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Spring is in the air!  And the garden is sprouting.  It reminded me of my blogs. So I’ve decided to call it my garden of Blogs.  See if there’s anything you’d like to sample from it ~

Here at The Positive Slant On the Path Go For 5 – Some interesting facts about the number 5, in my ongoing number series. (599 words)

From the Files Scenes and Musings had In the Haze of Jerry Garcia – the scene of a show I witnessed in the early 80’s with the legendary guitarist from the Grateful Dead. (767 words)

The Positive Slant On Writing featured Organizing Peace Out of Chaos – how we can use our organizing skills as writers to find peace in other areas of our life. (362 words)

From the Files Rants and Raves produced America How I Love Thee! – a taste of my passion for the rock group, in honor of Memorial Day.  (1024)

Coming soon to The Positive Slant On Business – a Profile of Diane Lemonides, owner of Verve Marketing and Design, whose artistic vision and grounded family values guide every step of her business.

America has a song called, “This Time.”  It has a lyric that always gets me.  “I’ve seen confusion in your eyes.  I’ve seen uncertainty and fear.”

Sometimes I feel like I’m always wandering around in uncertainty and fear.   What will happen next?  Will I get what I’m after?

I have to remind myself that my doubts are, in fact, understandable, but not based in fact.  What I’m trying to do is big.  However, there are far more indicators which say I can succeed.

Perhaps that’s what scares me.  The thought of winning and what that means.  Could it really be possible that I could get what I want?  What if it’s taken away before I get a chance to enjoy it?

I don’t want those fears to stop me!

An antidote I’ve found is to simply make a choice to allow the good stuff to flow into my life.  Feel it, be it, own it.  Don’t shy away from it.  Remain in the present moment and open to it.

If I stay out of the “muck of negativity,” (those sticky negative feelings of doubt which make it so much harder to move forward) I can take better care of myself by enjoying the process, whether I win or not. Keeping my eye on the intention.

But if those fears threaten to overwhelm me, when I feel I can’t control it and it’s shoving me back into that muck of uncertainty and fear, I’m just going to take a step in the present moment.  Pick up my other foot and take another step in the next.  One step at a time I will get to where I’m going.

Sometimes it seems like everyone is scolding me for something or other.  Of course, my head is doing the same thing. But how do you change the soundtrack?

I’ve been struggling with this.  How can I, for instance feel like I do in summer, when it is so obviously not?  It was looking like I’d have to lie to myself.

But I forgot: you don’t have to go from 0 to 60 in one breath.  Sometimes it’s enough to just rev up the engine a little.

Whenever I’m feeling low I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.  Perhaps a list of some of my favorite things might help to have on hand: Summer breezes through my hair, getting into bed with clean sheets, new, colorful office supplies, any America song, finding the right answer, a few hours stretching out in front of me to write, or having nowhere to go.

So, when I find myself churning over some silly thing I can’t do anything about at the moment, I’m going to center myself.  Just a moment’s awareness will do. Then I can find something, anything at all that feels better than whatever nonsense or scolding is cluttering up my mind.  Maybe about the movie I’m going to be watching that evening.  If I’m having a hard time, I might try that the sun is shining or that my heart is pumping blood and I’m alive.  Usually there’s something I can go to.  Even a drink of cool water. 

I’ve come to see (though I knew before) with the help of Paulette Terrels, that it’s such a waste of time and energy to listen to those scolding voices. It does me no good to chew on the lousy weather or a tedious project I have to do, that it’s only Tuesday . . .   When all I have to do is think about Harry Potter and I’m back on track.  From there it’s not hard to find something better and better and then I’m cruising along at a comfortable 45.  Much easier to get to 60 from there!


From the book, Life Makeovers, by Cheryl Richardson

I want to use Wednesdays to write about the exercises in books I work through. I don’t happen to have such a book at the moment. When I don’t, I’ll dip into something like this Life Makeovers.

One of the chapters is about Life Accessories. I like that concept. Like you’d add a scarf or a piece of jewelry to accessorize your wardrobe, you can do the same thing for your life. Cheryl is talking about the things we can use to support us during the day. The accessories that help us to feel our lives, to experience it more fully. “Things you love to look at, listen to, taste, smell and feel.”

I have filled my office with things I love to look at. There is a silver heart that hangs beside my monitor which reminds me to have a heart full of love. On the other side is a fish on a sacred string that represents abundance and the flowing nature of life. Sitting on the printer shelf, above my eye level, I have two 1-inch picture frames. One is me as a child and one is my husband as a child. Anne Lamott asks us, as writers, to look at our projects in one inch pieces. Start small. That reminds me I don’t have to do it all at once.

I was reluctant this morning. Some days I jus’ doan wanna. I want to go back to bed or play or talk to a friend. It is good to allow yourself to do those things, sometimes. But you can’t do it all the time. There’s a time for everything and this morning, I needed to do some work. I popped on some music and whammo, I’m into working again!

