxes in front of me, some nightmare is contained in there to come at me!

The Cabin in the Woods – Cubes

Not all the news is negative and I’m usually able to find positive things to find out about but it seems harder to do.  The Daily Good website (http://www.dailygood.org/) and others like it help remind me there is a lot of good, a lot of “heart” yet going on in this world.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/2016/i-feel-you-the-surprising-power-of-extreme-empathy-knowledge-wharton/if you are interested about the subject of empathy, you will find this informative.

Excerpt:

Knowledge@Wharton: I wonder if we are born with a certain level of empathy.

“I don’t think that there’s a finite amount [of empathy] that you’re given at birth. But I do think that there are people that are born with a disability.”–Cris Beam

Beam: There’s some research that suggests that, when we look at sociopaths and psychopaths who are supposedly born without it. It’s hard to make that overarching judgment that some people are born with it and some people are born without it. I do think that it can grow. If it’s modeled for you, you can learn empathy. You can absorb it. You can become a more empathetic person if you are treated empathically. So, I don’t think that there’s a finite amount [of empathy] that you’re given at birth. But I do think that there are people that are born with a disability [of not having it].

I send you love, a hug and mega positive vibes through the wires!  If you are suffering in in some sort of “nightmare cube” of an existence right now, I hope there will be a loving, healing, positive way out for you. 

 

20 June 2018 Morning Chalk Drawings and World Refugee Day

Hello to you.  How are you?  My mind feels like there are just marshmallows up there lately!  Just a very surreal feeling all around for me lately.  I guess the movie we watched last night was perfect for that!  We finally watched Through the Looking Glass last night and we enjoyed it.  I loved the imagery throughout and Kyle could see many video game inspired sets.  Seeing the Alan Rickman farewell tribute was sad.  I thought his being the voice of a blue butterfly, which symbolizes freedom, was perfect for this being his last film. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass Official Trailer #2 (2016) – Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp Movie HD

This morning on the dog walk I saw another neighbors yard that looked like someone had messed with it.  So far there have been three that I’ve seen in our immediate neighborhood.  We aren’t quite sure if the culprit is a human or a large canine that’s getting loose.  It looked like human activity to me.  We are living in a small town that is starting to experience big city problems.  People move to small towns from larger ones and bring their problems along with them.  Taking a young person of whatever age from a place where there friends are, support systems are and where there is more to do and transplanting them into a town like ours can be quite a culture shock for them.  When you are bored, and I know this from being their age once, you sometimes do stupid shit you will regret.  All the things that are going on are things I warned the city council before the growth and development started and it’s so frustrating to see it actually happening.   

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/vandalism-occurring-at-alvarado-parks-on-a-daily-basis/article_01727e86-7000-11e8-aa1f-9b6b57c211a0.html

“Over at Parkway Park on Monday there was some graffiti of racial slurs,” he said. “It was tagged on some of the benches, the little library and the skate park. It took about four hours to try to remove the paint, which they weren’t able to do all the way so they had to just sand it down and go back later to repaint.”

Alvarado Park board member Terri Fulton said the little free libraries — built and donated by members of the Alvarado Rocks group — have been the most disheartening.

“We’re a little irritated about this,” she said. “You will see that people are constantly refilling them with books, so that means kids are using them. But there’s been spray painting on them and the other day someone busted out the Plexiglass in one of them.”

And then they are talking about growing our town….ironically for the past few days we’ve been unable to properly flush the toilet for lack of water pressure!  This has been an ongoing problem since we moved here in 2009 too!  It’s taken millions of dollars to fix just the plumbing and sewer  infrastructure.  Don’t get me started on the conditions of our roads!   

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/durington-welcomes-growth-to-alvarado/article_32870120-6b61-11e8-b234-030937a8f7a1.html

“Holden said some of the challenges the mayor discussed during the meeting scare him.

“I’ve got to be able to provide water and I’ve got to be able for you to flush the toilet, and if I can’t, there is a big problem,” he said. “We want people to come [to Alvarado], but if they do we are going to have to do some major improvements to the system. We are working on ways right now, looking at all of the development as a whole. We want to be able to look at the big picture.”

Yep….growing pains on the small town scale and then there is World Refugee Day today and our extremely sad and embarrassing goings on with immigration in my country.  I don’t even know what to do with this in my heart.  It’s a very complex and sensitive issue that can’t be handled with rough hands.  I feel like we have yet to really tackle as a globe the core issues as to “why” it’s happening in the first place.  If people have food, clean water, clothing, shelter, meaningiful work and education opportunities, and they feel safe living where they are (not in the center of crime, violence, slavery and or a war zone) will tend to stay where they are and flourish.  We apparently have oodles of  people without checkmarks in those boxes and are understandably on the move!  

