Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Rezzies

T'is the season to stop an old habit or start a new one tomorrow, isn't it?

It's right up there with birthdays that end in a zero.

I woke up this a.m. with the Goo Goo Dolls in my head singing Jalfreda. Yeah, and for you fans out there, you're thinking, Whaaaa? That's not a Goo Goo Dolls song. And you would be right, because it's not "Jalfreda", the name of some gal from the Norse. John Rezzie is actually singing Yeah, I'm fadin'. But there I am in the car singing at the top of my lungs, Jalfreda! Because I didn't hear the whole thing. I misinterpreted. But now I have more information, I've updated the file, as Dave Dobson likes to say. And I'm singin' Yeah, I'm fadin'....

Which brings me to this thought:
Sometimes we don't have all the information or we misinterpret. Often it's on an Other-Than-Conscious level so that our OTC mind links up something from an event and that's WHY we have a behaviour, habit or pattern. The problem with WHY is that the mind will come up with a million reasons and then our conscious mind gets into a loop of excuses or justifications. Or we give up.


This time last year I was fat. FAT. There are lots of reasons I could give. I was even asked by someone, Why did you let yourself go? Really, there's no good way to ask that. And certainly not more than once. Because what it really means is Why are you so fat? Of course, nothing has meaning and everything has the meaning we give it. Still. That's how I interprelated it.

I don't know how heavy I was because I got to that point where I didn't want to know. You know? But I stopped buying number sizes when my size 16's got too tight and I transitioned to stretchy XL's. And when I was heading into the XXL's, I decided I needed to do something. So I listened to my labyrinth CD every night with the intention not to lose weight, but to be healthy. And to pay attention to what my body needed from me: mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually.

There are a few changes I made specifically in terms of diet, exercise, etc. that I'll save for my next post. Most importantly is that I didn't do it through willpower, I went to the source: the OTC. I bypassed the conscious mind and communicated and updated and worked with my OTC mind. It makes it so much easier when you have the cooperation of the part of you that guides your patterns in the first place. THANKS, Dave.

And now John Morgan has a new CD I Love My Body, which I've written about before. This is what I'm listening to to keep me a size M, size 10.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day of Rest

Even when the sky is heavily overcast, the sun hasn't disappeared. It's still there on the other side of the the clouds. ~Eckhart Tolle

It's a good day to curl up with a cup of tea and a book. I'm reading my Xmas gift from John, The Power of NOW, by Eckhart Tolle. I've joked about what a snooze-fest listening to the audio book was, but the book is pretty good. For an enlightened guy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Xmas Bonfire & Thick Thumbs Update

Here's a pic of our Xmas bonfire from last weekend at the Fam Gath. Isn't that a tradition in everyone's family? ;-)
And now for the Thick Thumbs update! I got another text yesterday. What's Kyle's number? attention boys! [Read with my teacher voice]. I texted back: I dk Kyle. I dk u!!! BTW, I only know the DK (don't know) Thing from that commercial about texting with the daughter speaking in letterese to her mother. So here's a quote I heard yesterday from John Morgan that made me think of the Thick Thumbs boys:
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. ~Dorothy Parker
And now I'm off. The Mormon Pantry is out of dog food and tea, so I'm venturing out into civilization today. Have a GREAT day!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thick Thumbs Strikes Again!

'member my random text story from a coupla days ago when I got a text from someone I didn't know? Well. At 1.59 a.m. IN THE MORNING! I received another one:

How are you u loser brain from Keegan and Ryan

Ah-HA! I knew it couldn't be an adult. (Yeah, I know: really? What gave it away?) [Side note here: have you noticed the generational theme of names? No one my age is named Keegan, or Dakota, or Madison. Those are younger names. Older names are Mildred or Beuford. And then there are every-generation names like John, Paul, George....]

Luckily, I turn my cell phone off when I go to bed. But when I got this, I laughed out loud. What should I write back? Who R U callin a loser brain, poopy head? But of course, I didn't. Silly boys! Go to bed! Where are your mothers?

Wouldn't it be funny if I started sending messages from the future? Keegan, I'm you-from-the-future. On Sept. 18, 2013 don't order the chicken salad or you'll be sorry. Or perhaps things like, Eat your veggies, stay in school! Meditation not medication! or a quote-of-the-day: Do not neglect the gift of God within you. ~Timothy 4:14

But in the end, I texted back: LOL! Merry Xmas!!!

I've not heard back from them yet. :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rainbow on a Grey Day

Have you ever had one of those days? You know; one of THOSE days. Yesterday was pretty grey. But then I looked out the window to see this:

And it happened without any rain. Sometimes God sends a rainbow just because.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

blip blip blip

I got a random text from some number I didn't recognize. What r u doing? I'm bored.
I ignored it. Wrong number, I thought. But a few days later, I got another boring message. I was driving and ignored it. I did call later, but there was no answer. And anyway, who complains of being bored? Children: right before their mother gives then something to be bored about, like housework. My brother suggested it was someone with "thick thumbs" who got my number wrong.


Sup faget.

Thick Thumbs strikes again. Hehhhh...I'm not a fan of the texting. It's tedious and it necessitates abbreviations I loathe. Like R U bored? NO! Only boring people complain of being bored! But I digress...

So I texted back blip blip blip tapping out: Who R U?

Thick Thumbs: Whats your name?
Me: You should know, you texted me first.
Thick Thumbs: Kyle gave me your name dumby.

Really? This is how you introduce yourself to someone you don't know, you silly boy? If I didn't hate the blip blip blipping of texting--oh! The tongue lashing he'd get about manners and the general moral decay of society. Not to mention his poor spelling.

I texted back, I don't know any Kyle.

So far, Thick Thumbs has not responded back. Apparently I have cured his boredom.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Getmas

If my brother wrote a comic strip, it would be Brewster Rocket: Space Guy. When his 4 year-old daughter runs up to me with the Vulcan hand-sign and says, "Live long and prosper," you understand why I'd make that leap. Anyway, in the comic strip, Christmas is called "Getmas," aptly describing the state of our consumeristic society of stuff-getting. Oooh, nice alliteration....

There are all sorts of FW's and articles and pleas to remember the reason-for-the-season, in the midst of all the frantic gift-giving/getting. So I won't repeat it here. What I will say is prolly going to I've entered an older generation that longs for simpler days. Not quite the horse 'n' buggy era, BUT...

[Cue music and put on Granny Voice]

When I was a young girl, I wasn't raised with Santa. Mum never told me a fat guy in a red suit was going to leave gifts for me or my sibs. Now, we did celebrate and have a tree with the lights, but we got the "spirit-of-Christmas" talk. One of my favourite memories is Mum waking me up to take me to my first Christmas Eve mass. The whole experience of it--intangible and lovely...the car ride there looking at the lights and the beautiful songs and the stained glass windows. BEAUTIFUL.

In kindergarten I had a conversation with a friend and she was explaining all about Santa. Really? I asked. But I was skeptical because she was also the one who told me Jesus gave us scabs--not randomly, of course, but when you get a scrape or a cut. My dad, who knew everything when I was in kindergarten, explained that scab-making was left to the innate intelligence of my body. So you see, I didn't buy into the Santa Thing, and I thought that Jesus prolly had more important things to do than give me scabs when I needed them.

