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Running with a Cloud

6 Apr

Yesterday’s run was beautiful. My neighbor is training for a half marathon so, I join her on her runs. We hit the Montour Trail and there we were met by one lone cloud in the sky, perfectly shaped and, just amazing.

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Our six mile run was good and, more clouds joined that one. Of course, it’s Pittsburgh and rarely is there a cloudless day! That’s ok, the clouds are beautiful.

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Finding My Balance

1 Feb
Me in side Crow Pose

Me in side Crow Pose

I cannot say that I am an authority on balance. I look back over my life and find that balancing my lifestyle differed according to where I was in life. In my 20’s, with no husband and children, I balanced work, college, post graduate studies, and a social life. Once I married my life shifted and, I had to find a new balance. In my 30’s I birthed one child, then two and three came soon after!! NOW I REALLY HAD TO BALANCE! To be honest here, often I was unbalanced. What I have always had was a desire to be:

-active

-engaged in life and

– always at peace.

In each decade of my adulthood I really would strive for balance in my life. The 20’s found me in college where I was active as a cheerleader and dancer. After college, I taught dance classes (as well as a teacher in the public schools). I took ballet classes and joined a gym. In my 30’s I resurfaced from the new motherhood trenches and exercised more, taught more fitness classes and, found sanity when I spent time doing something for myself. That something was exercising. It helped me release which, in turn, helped me handle the ins and outs of life.

Today (in my 40’s here), I found this definition of balance in my ZEN cards by Daniel Levin

Balance

The Center is not always the point of balance. When you find that place where BALANCE is achieved, Peace will result in all situations. There is no conflict, for everything RESTS without strain.

That sums up balance for me now. That place where I have peace and I find that all is well with myself; spirit, soul and body. My sense of peace and stability change with life. It ebbs and flows and, there are days as well as seasons that I am well out of balance. Ultimately, I always come back to the center, my center. And, for me that always includes time to Sweat Everyday!
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Unsettling

31 Dec

That picture above is of a Nerf gun. It is called the Nerf Stampede gun. My 12-year-old really wanted it for Christmas. He has been very into Nerf guns for a couple of years now and it has been unsettling to me and my hubby. He gets the toy Nerf guns and then runs down to the basement to “mod” them out.

Very unsettling…

When the boys came along I was so sure I would be “that Mom”, no guns around Mom. My boys would be non-violent, respect women, and be a better man than most. Oh, and I wouldn’t be a yeller, spanker and never be  “like my mom”. (You already know I am SO THAT MOM now.) SO, when they started running around and making guns with absolutely any and every straight thing they could find I figured water guns would be fine. Then that  evolved into them getting a gun as gift or two and us allowing them to keep them. OK, no biggie. the rule then became don’t point guns at people ESPECIALLY your Mom, Dad or brothers (probably the main folks they wanted to “pretend” shoot). THEN the Nerf toys showed up, it’s OK, they are like water guns right?

ME – ” Mod them out for what son??

Son – “MOM, I like thaking things apart and, I watch YouTube videos on it and, it’s cool”

Me and Dad – “Videos on Nerf guns???”

Son – “Duh, yes!”

Mom and Dad – “OK (eyeballs rolling), whatever” (we watched and they really have lots of videos on this stuff!)

Time goes on and at least he doesn’t want those Airsoft guns, right?

Well he wants the Stampede, so, I order it and, Amazon  (LOVED Amazon this Christmas) delivers. I open it and WOW!!! The Damn thing has clips in it for automatic dispersal of the bullets. The Damn thing is a machine gun. It was as BIG as a real machine gun (I think as I have never seen one in person).  OH HELL NO!!! I couldn’t, my hubby couldn’t, we just couldn’t! ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that within one month 26 lives were brutally destroyed in Newton (with guns),  a 14-year-old boy was killed in Grayson, GA (with a gun) AND a man who was a vital part of his community was shot and killed by stray bullets ( gun again). The last two I had friends who were connected to. These were in three different parts of the country Conn., Georgia and California, yet all three were had guns involved.

We couldn’t.

How Unsettling.

This post isn’t a political commentary, opinion piece, or push for any agenda. I just wanted to share and put it out there that if there is one little thing I can do to help reduce violence I will. I hope taking a stand and not giving him the gun will plant a better seed than the opposite. Of course there is WAY more my hubby and I need to do to help foster a healthy lifestyle for our boys and, we will try to do our best. Be engaged in their lives so we can help them grow into understanding there honest and natural aggressiveness.

