Posted in Human spirit, Inspiration, Life

Ubuntu

In certain regions of South Africa, when someone does something wrong, he is taken to the center of the village and surrounded by his tribe for two days while they speak of all the good he has done.

They believe each person is good, yet sometimes we make mistakes, which is really a cry for help. They unite in this ritual to encourage the person to reconnect with their true nature.

The belief is that unity and affirmation have more power to change behavior than shame and punishment. This is known as Ubuntu – humanity towards others.

Wow, isn’t this amazing?

We talk about how crazy life can be, how so many things are out of our control and seemingly can’t be changed, but on the other hand we do have so much power to make a difference, and we each can do it, we do have choices. We may not have an entire tribe standing behind us, but then the people that love us, our friends and families, the people we inspire are our tribe in a way, aren’t they? Just imagine what could be if we took note…if we each showed just a little more humanity towards others.

Advertisements
Posted in Acrylic Painting, Art, Small Business

Pour (ing) Art

One of the things I’ve been up to, maybe even turn into a career, is to make art. I’ve been making various felt art items such as bags, glass cases etc., and it has been a lot of fun. I am looking into print on demand store fronts to incorporate my photography and other canvas paintings, which I hope to turn into products of interest. I’ve been considering an Etsy shop so if anyone has some experience or input, I would love to hear your feedback. I am currently in the process to create inventory, work on a Facebook page and a website. It’s busy and overwhelming at times and there is much going on for someone that most of the time has to battle through the day with the RA. But I want to believe that it will be worthwhile. So far I have selected my business name, got my domain and business cards are available and ready to go. In addition to my artwork I would love to incorporate my energy healing techniques as a Reiki Master and offer further insight and healing for all of us…a stressed nation and society.

Anyways, I love to create and it’s a muse that feeds my soul. I made quite a few of these acrylic pour paintings on canvas so far and I am close to perfecting my technique of how I want the end product to look. Aren’t we artists always the pickiest? It’s ok that way and for me, it keeps me striving until I can give my product my stamp of approval. In all honesty the carryovers part is a ever changing vision as new ideas feed my mind and new techniques are born.

Today was a little milestone for me putting some things together and completing a few art pieces, ready for sale. The pouring technique gets a bit messy with lots of paint running off of your canvas, leaving the backs looking kind of unsightly. I have noticed that many artists sell their paintings that way with the attitude that the painting will hang on the wall anyways, covering the back and the unsightly paint splatters. For myself, this has always bothered me with my own artwork, and I thought it looked ugly and sloppy. Today I found a way to finish the back, and attach decorative metal corner bumpers. The canvases are 12×12 with a glossy finish and include a hardware picture hanger, ready for display. It looks professional with a high level to detail to the overall finished product.

I also poured a 30×40 canvas today, whoa so big, and I was a bit nervous about it, but I love how it turned out. It’s currently drying and I can’t wait to show you. I am finding that with all of my paintings, whether they are painted with brushed or poured, the bigger canvases always make a more dramatic statement, and I might be hooked on pouring it big now.

Posted in Hiking, Leisure, Mother nature, Photography

As daylight fades

This picture was taken just yesterday, late in the day, as daylight was fading. Most weeks I hike on Mondays and Tuesday and the scenery close to my house just never get’s hold. How could it? Just look at it, it looks perfect. It’s my birthday week and Saturday I will add another year to the list. This place allows you to escape the crowds and party’s of Lake Tahoe which is also close to my house. The choice is yours and depends on what you want. Tahoe is the place if you like to party and love crowds and lots of noise. No doubt is the area beautiful around the lake, but during the summer month it gets pretty touristy. You know where you will find me. Well actually you won’t because there are far too many serene, secluded, and quiet, secret, spots with a view over here.

This week’s bonus wildlife included countless deer and stags, pronghorn antelopes, several snakes and a few marmots. I have to admit that snakes still startle me a bit since my accident where I almost stepped on one, over corrected, slipped and dislocated my elbow. So there is still a little hesitation around those sleek creatures but usually all wildlife is welcome, and their sightings always makes the trip even more special and memorable.