I have a picture of one Christmas with my stepson where he is sitting in front of a MOUNTAIN of STUFF. Stuff that I would spend the next year cleaning off his floor and gradually throwing away. Happy Getmas. It was the guilt of divorce and the competition between two wounded parents that contributed to this frenzied gift opening where it was almost like a race to see what was next.

So we came up with the Jesus Christmas Rule of Three Gifts. This is how it goes: Jesus got three gifts. Are you saying you're better than Jesus? All right, then. What do you really want? It eliminated the stocking STUFFers and the superfluous. And they weren't deprived--they still had grandma & grandpa, aunts & uncles from both sides of the family. Plenty of more stuff to clean up for the next year. Pah-lenty.

On this first day of Christmas,
and the eleven more to follow into a new year,
I wish you all the gifts of the Spirit of Christmas:
loving kindness, compassion and hope for better times.
Wherever you are in this world,
wherever you are in your world,
I wish you PEACE.
The kind that passeth all understanding.
'Tis the season to open hearts
to receive the greatest gifts of Spirit
the kind that are wrapped in God's LOVE.

Merry Getmas. And Merry Christmas, too. :-) H.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Xmas Gath

We started a Christmas tradition of having our family celebration the Saturday-before-Christmas so that my sibs-with-kids can stay home on Christmas day and enjoy it without having to rush anywhere. We do a potluck buffet. I brought a bucket of hummus & veggies. Mum made her famous homemade mac & cheese and a Gluten Free (GF) version for my chiro-sister Ruthie and me.

We have a rule that we make gifts or don't spend over $20 per person. There's a lot of creativity in the fam! Books are a favourite gift, or course. This year I gave out my new CD, family photo ornies, and the Stephen Colbert Ornament of Truthiness, and hand made truffles. One of my bros made Gluten Free biscotti. OMG!!! De-lish!

And this is what I'll leave you with: my other brother created his own packaging with boxes of crackers. This will not be funny unless you know what Soylent Green is. So read this before moving on.

OK, so now you know what Soylent Green is, right? Because whenever you have to explain a joke, it's just not funny. And it's too much work, besides. OK, so this is what my brother gave me:

"Now with more girls." Get it? hahaha

Not pictured, but listed on the side are the ingredients: Celiacs. hahaha Merry Almost Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day of Rest

I've just enough time to say I don't have time this a.m. to write! It's a weekend of family FUN and general merriment (Truthiness ornies a BIG hit!) and WAIT til you see what I got from my bro. hahahaha I'm out the door, back tomorrow. Have a FABULOUS day!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Massage Collage

I'm a journal kinda gal. I use a basic spiral blank art pad so that I can draw, write, take notes, record quotes. On the cover of each journal, I do a collage or put a picture from a magazine that I like. Sometimes I do it at the end of the journal or before I begin. It just depends. It's a great medium when traveling: just get an Oprah magazine & scissors & go at it. I always travel with glue sticks, doesn't everyone? ;-)

Creating a collage is like a labyrinth: it's directed by your intention. I've done collages for goals and collages for inspiration. This one is my Sedona journal, an AMAZING trip I took with my friend Susan (who has an Oct. post about our trip). Sedona is such a *magical* place. Our whole trip was so inspired; we spent the week with Chloe Wordsworth at a Holographic (Resonance) Repatterning conference AND Bruce Lipton kicked it off with his Biology of Belief seminar. AWESOME! We just by chance got tickets to a sold-out concert by Deva Premal AND we took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. If you've never been to the Grand Canyon, it's a must-see before you die. And I think Bell Rock is one of my favourite places in the world--AWESOME!

This next collage was done 3 years ago and was the answer to my prayer What now? I was asking for guidance about renting space at a spa to do Reiki, education consulting, etc. At the time, I had interpreted it as a "yes," but didn't follow through. Something didn't feel right about it. Less than a year later I went to massage school. One of those wonderful life-decisions that changes you forever. Sometimes we receive guidance and misinterpret it, but somehow we get to where we're going!

So now it's collage time again. Every December I do a collage for the cover of my planner and set an intention for the year. Ah...what's in store for 2008?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Ornament Thursday!

I LOVE dimensional paint, especially for creating finger labyrinths. So here's a simple Christmas tree labyrinth, made on cardboard. I mapped it out on graph paper first. I used metallic green paint, followed by green sparkley paint, and then used glittery silver for the labyrinth lines.
And here's another Stephen Colbert ornament, The Retro Ornament of Truthiness:
I had cut it out last week and had not done anything with it and then I saw Alexa's retro-inspired ornaments from last week and had the Ah-ha to do a similar treatment. Thanks, Alexa!

Here are the links for everyone participating:

Christmas cookie - Jennifer Heynen
Ring in the New Year - Kriss Cramer
Quilty pieced snowman - Linda Augsburg
Simply striking sparkling spheres - Margot Potter
Beaded memory wire - Elaine Luther
Wire & beaded tree - Lynn Kvigne
Beaded sun catcher - Debba Haupert
Jolly and yummy ceramic candy - Melanie Brooks Lukacs
Polymer snowflake embedded in resin - Melissa Lee
Beaded candy canes - Candie Cooper
Polymer clay gift tag/ornament - Heather Powers
Twisted blues - Lampwork Diva aka Cindy Gimbrone
Holiday spiral tree & party pixie - Art Bead Scene
Wire bird's nest - Rebecca Peck
Plush gingerbread doggie - Jenny Harada
Swell ornament - Alexa Westerfield
Holiday paper crafting - Brandy Lung Gill cream & chipboard ornament - Michelle McGee
Easy needle-felted orb - Katie Hacker

P.S. BIG THANKS to Margot for the invitation to participate and Katie & Candie for starting it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can't talk now--just go to my blog!

I know I can't be the only blogger with this sentiment, right? haha So anyway, here's what's going on:

This is my new CD, Virtual Massage. And this is the story behind how it came about:
My friend Lena was my first massage client here in my new home. After she left, I was on the phone to John and I said, "I wish I had another body to work on." And he said his shoulder was bothering him and what would I do to alleviate the pain. I told him I'd start with his traps and work into levator...and being the auditory person he is, he said, Tell me as if you're giving a massage in real time. So I did, without the anatomical nerd-talk. At the same time I did some distance Reiki and at the end of it, he felt better and said, "I think you have something here. Write a script." He came up with the name Virtual Massage AND did the post-production (he made my voice sound like velvet!) AND designed the CD for me. John was my willing guinea pig as we worked through the script together and he gave me advice on how to make it even better. On the final reading, he fell asleep (the ultimate success!) and I hung up the phone after I was finished. He phoned ten minutes later saying, "I think you're ready to go into the studio." High praise coming from "America's-Best-Known-Hypnotherapist."
I also wanted feedback from a fellow massage therapist, so I read it to my GSF Bess. She said, "That was fantastic! I feel like I've just had a massage and a half!" High praise coming from my favourite massage therapist! The night before I went into the studio, I read it for XM Radio Guy, who is familiar with my healing work and my Healing Labyrinth Path CD. And he said, "That was amazing." THANK YOU!!!
I'm also excited because I have background music on this CD. And not just any music, but my favourite music when I'm giving a massage: Chesapeake Bay: Reflections of Beauty, by Mike Zampi. He let me use the whole CD just like I would in a massage session. THANKS, Mike!
In addition to the new CD, I've written a new website with Homestead--so easy! Not as complicated or labyrinth-beautiful as Healing Labyrinth Path that my friend Val did...but I did it! Techno-tardo moi! It's not official yet--I have to get my domain name, pointed to it (Oh, the tribbles with Stargate..Hehhhh....) Anyway, in the spirit of the Holliday season, I am going to have a drawing. If you go to the new site and subscribe to my newsletter, I'll put your name in the hat to receive a complimentary Virtual Massage CD. There will be 3 lucky winners and I'll do the drawing on the third day of Christmas (next Friday, Dec. 28th). First newsletter will announce the winners and have some homemade spa recipes for relaxing into the new year. Mmmm...yummy....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First Morning Thought