I have no judgement for those who carry guns, use them, etc. For me , I am just too uncomfortable with that type of violence. And a good guy with a gun scares me just as much as a bad guy with a gun. I wish they weren’t so prevalent in our society and I wish there was no need for them in our society and no need for so much anger, extreme violence and total disregard for life.

I just pray that we can all help boys and girls have more respect for life and be not so insensitive to violence and death.

Hey, I’m all about Peace, Love and Soul!

 

 

In Honor of those I know of who lost their lives to guns this month.  (I know none of theme personally but have shed tears for them all)

Paul Stampleton, Jr., 14 years old

Victor McClinton, 49 years old

– Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
– Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
– Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
– Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
– Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
– Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
– Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
– Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
– Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
– Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
– Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
– Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
– James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
– Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
– Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
– Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
– Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
– Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
– Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
– Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
– Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
– Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
– Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
– Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
– Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
– Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

Memorial Day

27 May

I saw this picture on Pinterest and it warmed my heart. Seeing the hands of various hues holding on to one flag reminded me of how great unity is. How great it is when there is no discrimination, racism, sexism or any other -ism. It reminded me of why we celebrate Memorial Day. Then the picture below broke my heart.

Did this young woman lose a father, a brother or a husband?  Her grief is more than I can imagine or my heart can take right now as I sit on the couch with my three boys and man-child  husband. I am so VERY thankful for my life as I sit here enjoying this weekend. I am very mindful of the fact that MANY people have sacrificed their life to serve our country. My political opinions and “bent” are more liberal and moderate and often those who are conservative want to take on the cause of supporting the military however I think any decent person, regardless of politics, should support our troops. We do and I hate that war even exsist. I hate to see so many men and women suffer from PTSD and injuries due to the wars.

My family has been blessed. I have had family serve in War World II, Vietnam and The Korean War with distant relatives who served in the Gulf and Afghanistan. Luckily they have all come back home with life and limbs in tact. Thank you God for that and for them.

As I sit around and eat some Bar-B-Que (I hope hubby will make that will happen) tomorrow. I will also remind our three sons of the sacrifices others made for us. I will remember my grandfather and father-in-law who are gone and lie as noble veterans in our eyes.

My practice for yoga tomorrow will focus on sacrifices. My day will involve having the boys reach out to veterans. What will you remember this Memorial Day?

How Divinely Awesome

13 Mar

I love the takeoff on a flight, when it is overcast and we breakthrough the cloud layer.

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Once we are flying over the clouds, I am always reminded of just how awesome God is. Heaven lies above, the Earth is below and I am just a small part of this magnificent world. I am in awe and amazed that all of this natural world was created and that we get to be a part of it. How divine, and how beautiful. Thank you God for letting me “play” here on Earth for a while.

On land, everything seemed cloudy and dreary. Once we headed for the sky and broke through the clouds we found a beautiful blue sky. There there was another divine treat in store for us. The moon was still out at 7am!

I took the two photos; the one above and this super cool shot below. For me this was so very divine, humbling, beautiful and awesome. Hope it touches you somehow too. When you are in the skies I pray that God beauty meets you there too!

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Peace everyone!

Peace

22 Feb

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Friends, Writing, Journals

10 Jan

My girlfriend sent me the most beautiful gift, a journal. Not just any journal, the picture above is the journal she sent me. She made it. She is an artist ; she designed the cover and hand stitched the paper inside of it. The beautiful paper inside has love jumping off the pages. I cannot wait until I begin to use it in this new year. She graciously sent me a card as well. The card has the art work on it as well. She knows of my blog and really meditated on how she wanted to design my journal. Inside the card she wrote this to me:

“The blue is for peace, love is the fiery yellow/orange as you are both happy/mellow, but can be also very passionate. And soul – a mixture of gray/brown which are elemental earth colors that are tied to your down to earth personality.”

Yes, I have a tear in my eye. That was so sweet and special to me. How beautiful she wrote and then captured it in her artwork. What is most important is that she helped me really understand my own blog and why I titled it as I did. Thank you my friend; I hope everyone can have a friend such as this. The amazing thing is that we were friends in college, not real close, but friends and she has always been so sweet and kind. We have reconnected through Facebook and are finding so many similarities and parallels in our lives. She is a beautiful soul and I am glad she is back in my life. I hope everyone can have a friend as this.

Now, I am even more committed to writing in my journal, blogging and sharing. My desire is to just help myself through this life and if it helps someone else than all is well.

Here’s to friends! Here’s to writing – do it if you can, find a journal, it can be healing and cathartic to the soul.

Peace – Love and Soul Y’all (After 10 years this Californian is truly turning into a Southerner!)