Ahimsa (or, Elbowing My Way Toward Enlightenment)

Experiencing dry spells in this blog is nothing new. Most of my recent posts have been reruns of old stuff. I’ve been busy with other things, but I sometimes wonder if I’m just out of things to say. Time will tell. In the meantime, here is something I wrote about 2 years ago. I’m posting it in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Enlighten. We could all use a reminder to be kind to others – and to ourselves.


Originally posted October 11, 2015 

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I didn’t want to go to my yoga class last week. I usually look forward to the hour and a half of time spent on me and me alone, but this time I just wasn’t in the mood. This time of year I usually work three days a week, but I was working a full, 40 hour week. The change in my routine had made me crabby, and a night vegging on the couch sounded much more appealing. My right elbow was crabby and sore as well. The idea of doing poses that would challenge its comfort seemed like torture.

“You should go,” said Mr. Maid. “You know you’ll feel better if you do.” Continue reading

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Serendipity-Do

WordPress’ Daily Prompt today is Coincidence. Here is a re-post of a piece I wrote EXACTLY one year ago today! How weird is that?!

My stepdaughter is a wedding photographer and shot a wedding in New York City over the weekend. Her husband tagged along and they made a mini vacation out of it. We got to dog-sit our “granddog,” Jubilee. When they came over Sunday for dinner and to pick up the dog, we started talking about coincidences. While doing some site-seeing on the Brooklyn Bridge they heard someone call out my son-in-law’s name. Lo and behold, friends from their college here in Illinois were also there on vacation. At the same time. In New York. On the Brooklyn Bridge. Nearly 1000 miles away.

There have been volumes written about the topic of coincidences. Chance? Fate? Luck? Or merely mathematical probability? Theories abound from people much smarter than I. All I know is that I am fascinated by them. I also feel like I’ve had more than my share of them in my life. Continue reading

Totality Was Totally Worth It

I’ve been wanting to post about the total eclipse, but I’ve been stuck. It happened a week ago, and although I’ve started writing about it a few times, the post just hasn’t been coming together to convey what I wanted to say. After some reflection, here are my thoughts on the experience…

A few weeks before the event, I wrote a somewhat sarcastic account of the anticipation and preparation surrounding it.

Don’t get me wrong – I was excited to experience the phenomenon first hand. Since we live so close to the path of totality, it was a no brainer that we’d take a drive to see it.

Now, after it’s all over, I’ve had some time to think about what it meant to me.

Just as every Tom, Dick, and Harry added to the hype, they have also put their two cents in with follow ups. You’ve no doubt seen the news coverage, heard the accounts, and seen the photos. I don’t feel I can add much to that aspect of the event.

What I can tell you though, is how it felt. It felt like seeing the Grand Canyon the first time, when I couldn’t stop saying “WOW!” over and over. (I really wax poetic sometimes, don’t I?!)

In short, it was something I will never forget. Continue reading

Gateway to the West

In response to the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge:

Perhaps it’s because I’m not a native of St. Louis, but whenever I’m on the grounds of the Gateway Arch Monument, I have the urge to act like a tourist and take a picture. Especially when it’s gleaming on a bright, sunny day, it makes me proud of my adopted city. These were taken a few years ago, from the approximate spot where my husband proposed.

Not only does it give me an “ooh shiny!” kind of distraction, but it is also, indeed a giant, shiny, hunk of steel.

You can read all about the Gateway to the West here.

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photo my own

 

 

Took a Hike. Found My Bliss.

When I was a kid, Dad would take us on hikes – or as I remember them – forced marches through the woods. He had an uncanny ability to lose the trail. I touched on the topic briefly in this post. We’d be dragged, if not kicking and screaming, then at least whining and bickering through bug-infested jungles. Needless to say, I was not a fan.

I’ve surprised myself by discovering a love for hiking in my later years. Nearly every trip Mr. Maid and I take involves an opportunity to get out there and haul my old bones up, over to, or around, whatever Mother Earth has to offer.

There are few places that give me a greater sense of peace and connection to nature than on a hiking trail. I have come to crave the fresh air, the physical challenge, and the surrounding flora and fauna. And nothing gives me more satisfaction than that feeling of finally reaching the summit.

Here are a few of my favorite moments…

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Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii – Dragging my ass through a strenuous hike often has me feeling like Wonder Woman, so as you’ll see, I often have the urge to strike this pose. Cheesy smile and all!
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South Kaibab Trail, South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
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North Kaibab Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
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Trail to Apakuni Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
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Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
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Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
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Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine – There’s that pose again! You can read about our misadventures on this hike here.
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Dante’s View of Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California
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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California – my other ‘go-to’ pose – because hiking really does bring me closer to my bliss! Namaste, ya’ll!

Written for the WordPress’ Daily Post Photo Challenge: satisfaction

Spending Time Up In My (Freelance) Business

I just realized that I haven’t posted on this blog since April! Years ago, I coined the word “blazy” to describe a former coworker. She would always claim to be “so busy!” but she was really just lazy. That is a good description of me these past few months. I have time to do all I want and need to do, but somehow, I just don’t get around to some things – like keeping up with this blog.

Until I get those creative juices flowing again, I thought I’d show a glimpse of what I do in my “real” life. Continue reading

A Surprise Out My Window

Cardinal

They say that seeing a cardinal signifies a visit from someone who has passed.

I find that capturing them on film is difficult. No matter how I hold my breath and try not to move, they seem to vanish into thin air. Much like hanging on to the image of a loved one when you see them in a dream, or hear their voice in your head.

I am not a good photographer, but occasionally I can surprise one, capturing the image before it flees.

Today, I am thinking of two people who departed our world last week.

An old friend I hadn’t seen in years – gone too soon – taken by cancer. And a dear friend’s father who lived a long, full 86-year life.

Perhaps the cardinal’s skittishness is a reminder to appreciate those we love while they are here. Before we know it, they too may take flight, leaving only memories of their vibrancy.

~Written in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Surprise.