You know when you wake up in that first-morning winter coziness? Before the need to brush your teeth overides the desire to stay wrapped up in the duvet cacoon? I awoke with the thought of my cells. Doesn't everyone have these Bruce Lipton-ish thoughts first thing?

Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells that make up a community, and we are the leaders. And I was wondering if I was being a "benevolent dictator" as Bruce says, or if I needed to change something for the health of my cells. Drink more water, was the message. Really? You need more water? Wow. I consider myself the Water Queen--especially since I've been living here with the Most-Delicious-Tap-Water-Ever. I could bottle this stuff--it's so deliciously nothing-tasting, with a hallucination of sweetness. Mmmm...but back to my cells. More water, perhaps less tea.

Here's the formula Dr. Brett taught me:

Divide your body weight in half, convert to ounces.

That's how much water you should drink. WATER, not tea or anything else. Just water. There's an awesome book called Your Body's Many Cries for Water, which essentially boils down to this: there are a lot of illnesses related to dehydration. So drink more water. Dr. Lee says to drink 2 ounces of neutral pH water every hour (that you're awake) for 2 days to get your body back in balance.

I would write more, but I need to go hydrate.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Icey Frostiness

It started ice-spitting 5 minutes after I got home on Saturday night. BEAUTIFUL when you don't have to drive in it! It didn't last long, the ice stayed long enough for me to take my pictures. Thank you, Nature for cooperating.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

FW: Tag You're It

My friend Jane sent this to me, so I'm posting it here.

Two names you go by: Only 2? That's a whole blog post in itself: The story of my name. But for now: Mum calls me "Blessing Number One" & my fam calls me Hal.

Two things you are wearing right now: a tiara and a SMILE. hahaha

Two of your favorite things to do: Read and laugh....What's the deal with listing "2 things?" A feng shui person would hallucinate that the author of this is married...but I digress...

Things you want badly at this moment: World peace...and organic milk for my tea, because *sigh* I'm drinking evaporated from my Mormon Pantry.

Two Pets you had/have: Barkley & Remi, my 2 labweilers.

Two things you did last night: Watched The Next Great American Band (GO Clark Brothers!!!) & I knitted (FABULOUS scarf). It was a rockin' Friday night.

Two things you've eaten today: DSF adrenal support (YUM--no, really, bleh) and Total Green drink (v. YUMMY). There's your Brimhall reference for the day. ;-)

Two people you last talked to: John Morgan & a radio station gal in Indiana.

Two things you're doing tomorrow: Oh, I could make up all sorts of things! Refinish furniture, tile the bathroom (yeah, THAT'S happening)...but I'll prolly work on Xmas gifts and an ornament for Ornament Thursday.

What were your longest car rides: across America when I was 6, but the longest ones haven't been in geographical distance.

Favorite holiday: Only one? I LOVE holidays and birthdays and celebrations! Thanksgiving (Gathering of the fam without the Gift Pressure), Christmas (LOVE the lights!) and 4th of July(ooohhhh, aaahhh fireworks!) are some of my faves. Along with Beltane. hahaha

Two favorite beverages: Celestial Seasonings Teahouse Chai, and water from my tap. No, really. It's SO good! You wouldn't believe it. It tastes like Fiji. And that's all I drink.

Well. This has been fun. LOVE to Jane and all my friends back in West-by-God-Virginny!

P.S. XM Radio Guy's show is on tonight: Lucy XM channel 54 at 9 p.m. EST. What will tonight's cheap give-away be? Tune in to find out!

P.P.S. I just read today's blog post at Grasshopper Notes. AWESOME!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blog Hopping

I had so much FUN yesterday checking out all the ornaments for Ornament Thursday! I'm such a fan of blogs: reading about the creative processes of other artists is so inspiring. I was going to welcome a friend to the Blogging World, but this person is not ready-for-primetime just yet. So I will wait to make a big announcement--but let me just say, there are some of you out there who are going to be SO EXCITED when I tell you. But I promised Mystery Blogger I wouldn't say anything until this person is ready.

See? Not even a gender hint!

It's in The Vault.

In the meantime, I found this clip of my boss, John Morgan on You Tube. It's from one of his seminars. Entertaining AND educational. My favourite combo.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ornament of Truthiness

I ADORE Stephen Colbert who has described himself as "an attractive vessel through which the river of truth can flow.” He was on the cover of Parade magazine a few weeks ago and I had cut out the picture and put it on my map that I have on my wall (see Nov. 12th's post). The first ornament is a small book I made with quotes inside:

Favourite quotes :
"And that brings us to tonight's word: Truthiness. Now I'm sure some of the word-police, the "wordanistas" over at Websters, are gonna say, "Hey, that's not a word!" Well, anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen...

Take a look at this sentence: 'Timmy and me went to the store to buy milk.' Wouldn't the correct grammar really be, 'Timmy and me and Jesus went to the store to buy milk?' Because Jesus is with Timmy and I wherever us go.

You see, we're America the Beautiful, not America 'Well, At Least She Has a Great Personality'

I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what are the facts.

Clothes don't make the man, God does. Stop taking credit, my pants.
The second ornament I printed on card stock & pasted to a popsicle stick. It's painted gold on the back. I used a paper clip to hold the ribbon. I'm going to make LOTS of these! Here are the links to check out everyone else's AWESOME ornaments! Happy Ornament Thursday, everyone!
Polymer Clay Craft Gossip
Alexa Westerfield from

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Xmas Trivia

This is from Dave's Joketree, my favourite place for jokes and good cheer. Thanks, Dave!

  • Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus, was the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers.
  • Based on previous surveys, 17 percent of you will embarrass yourselves in some way at your office Christmas party.
  • A Mongolian wild ass can run 8 mph faster than a reindeer.
  • It's Donder, not Donner.
  • Christmas pudding should be stirred from east to west. [Is that true, Mum? BTW, Mum has a delightful Christmas story of a spat with her sister where she threatened to spit in the Christmas pudding!]
  • 56 percent of Americans sing holiday carols to their pets.
  • 53 percent of Americans plan to "re-gift" this year.
  • 1 in 3 men will wait until Christmas Eve to finish their shopping.
  • 1 in 6 men would like to get rid of all the "gift-giving nonsense."
  • A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard. [Is that true, Mum?]
  • On Christmas Eve in 2001, the Bethlehem Hotel had 208 of its 210 rooms free.
  • It's "God rest ye merry, gentlemen," not "God rest ye, merry gentlemen."
  • There are 1.76 billion candy canes produced every year.
  • Kris Kringel, a man in his 40s, lives in North Pole, Alaska, and delivers pizzas for a living. He drives a 1984 Ford Tempo.
  • Based on a 1999 estimated population count of North America and Europe, on Christmas Eve of that year Santa Claus had to visit 42,466,666 homes in a 12-hour period -- that's 983 homes per second.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I've been thinking about courage. Some people have said I'm courageous to be living out here in the wilderness by myself with only my big dogs and modern conveniences to keep me company.
I do have neighbors. And I'm across the river from civilization. Sort of.

Years ago, I was standing on top of a Mayan pyramid, Chitzen Itza. The steps were made for tiny feet and were v. steep and it's a lot farther UP once you get to the top and have to look DOWN. I had been there a few years prior, when I discovered a sudden case of acrophobia. But I manage to make it back down to the ground. One step at a time. On my ass.

So here I was climbing for the second time. I reached the top and there, plastered to the side of the wall was a v. stylish woman, wide-eyed with fear. Her husband, speaking French, was standing at the top of the steps facing her with his hand stretched toward her, trying to coax her off the wall. So I watched all this going on. He started off with the Husband Logic: take my hand, it's OK blah blah blah. She didn't budge. Then it disintegrated into his yelling at her: Come on! What are you going to do? Stay up here all day?! Yeah, THAT worked.

I looked at her and said Je sais. [I know] I sat down on the steps and smiled. Comme ca. [Like this] dans notre derrieres. [OMG, did I just say IN our butts?!] She scooted over in her white leather pants. And together we held hands and scooted our way down to the bottom ON our bottoms. YAY, US!!!

So back to courage:

Some people may think that to be couragious is to be fearless. I don't think so. Courage is not a feeling, it's an act. If you're waiting for a feeling, you'll keep waiting. Courage is movement. And to me, the impetus for courage is a perceived lack of choice. How long am I going to stay on top of a pyramid? How long am I going to stay stuck before I do something? And that's the key: the doing part of it. No matter how you feel, because that will change after the doing. And at the bottom of the steps, there may be people laughing with you or at you. There will surely be a few cheering for you. Do it anyway. No matter what people think. Choose courage.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I can't remember which one of us came up with the term "GSF." But it fits. Today is my friend Kristina's birthday. She is writer, artist, priestess. One foot on Mother Earth, and the other firmly planted in the realm of Spirit. We say to each other: Tell me stories about your childhood. Because we both had unconventional ones that make us WEIRD ( Wonderful, Energetic, Intuitive, Radiant, De-Lightful). And we both have that mystical tie to Catholic saints & icons, tho neither of us grew up in that church.

She taught me the basics of tea leaf readings and that everything is a reading. One Halloween, she was on XM Radio Guy's show, back when he was KMZ Radio Guy. She was going to read his tea cup, but he said he didn't have tea, only Tang. So she read his tang cup.

One time a friend had given me some "chakra" bath salts. Imagine sitting in a pool of red water. OK, so I let the bath drain and it left patterns in the bathtub. I called Kristina and spoke to her husband with a message that I needed her to read my bathtub. When she called back, she said, "You need me to clean your bathroom? What?"

What's that red stain in the bathtub? said my husband. Don't clean it! I need a reading first! So there we are in my bathroom, Kristina all dressed up, sitting in my tub, scrutinizing each shape and line. It was v. profound at the time....

A few months ago, I was with XM Radio Guy at an Indian restaurant and he handed me his chai cup to read. I looked at it and it just looked like a foreign language. I need Kristina to read this, this is beyond my scope of expertise. So there I am explaining to the owner of the restaurant why I must take the tea cup with me.

I meet Kristina in the parking lot on a break from her work. She looks at it and says, "WOW. Oh my...." I know!!! I say. What does it mean? And she gives the 3-minute parking-lot-tea-cup reading. After the reading, I call XM Radio Guy. Well. It turns out his GF also reads tea cups. So now she wants to see it. So there we are, back at the Indian restaurant, explaining to the owner that the tea cup is getting a second opinion.

We go months without seeing each other and stay connected in cyberspace and beyond. And always when we get together, it is the perfect time and place. Happy, happy birthday, sweetie! I'll meet you at the pyramids. :-) LOVE, H.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wintery View from the Labyrinth

I had the most extraordinary experience. Have you ever seen a robin in the winter time? Well. Yesterday, for about 2 minutes, a whole FLOCK of robins came around my house. The harbingers of spring came to visit? YES! I heard them first making that yippy-sound outside my window and there was a flurry of activity. I don't have any pictures, I just stood in a trance and watched them bounce around and yip. And then they flew off. :-) So sweet.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Bay Window

I was inspired to Christmas-up my kitchen bay window after I took my ornament pictures yesterday. The angel blowing a kiss is the one that used to sit in the center of my first labyrinth. Yesterday's Ornament Thursday was such an inspiration, I'm going to post all the links here in case you didn't get a chance to visit.

Rebecca Peck
Michelle McGee
Melissa Lee
Melanie Brooks Lukacs
Margot Potter
Lynn Kvigne
Linda Augsburg
Kriss Kramer
Katie Hacker
Jenny Harada
Jennifer Heynen
Candie Cooper
Art Bead Scene
Alexa Westerfield from

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ornament Thursday

This is a variation on last week's theme--and then I promise I'm doing something completely different! No really--just wait til you see! I've been sorting through family photos and I LOVE the ones I have of Mum's family. I've always had in the back of my mind that I would do a family quilt with them (yeah, THAT's happening). In the meantime, I was so inspired by Margot's ornament of her grandmother that I thought I could do something if I created a system for whipping these up fast. So this is how to do it using Publisher:

* Create a template: 6 circles with squares to fit inside. (My squares are 2" X 2")
* Copy photos and then crop them to be square.
* Insert photos into the different squares.
* Print on card stock (you could use different colors like red & then you don't have to...

* Paint around pictures (I also used a metallic pen)
* Score around the squares.
* Cut out circles and paste together.

Each ornament follows a different theme: great-aunties, grandmother's wedding, my mother & her sister, etc. You could do this all by hand and colour-copy photos and physically cut & paste photos to fit into the squares. It was just a bit more stream-lined & quicker to do it on the computer. Then I just painted, cut, glued while watching Ellen & Oprah.

And this is what they look like:

P.S. I've successfully failed to upload the template, so I'm going to give up and get this posted!