18 5 6 21 7 5 5

R E F U G E E = 67/13/4/2/1

9 13 13 9 7 18 1 14 20

I M M I G R A N T = 104/5 divide by 2 = 2.5 = 7 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

Number of refugees worldwide

The total includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced people uprooted within their own countries, according to UNHCR’s annual “Global Trends” report released today.

 

Why do immigrants and refugees  keep coming to America?  Part of it has to be money.  Someone is paying them enough money to live here.  I think if our government is going to insist on punishing these people and their children like this, they need to “follow the money.”  In all the articles I’ve looked at about this chronic issue, this element just doesn’t come up.  The blame always seems to fall on the immigrants and refugees for their existing.   Who is hiring these people to be nannies, yard workers, produce pickers, home builders, masons, welders, road construction workers, janitors etc?! 

https://blogs.voanews.com/all-about-america/2015/08/24/most-common-jobs-held-by-immigrants-in-each-us-state/If there is no economic – this article is rather dated but does show interesting information that probably hasn’t changed too much:

Most Common Jobs Held by Immigrants in each US State

There are 41 million foreign-born people living in the United States and a new map illustrates the most common jobs held by those immigrants.

Business Insider  used information from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year. The data was assembled and processed by the Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series program.

The map below shows the jobs most commonly held by people who said they were born in a country other than the United States.

Immigrants make up 12.9 percent of the overall population, according to the Center for American Progress. That sounds like a lot of people, but the high point for immigration in the U.S. actually came in 1890, when 14.8 percent of the population was foreign born.

most-common-job-held-by-immigrants-in-each-state-corrected-background

While the map shows that many immigrants are housekeepers, janitors and agricultural workers, the majority of jobs thought to be overwhelmingly worked by non-natives are in fact filled by native-born Americans, according to the Center for Immigration Studies:

  • Maids and housekeepers: 51% native-born
  • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58% native-born
  • Butchers and meat processors: 63% native-born
  • Grounds maintenance workers: 64% native-born
  • Construction laborers: 66% native-born
  • Porters, bellhops, and concierges: 72% native-born
  • Janitors: 73% native-born

Jobs worked by immigrants tend to pay low wages and usually require little formal education. In high-immigrant occupations, 59 percent of the workers have a high school education or lower, compared to 31 percent of the rest of the labor force.

 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pope-francis-criticizes-separation-of-immigrant-children-from-their-parents-on-us-border/ar-AAyUlD7

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621065383/what-we-know-family-separation-and-zero-tolerance-at-the-border

https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/combining-art-therapy-mindfulness-refugees/ I found this article and it really resonated for me as a way to help promote internal healing for both refugees and the immigrant children we are seeing locked up in detention centers right now: 

Combining Art Therapy and Mindfulness for Refugees

Program in Hong Kong demonstrates the healing power of art therapy and mindfulness for refugees and asylum seekers

A new article, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy, describes the ways art therapy and mindfulness have benefitted refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. The article describes how the program, Inhabited Studio, which provides workshops on art making and mindfulness meditation, has supported individuals in moving forward after traumatic experiences.

“The combination of art therapy and mindfulness helped participants cope day to day and allowed participants to begin to get a sense of not only who they were and what they had lived through, but potentially who they could become,” write the authors, led by Debra Kalmanowitz from the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong.

The increasing number of Syrian refugees has raised the issue of how to support the mental health of individuals who have fled their countries and experienced political violence. An estimated 11 million refugees have left Syria since 2011 and there are over 21 million refugees worldwide. Although the majority of refugees do not develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, mental health professionals working with refugees often use a trauma framework.

The authors state:  “It is true that we do not want to medicalize distress and that we cannot take it out of context, and yet we cannot ignore the disadvantaged situation in which asylum seekers live or the suffering they endure.”

Both art therapy and mindfulness have been used with survivors of trauma. This theoretical article “considers how the combination of art therapy and mindfulness in work with refugees acknowledges human suffering and traumatic events while at the same time recognises the resilience that exists and the search for healing, health and growth.”

The authors describe the ways art therapy and mindfulness have been combined to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers at Inhabited Studio in Hong Kong. Inhabited Studio is a short-term group program that uses a holistic approach and provides workshops over an 8 day period. “The presence of the group allowed for the individuals to be seen, witnessed and heard (even without words) and in so doing served to share and normalize behavior and expression,” write the authors. The authors outline nine features found in the work at Inhabited Studio that may be used as broader guides for providing support to refugees.

Safety: Establishing a sense of safety is one of the most basic needs after experiencing a trauma and the authors note that it “is an on-going process and not something that is established once and maintained.” The authors found that art therapy and meditation assisted individuals in regulating their emotions, which aided in regaining a sense of emotional safety.