I have this love affair with the group America. They have been with me for a long time. As a teenager, confused about life and boys and the future, America was always there. Looking cute, singing sweetly and calming me down. They still do that for me! Someone once said my life may have taken a different turn had I used drugs or sex or any number of other tempting soothers. America kept me sane and out of trouble. Today, they bring me back to my center.

I have many spiritual objects that bring me peace and remind me that all is well. Candles and incense create a mood. The colors in my office excite me and bring me joy. I also have a couple of pictures of my spirit animals given to me in a Shamanic healing session. I have pictures of family and loved ones, too.

I enjoy a good rock now and then. Smooth stones feel good in the hand. You can use one as your gratitude stone. Every time you pick it up, remember how grateful you are. There’s a lovely story about a gratitude stone in The Secret movie.

Cheryl goes on to suggest more tactile things like a lovely cup for tea or an animal to pet. We can use our senses in other ways, too. Drinking that cup of tea, slowly, with awareness. On Cheryl’s list is also great-smelling hair products. You can use the accessories around you. I have a massage pad I put on the sofa and float away. Life Makeovers reminds us to use the heaters in the car seats. I keep thinking about putting up a pretty sheet in front of where I pull my car in the garage. Add a dash of colorful paint somewhere to spruce things up. My afternoon cup of tea and the stashed sweater in my desk on the job made me feel more like I was home. Cheryl likes to put on cozy socks when she’s at her desk. Even something as simple as a pen you love can remind you that life is good and there is much that supports you.

If you look around, you are likely to find many Accessories that can make you feel better. All you have to do is be aware. What scents make you feel peaceful? How does different music affect you? What feels good against your skin? What makes your heart warm when you look at it?

My Five Favorite Life Accessories:


Incense and candles

My massage pad or foot bath

Cold water to sip

The objects in my office

What a good Friday it is ~ There’s an exciting, festive weekend coming up and I get to spend time working on the spiritual book I’m co-writing. One of my favorite things to do! This is what I want to do when I grow up, where I want to spend my days, dedicate my time.

But for now it is just one morning a week I get to play the part. Candles, I have heard tell, create a sense of magic. So, I light some candles and put on some music. Creating a mood is a lovely thing to do when you’re sitting down to write.

With thoughts of my blog from earlier this week on Sound and Light Therapy, I am reminded again of how much America means to me. The Soft, Desert, California Rock band who began at the dawn of the 70’s. In an article from The Philadelphia Inquirer, in the the early 70’s, writer Jack Lloyd said, had Crosby, Stills, and Nash (with or without Young)  “not come together three years ago to revolutionize rock music, America would certainly have been hailed as a landmark in rock music affairs.” I would have to agree with that statement.

Anyone who knows me, knows of my thing for America. I’m quite sure people I haven’t seen in years, think of me when they hear any one of their string of hits. “A Horse with No Name,” “Sandman,” “Ventura Highway,” maybe “Muskrat Love” or “Rainbow Song.” “Lonely People,” “Tin Man,” You Can Do Magic . . .” There have been many. I believe a cut from their latest 2006, “Here and Now,” release did pretty well, too.

My love of America goes far beyond the “hits.” Some of the deeper cuts are truly breathtaking. From the profound “To Each His Own” to “Green Monkey.” featuring the legendary Joe Walsh on guitar. From the eery tones of “Cornwall Blank” to the delightful “Look at Me Now,” America has provide me with a huge catalog of songs. From which I am hard-pressed to name my favorite.

I can feel, when I’m listening to America, what it does to me on a cellular level. My body relaxes when I hear those guitars and voices. It’s like a warm hug, a familiar face.

With lush harmonies, rich guitars, simple melodies, and positive lyrics. America has touched my heart in more ways than I can ever count. They have kept me company when I’ve been far from home. The music has always been my refuge when life gets me down, welcoming me like an old friend. All is well when America is playing in my ears. I have even used it as anaesthesia at the dental office. That’s how powerfully it affects me, physically.

Dan Peek, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, the musicians themselves, have lived up to my faith in them. I like to say that there was never a “Behind the Music” documentary done on America because they have lived pretty tame lives. Especially for rock stars. All of them have been able to maintain a life and loved ones outside the fame. As far as I know, they live comfortably, having managed the fortune part. They didn’t squander their lives, their health or their careers, as many of their generation did. They’ve been well behaved. As a dear friend pointed out, good role models for me. Keeping me on, perhaps, a better path in my own life.

I’m not saying that America is everyone’s cup of tea. I know. Though I don’t see anything not to love about them . . . Still this is my bag. Everyone moves to their own rhythm. But the power and influence this music has had on me, well it sometimes feels profound. Certainly Divine.

Today, I thank God for this very Good Gift!

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