P.P.S. To check out all the other creative artists who are participating, go to Margot's blog for a listing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heart of God

Sit in the heart of God and know
that the LOVE you feel
is not seperate from who you are.
Open your heart
not to receive
but to fill up
from the wellspring
that is your soul.
It is your Light,
it is the Light
of the Holy ONE
that merges within,
until there is no boundary
between flesh and Spirit.
You are the LOVE
you seek.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


A couple years ago I was in Florida and I did the sightseeing thing at NASA. I learned some interesting facts unrelated to rockets. Did you know eagles nests can be so big they can fit a mattress? The tour bus rode by one that was 20 feet deep!

Anyway, back to rockets. They had this AWESOME, authentic retro living room set up with a TV to show how the homes of America looked while watching the launch on TV. I saw a sign that said, "Touch a piece of the moon! Authentic rock from the moon." Well. I was excited. Because I'm a fan of rocks, anyway. And a MOON rock! YAY, me!

And the signs and banners were *everywhere* HUGE. EVERYWHERE.


YAAAAAAAAAY! A moon rock!!!

And here it is:

See, I was expecting a rock. A ROCK.

This. This is not a rock. It's a sliver. A slice. A piece. A chip. So instead of a rock, I got something even better. A laugh. This picture makes me SMILE. Everytime. Oh yeah, and I saw some rockets. They were HUGE.

Monday, December 3, 2007


"Begin each day as if it were on purpose."

I got this quote from a catalogue at Mum's, on the cover of this book called Lean Forward into Your Life. It's on my LIST to read. Happy Monday! :-) H.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day of Rest

I joined NaBlopomo inspired by Marmite Breath blogger, Nat. All you had to do was post everyday for the month of November. Which I did, since I was posting daily anyway. I didn't mean to take yesterday off, I was at Mum's and her internet service was down so I couldn't post. Anyway, am back in the wilderness now. I'm going to read the paper, make some pumpkin bread and be lazy. And then I'm going to take a nap. Back tomorrow. :-) H.

Friday, November 30, 2007


"And I saw the river
over which every soul must pass
to reach the kingdom of heaven
and the name of that river was suffering:~
and I saw the boat
which carries souls across the river
and the name of that boat was

~Saint John of the Cross
P.S. Margot Potter has posted links to all those who are participating in Ornament Thursdays. There are some really inspired, awesome, talented gals in this group! Go see.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Card Ornaments

This is based on a geometry lesson I did back in my teaching days. It's a great way to use up old Christmas cards. I also did a couple with tea boxes.

Christmas cards, or postcards, or tea boxes (I used Celestial Seasonings--so pretty!)
Cereal box to use as template (or card stock--something heavy & stiff)
glue (stick, dots, or white glue)

darning or embroidery needle

yarn or ribbon to hange the ornament

Determine how big you want the ornaments to be. The green ones I did are 3 inches in diameter when completed. The circles I drew for those are 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Essentially, you're just putting together a bunch of circles. You don't have to use a compass, but here are the geometry directions:

So this is the back of one of the Christmas cards. I made a template of a circle (with cereal box, but you could also make the circles with the compass). I also made a template out of the triangle. After I drew them all in, I scored the triangles with the compass tip because you'll be folding them.
Next you cut out all the circles, bend them and start fitting them together. When it's assembled, poke a hole (I used my compass, but you could also use a hole puncher) to fit the ribbon to hang up your ornament. Finished ornaments pictured below. The one on the right used 4 circles fitted together. The others all used 8. You could also do 6.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Story

I love this picture. It's so 1950's let's get a pretty girl in the picture because that makes the rocks extra-special. I love the hand-painted colouring and the way her manicured hand is indicating the crystal, like she prolly did when modeling a modern-day refridgerator. This is taken at Skyline Caverns in Front Royal, VA. These anthodite crystals are v. rare--there's only 2 other places in the world that have them. If I were taking notes when my friend Susan told me, I could tell you where. So this is the story of my picture.
The story-behind-the-story is how I aquired this:
My mother was friends with an older lady who was marrying the photographer of this photo. Um, if I were taking notes, I could tell you his name. I will P.S. it when Mum tells me. Anyway, my brother was hired to help move and clean out some things. This photo was stuffed in an old 1970's car in the garage--actually, I think that's how my brother aquired the car that we all called Das Boot. HUGE.
So big deal, 2 old people getting married, you may be thinking. Ha! Older Lady had moved from Texas to be near her fam (allegedly), leaving her husband behind. 2 years later, she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary--without him. It seems he'd been having an affair with the housekeeper. For 20 years. The following spring, she married Photographer Guy. But Jane, you're still married my mother said. And Jane-not-her-real-name, said, "Who's going to put a 78-year-old lady in jail for having 2 husbands?" Well put.
Well, it didn't last anyway. I don't think she bothered divorcing him, either. She moved out to California this time and he stayed in VA.
I don't think she married again.
Isn't it a great picture?
P.S. Mum suggests I not say Husband #2's name. So I won't. She also said she doesn't think he was the photographer of this picture. I remember her saying 20 years ago that he was. I guess it doesn't really matter at this point. All water under the bridge and whatnot. No point in alerting the Marriage Police, especially since Mum informs me that Jane is alive and well living somewhere undisclosed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Labyrinth Rocks

I liked the melted-crayon rock activity so much that I played with it on Sunday. I've made finger labyrinths before for journals, etc. But this is my first venture into a more 3-dimensional form. I used sparkley dimensional paint for the labyrinth lines. The heart rock and pink rock, I painted, but the other 3 rocks I did the melted crayon thing. Before I painted it, the pink rock reminded me of an elephant, and I thought of a recent post from Margot, so here's a pink elephant labyrinth. Other than that, I was kinda on a purple kick. The crayon gives it a nice, smooooooth texture and I'll definitely be making more of these!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Visit to Auntie Hal's

Oh what FUN we had! We played in the labyrinth. It's the perfect size for children. They ran, of course & overturned a few rocks. Hey! Put that rock back! It's sacred! haha Then they rolled down the hill. And my youngest nephew, who's 5, came to me and told me that his older brother had forced him into The Zone. I said, "The zone?" And he says, "You know, where the dogs GO." haha Fortunately, he was clean.

[imagine photo of kids in labyrinth]

We walked down to the river and collected rocks and then we heated them up in the oven (150-ish degrees) and melted crayons on them. My youngest nephew has a v. artistic eye, and likes to play with my camera. He took this photo of the rocks:

My almost-3-year-old niece had a lot of fun with my heart rock collection. I'm still finding them around the house. At dinner, she v. politely asked, May I have some marijuana, please? I looked to her big brother for translation. "She wants more water." OH. Yes, of course that's what she said. For dessert we had chocolate dirt. (Leftover truffle mix from the freezer). Yum. It was a whirlwind of activity and I so LOVE being an auntie! :-)

P.S. Thanks, Mum for driiiiiving all the way here!

P.P.S. If I had children of my own, this blog would be nothing but insufferably cute-things-kids-say.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day of Rest

Ah...trees. Have a gorgeous day. :-) H.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


"You never give up just wanting to play and have fun--the way that kids do." ~Jerry Seinfeld

There seems to be a lack of faith from my family when it comes to my spending time with my sibs's kids. Can I handle all 3 at once??? So let's review in order, shall we? I worked as a teacher's aide to a preschool & kindergarten for 2 years before going off to college the first time where I became a college dropout. Then I was a nanny. Then I worked at a Montessori school for 4 years and headed up the summer day camp program with 10-15 kids. Then I got an education degree K-8. I substitute taught for 2 years in classrooms that, incidentally, had more than 3 students. I taught first grade for a year before I went on to certify in brain-based learning.