Doing versus thinking: The authors explain that art therapy and mindfulness emphasize doing, and describe the importance of an experiential approach. “Art making and mindfulness meditation demand a focus of the mind through activity or inactivity, action or inaction, through direct experience,” write the authors.

Changing our relationship to our thoughts and feelings: “Making art externalizes our thoughts and feelings and creates a distance between them” while “mindfulness effects relationship too; rather than trying to control the thoughts and feelings, there is an emphasis on acknowledgment and acceptance of them,” explain the authors.

Time: According to the authors, “trauma can trap a person in the past.” Since both the creative process and mindfulness are grounded in the present moment, they can be helpful activities for those who are overwhelmed by memories.

Making meaning: Meaning making involves both making sense of the trauma and of one’s current experiences. The authors explain how art therapy and mindfulness can assist in meaning making because “both lead to an awareness of the self and the context of the self in relation to the event, the group, the culture, the violence and or society.” To illustrate this, one of the participants of Inhabited Studio reported, “I am very proud of this drawing… it tells me something very clear that I did not know.”

Flexibility: Individuals who have experienced trauma may get stuck in their thinking patterns. The creative process can facilitate mental flexibility, and mindfulness can make it easier to tolerate intense negative emotions and still return to an emotional equilibrium.

Catharsis: “Art therapy can facilitate the expression of feelings that are associated with the trauma, suffering, and coping, such as anger, rage, vulnerability, depression, frustration or joy and pleasure. This can lead to a sense of relief as well as reveal that which was previously unconscious,” explain the authors.

Increased self-awareness and self-knowledge: Both self-awareness and self-knowledge can be promoted by art making and mindfulness practices. One participant described how the process of making multiple pieces of art helped her to clarify her emotions, “I have many mixed feelings although I am looking towards a better future. So the next painting I tried to sort out the colours to help me next time to be more focused… to know exactly what I want.”

Coping with loss: The authors report, “Art therapy and mindfulness together allowed for the expression of loss and also to begin a process of the formation of a new identity… It took strength and imagination to create a new identity and the open structure, along with the non-judgemental attitude of the Studio provided the potential.”

“Political violence has far-reaching effects. It can challenge the community and society, lead to fragmentation and destruction and impact on culture at large. Political violence impacts on the individual and can lead to the breakdown of relationships between individuals, community and society itself,” write the authors. Refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced trauma and political violence deserve support services that do not pathologize their experiences, but instead honor both their suffering and strength.

The focus on art therapy for refugees is part of a larger trend to explore how art can be used in therapeutic ways (for example, art therapy for veterans with PTSD or for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, and music therapy for children and adolescents). The authors in the present article state that the “overlap between art therapy and mindfulness in this context represent the realities of the suffering of the participants as well as the possibility of working towards enhancing coping and resilience.”

Kalmanowitz, D., & Ho, R. T. (2016). Out of our mind. Art therapy and mindfulness with refugees, political violence and trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 49, 57-65. (Abstract)

 

Here are some links to some music I was exploring this morning.  I am on the hunt for new sounds and this Electro Swing and Modern Jazz struck a chord:

Club Des Belugas – The Beat Is Rhythm

Orkestra Obsolete play Blue Monday using 1930s instruments – BBC Arts – I love the version done by Orgy for this song so finding this tickled me.

Electro Swing Collection – ads in between

Published on Dec 2, 2014

PLAYLIST OF INDIVIDUAL SONGS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6-TW…

SONGS
0:00:00 Parov Stelar – All Night
0:02:42 Jamie Berry (ft Rosie Harte) – Peeping Tom
0:06:12 Scott Bradlee & Post Modern Jukebox – Thrift Shop (Baker&Bart Electro Swing Remix)
0:09:59 Parov Stelar – The Mojo Radio Gang
0:12:38 Lionel Hampton – It Don’t Mean A Thing
0:16:14 Caravan Palace – Dragons
0:20:27 Tape Five – Geraldines Routine
0:23:32 Caravan Palace – Suzy
0:27:40 Jamie Berry (ft Octavia Rose) – Delight
0:33:24 Dunkelbunt (Ft Boban) – Cinnamon Girl
0:37:20 Jamie Berry – Sweet Rascal
0:41:28 Parov Stelar – Booty Swing
0:44:40 Parov Stelar – Libella Swing
0:49:00 Parov Stelar – Catgroove
0:53:29 Parov Stelar – Chambermaid Swing
0:59:15 Jamie Berry – Dirty Stop Out
1:05:25 Parov Stelar – Beatbuddy Swing
1:09:44 Parov Stelar – Josephine

 

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