It is also on my hiking days that I fall behind answering your precious comments and I thank you for your patience while I catch up. You should here from me over the next few days. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this picture and have a great week.

Posted in Animals, Leisure

Heatwave

We’ve asked for it and it’s finally here. The seemingly never ending winter has made way to a heatwave and fire season. It is almost 100 degrees with hot air blowing into our faces. The good news for me is that it is dry air and not the humid stuff that always makes it tougher with the RA (rheumatoid arthritis).

The cold and shivering is over and already we are looking to cool off at an alpine lake swimming hole. The conditions are perfect and I’m sure I will bring the bathing along on this week’s hike and test the waters. But today it wasn’t only me who seemed to be sweating to the heat, and one of my little silverback babies (squirrel) enjoyed a little shade on the patio, legs stretched away from its body, just chillin and cooling his belly. They are getting big already and I enjoy their daily visits. Another cute thing I got to witness today was when Momma Silverback came by, grabbed the babies face with both hands and made contact which looked like a loving kiss. Awe… my heart melts and animals are the best.

Posted in Inspiration, Native American, Spirituality, Warrior Queen

Strangely familiar

img_0715

I know the subject I am going to write about is a little bit “out there” and it may pass people as random gibberish. But it’s nothing unusual for me since I have long challenged the status quo, and long stopped competing for the most popular vote. I have long dared to be myself without compromising my beliefs to fit in, I just say it how it is, and a major place to express such views has been here, on my blog. I do have to say that WordPress has been a great platform, and all of you have been amazing, allowing me to share such thoughts in written and picture form without fear of judgement. You have shown me your patience and together we explored subjects that are not always easy to be addressed. Thank you for never making me feel weird, but embracing my uniqueness. You truly are the best…

Just recently I wrote a post about Spirituality and Buddhism. I expressed my thoughts about our individual journey for acceptance, and finding something that gives us the feeling that there is more to life that meets the eye. Many of you commented and felt compelled to share your views about your own journey. I really appreciated it and I think a lot of it depends on your code of life, what your views entail, about your values and principles, and your general outlook on life. Whether you usually positive about the things that happen in your life, even the bad ones, (especially the bad ones) or do you feel that challenges quickly get you down, leaving you feeling defeated?

Today I want touch on another great subject that’s been in my mind and talk about past lives. Have you ever experienced something that seems strangely familiar? Something that feels like you have done before, even though you know it’s your first experience…in this lifetime. Yet there is a familiarity, a knowing, a lesson that was already learned at a different time. How do you explain it beyond the Deja Vue? Is it coincidence?Which brings me to the question of whether you believe in past lives?

For me one of those experiences links back to the Native American wisdom and such way of life. From little on I was playing cowboys and Indians with Mom. I was always the Indian and Mom spent her fair share tied to the chair which was my totem pole. Sure…lots of kids do, right? At Halloween events and functions, my costume would often be that of an Indian chief. Still not all that strange. As an adult I was always drawn to spotted horses and thought that they were the most magnificent of them all. There was a love and deep emotion for those beautiful creatures without apparent reason, unable to explain, it just was. I am an animal lover, so what does it have to do with native Americans. Today I drive a Mustang and never thought anything of it until the other day as it was pointed out to me. Maybe my mustang used to have four legs once upon a time and happened to be spotted.

Going through life I would learn lessons in line with Native American wisdom. Of course I ever knew, and it was never immediately obvious, I just stumble across the information on the web or else at a later time, and somehow these pieces always magnificently fell into my lap, as if explaining, justifying my experiences. Today I would tell you that there are no ordinary moments and those coincidences are actually synchronicities from the universe guiding you along.

It was those lessons that spoke to me and made the utmost sense. They simply fit and I relate to this culture a great deal. For instance I relate to the land, our wilderness as a sacred space. I don’t get involved in competitions as far as life is concerned and some find it hard to believe that I want everyone to win. There is a oneness, a winning in numbers that thrives me more than individual success. I believe in simplicity, minimalism, to serve, respect, and live without fear. I believe in Mother Earth, world peace and showing kindness to all. Listening to Native American music gives me chills and stirs something deep within that leaves me emotional but also deeply at peace.