I think I'm qualified for the afternoon.

Today I've sharpened the knives and we're going to learn to juggle. haha Perhaps it's because I'm not SERIOUS and I don't get upset about some kinds of parenty things. Usually I get my camera. Like the time at my sister's wedding when my nephew peed on a bush outside the church. Why didn't you stop him? my other sister growled at me. Stop him? Midstream? Really, what else could I do?

I draw the line at safety. But everything else? Childhood is a magical time and it's FUN. Or it should be. The backyard is an adventure waiting for exploration. All children are artists, visionaries, scientists. Ask any kindergartener who's the best artist and they will all raise their hands. Ask a fifth-grader that (or an adult) and you'll hear the limitations. There's so much more I could write on this--my whole philosophy of teaching and parenting, but I must heat up rocks in the oven for a special craft activity.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Black Friday

I spent a wonderful day with Mum & my sister's fam yesterday. Until I moved to my little river house, I used to think my sister was waaaaaay out there. And she is. But I think I win the prize for most-remotest. She and my BIL renovated a 100 year-old hunting lodge. It's an amazing place off of the national park. I hiked up the mountain with my nephews & niece--how many almost-3-year-olds know what milkweed is??? It's just like where we grew up. My sister said that the kids won't really appreciate it until they're adults--but isn't that the way it is? They go barefoot all summer and play outside in the creek and eat fresh food from the garden.
My BIL is a gourmet chef and made the most amazing meal--his sauces are soooo delicious. He makes me like French cooking. That's another thing the kids won't appreciate until they get older--the amazing family dinners they have together that they take for granted. I remember being at an Italian restaurant for dinner and a family came in and then they left because they didn't have a children's menu. That would not happen with any of my nieces and nephews. They've all been raised on real food.
Anyway, so on this day-of-shopping, I'm staying away from all that busy-ness & going for a long walk. I'll avoid the hunters, gather a few rocks and walk off the pumkin pie. :-) H.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Day of Thanks & Giving

Blogs across A-MER-ica will be paying tribute to today, this day of Thanksgiving. I've been Quote Gal this week, so here's my quote:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more....It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

There have been many influences in creating a sense of gratitude in my life. However, my bible is Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of comfort and Joy. What a gift she is to the world! When you ask yourself What am I most grateful for in my life? it opens the heart, brings you into the present moment, and dispels the worries and stresses of the day. Gratitude fills your spirit so that there is room for nothing else. In all things give thanks.

OK, so how to transition into this?

What is that in the middle of the labyrinth? you may be asking. Well. Let me tell you. Except I don't know. I've been eating lots of pumpkin. It all started when my GSF Bess said that she spent hours in the kitchen preparing this elaborate pumpkin recipe and in the end, it tasted like sweet potato. I LOVE sweet potatoes, so I went to a local produce stand. [Side note, here: It's operated on an honour system. There's a coffee can where you leave your payment. How cool is that in the 21st century?!]

So I got some pumpkins. I've baked and I've steamed them. Steaming is best for a uniform consistency. A hand blender makes it smooth & creamy. You can go savory or sweet with it. I've made cream-of-pumkin soup, and curried pumpkin soup (my fave), and just mixed in honey & cinnamon for a sweet. Bess said it's really great in pancakes, so I will try that next.
Back to the labyrinth: when I was at my brother's, they had hundreds of pumpkins at the horse farm for decoration and let me take some home. I took a coupla these and they are AMAZING! I think it might be a blue hubbard. They are by far the BEST! Smooth, subtle, light, creamy. Whatever it is, my mother had to go to an "International" potluck gathering & bring a traditional dish (because the English are known for their culinary skills--haha). In the past she's taken Shepherd's pie, & trifle. So she put the blue hubbard in a blender with some milk and then chilled it. No sweetener, and she said it was better than custard and everyone loved it.

So that's my Martha post for the day. Have a WONDERFUL day of thanks & giving! :-) H.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quote from a Tea Box

From Celestial Seasonings Teahouse Chai (my favourite tea-in-the-morning):

Some landscapes whisper, like lonely roads and quiet conversations. The ecstatic leap of mountains fills our blood with a triumphant confidence. The fold of a headland over a wide ocean gives rise to transcendent possibility and nuanced thought. The sense of opening awareness close to riverbanks, indeed, the bustle and din of a cavernous city--these ineffable surrounding give our lives comfort and context.
We can love passionately, but how much, I wonder, of our life's reflection is whispered to us from the distance of valley floors and high chilly winds? Places we've never been or only imagined color our notions of place, while landscapes live outside our door and call to within our souls. ~Todd Runestad


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.
~Chinese proverb

Monday, November 19, 2007


As I grow older, the identification with the here and now is slowly lost. One feels disolved and merged into Nature. The greatest experience we can have is the mysterious. ~Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day of Rest

Another view along my country road.
Have a BEAUTIFUL day. :-) H.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One person's normal....

So I was having a convo with John Morgan last night that started with me saying, So my drum circle was cancelled last night.... and I was talking about the email cancellation I'd gotten and how now I didn't have to go out into the world on Saturday, but I could stay home and listen to XM Radio Guy tonight on the Lucy channel 54 (9 p.m. EST). WOO-HOO!

Lucy...all the music you listened to when MTV just showed music videos all the way to when MTV taught your teenage daughter how to be a slut. The deep-voiced radio announcer that XM Radio Guy uses on Lucy was whisked away by Oprah and now he's exclusively the voice on her channel.

I've never heard him say normal things.

Anyway, so I'm yackity-yacking away about all this and John says, "Woah-woah-woah! Drum circle?"

I forget until I remember that what I take for granted as normal-everyone-knows-about-this is often not. But it's quite normal. Really. Mum goes with me. And it's led by this wonderful gal Wendi who is like an orchestra leader, so it doesn't matter what your level of experience is. There's nothing like beating on a drum, it's so...tribal. You can't drum and not *smile*.

But tomorrow I'm going out. Really, it's all-day event if I leave the house. And I coordinate it with my groceries--altho, Mum calls my pantry the Mormon Pantry. It's v. well-stocked. I could not go anywhere for months. Anyway, I'll be delivering a b-day gift to my nephew & attending some Bonfire Event at Mum's.

And if it's not too chilly, perhaps we'll even have an old fashioned firewalk.

Woah-woah-woah! FIREWALK???

Another day, another post. ;-) H.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Feedback vs. Criticism

I've been thinking about the difference between feedback and criticism since I've been watching The Next Great American Band. Tonight is another episode and another band will go home. There are some great musicians on this show (personal faves 6wire & The Clark Brothers) and it's interesting to watch the judges give feedback and the response from the bands and the audience. And then John Morgan had a great blog post yesterday on this theme called "Burst of Air."

Not that I want to get all L. Ron Hubbard and create my own Dictionary-of-Definitions, BUT this is the distinction I make between criticism and feedback, because I don't think they mean the same thing.

The word criticism, even if it's "constructive," has a negative connotation. Nobody likes to be criticized. It implies that you've done something wrong and it usually comes within the framework of an emotionally charged situation. Criticism doesn't offer solutions and often is taken as an attack, not just on a behaviour, but on the person. The first definition in Webster's for criticize is 1.) "to find fault with; censure." THEN 2.) to "judge or discuss the merits of; evaluate" and THEN 3.) "to judge unfavorably or harshly." I think most people go with options 1 & 3 when thinking of criticism, and who wants to be judged harshly? Think about someone you know who exhibits critical behaviour: are they particularly easy or pleasant to be around? Prolly not.

Feedback, on the other hand, is just that. We get feedback from our environment; a stove is hot, a dog's nose is cold & wet. Dave Dobson tells a wonderful story about how when he was a toddler, he ate a dandelion. And that was his first and last dandelion. Skip the techno-babble and definition about biological processes in Webster's , and feedback is "a reaction or response to a particular process or activity; information derived from such a reaction or response." No judgement, no fault-finding. Feedback is necessary for new learning and new growth and improvement. Feedback from a person can be a suggestion. When I was training in Eric Jensen's Brain-based Learning, we spent a whole day learning how to give directions and feedback. One of the things we did was list at least 3 things that worked in an activity, and then suggest one or two things to try for the next time. They were "opportunities" for improvement; no big deal.

This has something to do with how the brain works. The brain (and your Other-Than-Conscious) is first concerned with safety. Any perceived threat kicks in the fight/flight stress response. So by saying what works, the brain relaxes and is more open to suggestion and doesn't go into defense mode. Unless....

a person isn't open to suggestions or feedback and it's all perceived as criticism. As Michael Gerber says in The E Myth, failed businesses are led by people who spend more time defending what they're doing, than learning new things to make their business grow and evolve. This can be on a personal level. We all know people who take things way too personally and view any suggestion as an attack. And that's useful feedback in itself. There are certain people I don't say anything to because, really-- why bother? They could take a page from don miguel ruiz's Four Agreements, not to take anything personally. So, so hard to do--but WOW. What a difference.

So, back to The Next Great American Band: one of the judges, John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls gives really great feedback. Feedback, not criticism. And he'll start off with, "You guys were great. You did X, Y, & Z. The only suggestion I have is that you...." But the audience starts booing. Shut up you rude audience! And at one point, John turned to the audience and said something like, "Look, these guys are going to go out into the real world and it's better to hear it from us first." BTW, the bands who have listened to the judges, are still in the running. The Muggs, who agreed with Rude Booing Audience, and Rocket, with their every-song-sounds-the-same, are not.
Who will go home tonight? We shall the meantime, feel free to offer feedback on this post. ;-) H.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

At the Recording Studio

I'll wait until it's a bit more ready before I say the title or what it's about--except to say it's v. relaxing. I just recorded it and John is going to do all the post-production for me. I knew he'd ask me what kind of microphone we used and other techno-babble I know nothing about, so I took a picture.

At the end of the session, I said to Engineer Will, "I forgot to call on the tree spirits before we started." He had said when I booked the studio that a lot of hypno-meditation-newagers come in to record and say prayers to Nature, etc. I did walk my labyrinth before I went to the studio. Does that count?

I listened to the recording last night, but fell asleeeep. Woke up at 6 a.m. and listened to it again and fell asleeeeep again. If I didn't write it, I wouldn't know how it ends! Oh, that is a wicked joke that no one will get except the people I've given the test runs, to. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm melting....

Yesterday I received an advance copy of John Morgan's new CD. WOW. And on the heels of Bruce Lipton's AWESOME interview with Dr. Oz yesterday. John came up with this idea independently of Bruce, but this is what he says in his intro (sounding very Bruce-ish):

Imagine for just a moment that you want something from someone whom you absolutely loathe. Additionally, imagine that you have made no secret about this person. You've told them to their face and you've told everyone willing to listen to you that you despise this person. How cooperative do you think that person would be with your request? My guess is not very. This is how most people treat their body.

Yesterday Bruce was talking about the unconscious programming we have. So we can consciously want to change our behaviour, but our conscious mind is not really running the show. We need to work with our programming. Bruce sounds v. Dobsonian here! Anyway, John says the same thing on this CD and walks you through a process--v. relaxing, soothing. I melted. It goes deeper than weight-loss, beyond self-acceptance into self-love. It's for the anoerexic as well as the weight-loss candidate. It's for anyone who has body image issues--and really, who doesn't? The CD isn't ready yet, but I'll include a link when it's official. Stay tuned...

And speaking of CD's, I'm going to go record my next one today. I'm SO EXCITED! I'm not going to give away any details--except to say, no it's not labyrinth-related. Yes...v. hypnotic and relaxing...and melty....I've done some live test runs with it, John has been a willing guinea pig and has coached me through it and given me some v. valuable suggestions that have taken it from really good to GREAT. I did a final one last night with XM Radio Guy and he said, "Amazing." High praise! So stay tuned....

View from my labyrinth. Have a BEAUTIFUL day. :-) H.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Biology of Belief: Bruce Lipton 101

"I woke up one morning and decided to live my life in nothing less than joy." ~Bruce Lipton

This was one of the key phrases that shifted my para-dig-m of how I chose to live my own life. I was sitting in Bruce's Biology of Belief seminar learning about cell biology. Cell biology! Who knew it could be so exciting? It was one of those life-changing, Oprah Lightbulb Moment, Ah-ha experiences where you realize that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm.

A cell in a petri-dish will do one of two things: it will move toward things that are life-enhancing, in this case food. OR, it will move away from things that are life-threatening, e.g. a toxin. The first is a state of GROWTH. The second is PROTECTION. A cell can do either/or, it can't do both at the same time. You may be thinking, Yeah, OK. Why do I care?

Well. Let me tell you. A single cell in your body has all the same functions as your whole body. It takes in nutrition, oxygen, excretes waste, etc. Your body is a community of trillions of cells. It's not random. Think about a community: working together, each person contributing, communicating, relating. It's an organized network. And who's in charge? YOU, the leader. You're the director, the Queen-of-the-castle, Master-of-your-domain. The question is: are you a benevolent leader? Or not? What determines that? The environment you create by your beliefs and thoughts. Do you love your body? Do you love your life? Or are you stewing in a soup of toxic emotions? How long would you continue to work with someone who worked against you? How long would you expect your body to before it rebels? As Dr. David Lee (who gave Bruce his first cold-laser treatment) says, Your body. Your health. Your choice.

So, you give a cell some food, it moves forward, it grows. You threaten it, it retreats. You give a person nurturing and s/he grows. You threaten a person and s/he retreats into a state of protection. What's the difference? THE ENVIRONMENT. Change your environment, and you change your biology--YOU. In a state of growth, you have different chemical reactions happening in your body vs. when you're in a fearful state of protection. Bruce says that we're living our lives like we're in a race. We're at the starting line and we hear, Get ready. Get set. But we never get to GO. So our bodies are in a chronic state of stress. Stress is a protective state, not a state of growth.