For a birthday a few years back, I received the present of a Native American headdress. I can’t explain how meaningful this piece is to me, and it is a sacred object that I respect a great deal. Although in Native American history and customs it would be very disrespectful for a woman to wear such a headdress. These were for the men and warriors only and were nowhere to be found near a woman. Disrespect for a culture I believe in so deeply would be the last thing on my agenda and I mean no harm or disregard. To me it is a symbol of great strength and honor. It is a reminder of becoming a warrior myself and all the fights I had to fight along the way to arrive here. It is symbolic and powerful, it brings me motivation and strengths and from time to time I wear it and let the magic of it infuse my body, because there will always be some sort of fight that needs to be fought.

To sum it all up where I am going with this, and not believing in coincidences and ordinary moments, I can’t help but wonder. There are too many familiarities. Maybe just maybe all of my love for Native American history and wisdom, why I love mustangs both the animal and the car, the profound meaning of the headdress, the respect for the land and the deep emotions that tie me to those roots, maybe just maybe these are the remnants from a prior life. Maybe a distant memory as my soul relives some of those teachings. Maybe those are the memory of a past life my soul has experienced, maybe the life as Indian chief.

 

Posted in Mother nature, Photography

Paint the sky

Surrounded by “Blue” and wispy clouds, painting the sky at one of my secret spots. Have you ever taken a moment cloud watching? How would you rate your imagination, did you see all kinds of shapes, or did you struggle and thought it was boring?

Lifted by the wind and swooped across the sky in their ever shape shifting forms. To gather at times and to fall apart on others, vanishing into thin air. Thick and puffy one day, transparent and frail the next.

Call me a dreamer as I often sit in silence while watching them dance across the sky. Spotting various shapes, a past-time we surely all have done at some point or another. Perhaps as kids or adults, remembering these precious moments of peace and serenity.

Watching the sky reminds me of the unseen forces at hand that surround our daily life’s. Sometimes lifted by blessings, we soar high and glide along, and sometimes life explodes into a storm to relieve pressures. Neither can be controlled, and while Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, we also get the chance to make the best out of every given opportunity. Choose wildly 😉

Posted in Backpacking, Mother nature

Chronic Pain

This picture was taken a few years back at another favorite spot where the marmots run wild and whistle to signal you are near. I will never forget backpacking and camping at this beautiful spot under a starry night and a full moon. It was light enough for the mountain to reflect in the lake as the glow of the moon was casting it’s soft subdued light everywhere.

I love to hike and I have seen some pretty amazing spots over the years with some help. Fact is I am dealing with chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis that can cause joint damage and erosion. It’s always a struggle to hike these days and most days I say a little prayer to say safe out there. For my joints to hold up, for my ankles not to buckle and the strengths to manage the often rocky terrain. It’s painful, always, and it’s only the pain levels that vary. On a mild day more tolerable and manageable, making you feel alive with a actual quality of life, and on bad days crippling and debilitating where the simplest of tasks become a challenge. In addition to the pain, the second worse thing is the fatigue, being tired all the time, having to force yourself to move, to be active, to live a normal life. Everything takes effort on top of the pain and I have listened to my body to let it rest, to observe the signs, to be gentle and not push too hard, and at the same time push myself when I feel I can to get my strength back in order of being able to face daily life. It’s a struggle and no two days are equal.

We’ve waited so long for warmer temperatures and the humidity to lower, which have finally arrived, actually weeks ago and all June has been nice. The pain though hasn’t vanished and I am still struggling. The other day we talked about this potentially being my new reality and my way of how life is for me going forward. I struggled even more, and couldn’t accept that to be my truth. In a way it would feel like giving up, surrendering to it, giving into the fight, and it didn’t feel right. Not just yet, and while I believe that this is valuable, sometimes, that we have to pick our battles and go with the flow, I also believe that certain things are worth fighting for and this is one such a thing. You see I have been here before, not for this long as it has been now, and not as bad as it has been now, but I have been here and have witnessed it all go into remission, giving me years without pain. I have to believe that this is also a possibility and could be my truths. So perhaps the chances are 50/50 and this dreamer believes in miracles.

Posted in Buddhism, Life

Spirituality and Buddhism

I think more and more people are seeking. I see more and more support groups sprouting up everywhere and everybody is trying to get aboard. More and more are looking for something that is fulfilling and meaningful to their life in order to cope with the demands of day to day stresses. Making ends meet, being employed and having a career is no longer enough. Being successful at whatever level you might define it is no longer enough. What is required is a balance, an outlet, a belief that often reflects in wisdom, spirituality, and some sort of awakening.

There are light workers and healers, people that need a purpose of belonging, a desire to rise above the mundane, to feed the need of wanting to contribute and help.

I have noticed a hunger for wisdom to escape the ordinary and to leave the conventional behind. Everyone is awakening at some level as if to claim that they have escaped the wormhole and made it. Long taught virtues, principles and customs no longer fit the modern hectic world that demands so much more in our current times. We need validation, we need to know that we are on course and that the chaos we are feeling at times is normal and part of the human condition. So perhaps holding on to something makes us feel worthy and makes the struggles worthwhile.

These can be confusing times, especially when it comes to our belief system, our faith and who we worship. How can we be Christians and also believe in Native American wisdom? How can we relate to Buddhism if we are raised in different corners of the world, perhaps under strict catholic guidelines? Do we feel guilty as if we have stayed from our god, seeing value in different religions?

I found a statement from Thich Nhat Hanh on Omnism which is the recognition and respect of all religions.

He said that there is a misconception that Buddhism is a religion and that you worship Buddha. Buddhism is a practice, like Yoga, you can be a Christian and practice Buddhism. I met a catholic priest who lives in a Buddhist monastery in France. He told me that Buddhism makes him a better Christian. I love that.

Posted in Animals

New Babies

New Babies have arrived since my mourning doves have left the nest. Momma Silverback (which I named the squirrel) has introduced her babies to the backyard feeding site and they figured out quickly where the grub is being donated for daily consumption.

Further the pregnant lizard in the front yard had her babies as well and they are frequently spotted sunning themselves on top of the warm dirt in the flower bed.

Partridge babies proudly follow Dad through the yard with Mom as the taillight making sure no one is left behind.

I am still waiting for a raccoon to show up and a donkey wouldn’t be bad either 😉

Posted in Inspiration, Reiki, Spirituality

Healers Hand

Recently I found a little treasure at a visitor center during a hike. There was a variety of stones like this one, all in the shape of an arrow head with varied motives on them. I was torn as many appealed, but I kept coming back to this one without being able to explain what attracted me to it. I felt nudged to choose this design and so I did.

Later at home I did a little research on Native American symbols and learned that the symbol was called the healers hand. It is also known as the shamans hand, and is an ancient symbol of healing and protection. The image consists of a hand with the spiral palm and it is believed to have come from the Native Americans solar hieroglyphs that have been found in a number of places in the south western part of the United States.

The spiral is a universally accepted symbol of eternity and in some traditions, it also symbolizes the deity or the spirit. When the solar spiral is used to make the shape of a hand, the resulting figure is believed to be infused with therapeutic energy. Therefore, the healer’s hand is considered to be a representative of the curative powers of a shaman.

In the modern times, the healer’s hand has come to be associated with new age spiritual healing practices such as Reiki. Reiki involves healing people at physical, emotional and spiritual levels by manipulating and guiding life force energy through symbols. These symbols are created by the Reiki practitioner by moving his/her hands over the clients body in specified patterns. The healers hand is seen as a symbol of a Reiki healers energy emitting hand, and so on, it is also referred to as the Reiki hand.

Imagine my surprise, given that I just recently completed a Reiki course, becoming a Reiki Master myself. It was as if this information was suppose to come my way. Given that I relate and love Native American traditions, and this symbol entering my life at this particular time, I’d say again that there are no ordinary moments.