This is your body's response to the stress Fight or Flight Response: your body prioritizes blood flow to the back of your brain, the survival part, to the back of your legs to run, and to the arms for fighting. It is the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex that has higher functioning skills of thought, logic, and reasoning. This is why it's hard to reason with someone who's fearful.
How much blood goes to other areas? The bare minimum. What about your immune system? That takes way too much energy. If your body is in survival mode, it's priority is not against some outside microbe. How much blood goes to digestion in this state? Not much.

And here's the thing about fear: new things are scary and avoided. Think about that. And then think about how when you're in a state of fear, you're much more likely to give up your freedom for security and personal safety. Which means you're easier to control. And now think about the media that shows scary-threatening-violence on TV, and drug companies that sponsor these "news" programs and tell you to take their pharma-zerka-toxin-el for your anxiety, your stress, your illness.

We weren't biologically designed to live in chronic stress. And yet, some people are so used to it, they think it's normal. Just because something is common, doesn't make it normal. We have a choice. So for me, I choose growth. I choose life. I choose JOY.

And if you ever get a chance, go to a Bruce Lipton seminar. Or read his ground-breaking book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. OR tune into Dr. Mehmet Oz's show on XM Radio today and listen to his interview with Bruce.

P.S. You can get a month of free XM Radio here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lots of Busy's

This is a quickie just to get something up besides my anti-tickle rant. When I first started working for John Morgan Seminars I booked a seminar in Myrtle Beach, SC and the next night in Birmingham, AL. John said v. dryly, "You may want to get a map." Yes, I had just lumped the South all together. At one time I knew all the states, their capitals, the whole world, in fact. At one time. Anyway, so I got a map & this is it. I write quotes on sticky notes & put them in California (no plans to go there anytime soon). And yes, that's Stephen Colbert in Canada. And yes, I knew that was Canada before I got the map! No, really. I did. For some extra fun, try your hand at this little geography game that John sent me after my display of geographical retardation. haha
P.S. HAPPY B-DAY Fairie Elaine!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Good Touch, Bad Touch

I like to think it's because I'm a massage therapist that I'm so sensitive. But then, I've met some pretty insensitive bodyworkers. So perhaps I became a massage therapist because I'm sensitive. Touch is so personal and subjective. One person's deep tension-relieving shoulder massage might be another person's torture. Or someone's deep tissue massage might be another person's tickle. Everyone's different, and it is my job to make a person as comfortable and relaxed as possible in a session. Once I'm working on someone, I'm looking for the "Ah Stroke." Again, it's different for everyone. For a stressed-out teacher, it might be a deep stroke across the top of the shoulder. For a computer athlete, it might be getting under the scapula or working the chest muscles. I had a golf client with lower back pain and his Ah Stroke was a slow elbow up along the spine. No matter who's on the table, I can feel when they sink into that place of deep relaxation and peace, and let go of the tensions, stresses, and worries of the day.

Being sensitive like this is helpful in the healing world. It makes it a bit more challenging when I'm just out in the real world because I'm tuned to all the little nuances and details of an experience. My chiro-friend Catherine gave me a book a few years ago called The Highly Sensitive Person. Before I read it, I thought it was about someone who overpersonalizes things. But it's not about that, it's about the sensory experience: sights, sounds, smells, touch, etc. When I walk into a room, I sense temperature, lighting, clutter, cleanliness, textures. If people are in the room, I'm reading the mood and energy of the room. John has pointed out that I go right from seeing something to having a feeling. This may be why I won't watch violence on TV. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, I feel it. And it is not a pleasant sensation. On the other hand, when I watch my favourite You Tube video Hugs in Tel Aviv, I SMILE everytime. Watch the baby in the stroller offer his cookie to Hugging Guy. So sweet.

I say this all as a preface to an observation. When I'm massaging a client, I tell her to say "stop" if there's anything I do that's uncomfortable. It doesn't matter if I think she needs me to work a particular muscle in a certain way. It's not about me, it's about her. She knows her body better than anyone. And she needs to know that she can trust me that if she says stop, that I will. Immediately. That trust allows her to relax fully and allow for some deep healing to take place.

So perhaps I am sensitive to that word. STOP.

Stop means stop, no matter who's saying it. And just because someone is laughing, doesn't mean they are enjoying the experience. So pay attention all you well-meaning uncles & aunties, moms & dads & other adults in a child's world:

Tickling is FUNny, until it's NOT.

Pinning them down to the ground with your ginormous-to-a-child body is threatening and overbearing. Forced touch of any kind is a violation.

Oftentimes adults are quick to discount a child's feelings just because s/he is a child. STOP. A child's feelings are no less real than yours. Ridiculing, cajoling, or discounting a child's feelings can get interpreted so many different ways and set up patterns for a lifetime. Patterns like:

"What I think doesn't matter."
"People don't listen to me."
"Other people's feelings are more important than mine."
"Other people are more important than me."

As for the tickling:

"I don't like being touched."
"I can't trust others to touch me in ways that I would like."
"Touch is not pleasant."
"I am powerless."

I used to be a nanny half my lifetime ago. And I used to tickle little Gabe's feet and he would giggle which would make me giggle. And even then, before an education degree or hypno-training or massage school, I would stop when he asked. And he would say it like this: it again! And I would. His body, his choice.

We are such a touch-deprived nation. And worse, not only have people not had positive experiences with touch, they've had negative experiences. Let's make an effort to create positive touch in the lives of the people we come into contact with. And while we're at it, here's another hug from Juan Mann, the guy who started the whole Hug Campaign. Have a LOVEly day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We're a Scrabblin' Fam

Last night I played Scrabble with my 2 brothers and Mum. One of my brothers scored 87 points with “throated.” Oh, I used up all my letters, he said. Mum was miffed when we wouldn’t accept “quillest.” We googled—not a word! She said, “It’s a person who does quilling.” Oh, you mean like a knittest? Or a carpentist? Not a word. She was doubley miffed when both my brothers accepted “malk.” It’s a Simpsons reference.

See, at this point, I was just going for the laugh, because pointage was futile. And this comes from a convo between my brother and his daughter at breakfast when she was 4.

A: Daddy, may I have some milk for my cereal?

D: No, sweetie. We don’t have any milk. We only have malk. Would you like some malk?

A: What's malk?

D: Rat milk. It has vitamin R. Mmmmm….

A: OK.

My brother is a member of Mensa, and in the magazine in his bathroom is a song written to the tune of "Born to Be Wild." With lines like:

Get your IQ runnin'! Head out on the highway!
Lookin' for a pop quiz, or whatever comes our way!

I like chess and scrabble--intellectual thunder!
Grapplin' with ideas, and things to make us wonder.

Born to be Mensans!

Today we're going to sit in a field in the rain and watch horses. Woo-hoo!

P.S. Listen to XM Radio channel 54 tonight at 9 p.m. EST The Bill Hutton Show
P.P.S. Bruce Lipton on the XM Oprah Channel on Tuesday!!!