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In Chellie Campbell’s wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, she talks about how with all our mod cons (modern conveniences) we’ve lost the art of doing nothing.  After spending 2 days without power, I’ll take the mod cons, thank you.

The experience of being without power reminded me how blessed we are to expect to wake up warm and able to choose from a wide variety of foods.  What magic it truly is to flip a switch and have light, turn a knob and have water.  With a little patience, it will get hot, too.  Put pressure on a handle and whisk away any offending odors.  Push a button, click a mouse and have instant access to almost limitless entertainment and information. The immediate communication of email is the stuff of science fiction.  Mod cons do so much for our lives!  We felt lucky to have mod con cell phones when the land lines were down, plastic containers to collect ice, and an efficient refrigerator.

The mod cons are so integrated into our lives we barely take notice of how amazing they are, until they’re absent.  In the midst of it, when I knew full well we had no power, every room I walked into, I’d try to turn on the light.  Without thinking we pass by  these marvels day in and day out.

Perhaps we find it hard to do nothing because it’s so easy to do something. We’re not used to having to find something to do. The sun rises, the Internet is up. Television.  Pandora.  Phone. In my house, it’s movies, but the effects are the same.  We have all become just a little too addicted to these constant companions.  Life seems empty and boring without them.

During the outtage the neighbors gathered at the house with the generator.  There was much flurry around the television, charging cell phone batteries and checking emails.  It had only been 12 hours!

I missed my favorite TV shows, of course, but I also found myself longing for even a glimpse of another series we’ve been watching.  Sapphire and Steel.  It’s very 60’s stylish sci-fi series, I find hard to follow and left with nightmarish images.  But even that I would prefer to the same four walls.

Another neighbor, without cell phone or computer on a normal day, admitted how much she missed her TV.  And that she and her boyfriend talked more than they usually did.

Our mod cons are so important to our lives and how we live them.  But maybe they do prevent us from having to face our fellow beings on a more intimate and deep level.  It’s certainly possible.  It could be though, that we just forgot how to make idle conversation or sit quietly with another person.

I’d have to say it would take more than 2 days for me to detox.  But I intend to be better prepared in the future. There are practical matters I can take into consideration for staying warm and eating.  I wonder if I can better handle the denial of my plug-ins?

I’ll start by remembering how truly miraculous our mod cons.  And try not to take them so much for granted. And I will watch my dependencies and see where I can reduce.  Maybe start small and try music from time to time instead of television and see where it leads.

Curiosity is one of those magical things.  Anyone who has fairly normal brain function can use it.  It is available whenever and wherever you need it. As with all the spells of doing, the magic is activated simply by using your wand of choice.

Curiosity, fueled by imagination, can take you far.  It invites you to ask why, or how about, and what if. No matter where you are or what your situation, the questions posed from these can open wide vistas of possibilities.  Right before your eyes.

One can get onto the scent of curiosity, leading to all kinds of things. Good and bad.  There are no limits. Curiosity pulls you forward, your imagination tempting you with bigger and better.

Take a quick look around.  Everything you see started from someone’s curiosity.  Could I make something that would allow me to speak to someone outside of shouting range?  What if we could make a record of a musical performance so others could hear it?

Curiosity leads to solutions.  If I can’t do it this way, is there another way?  Add some imagination to see what could be.  Before you know it, the answer will be there.

Try pulling out Curiosity the next time you meet someone, have to start all over, or are making plans.  I promise, it will liven things up!  You never know where you can go.  Okay, it might not be Fiji, but maybe you can find something like it.

It’s always better to reach for the stars than to settle for what is in front of you.  Using Curiosity and Imagination you’ll see lots of shiny orbs to reach for.

I had a few more thoughts on the subject.  (See Part 1 below.)

What about recycling?  Using again what you have is environmentally sound.

I also thought about tapping into your passion.  Using your joy to motivate and fuel you.  That’s a renewable source.

There’s also using your thoughts to feel the way you want to feel.  That can create very powerful magic!


As my 30 days of giving closes I’m pondering what I learned from it all ~

I have to admit, I wasn’t successful in all my attempts.  I was pleased to find, however, that many of the spots at food banks and such were already filled. This is a popular time of year for these things.  In some cases, I had to step out of the box of traditional giving.

What I discovered is that if you hold the intention to give, if you go at your whole life with an eye for ways to give, things will magically appear for you to do. Sure, it helps to have a plan.  It pays to sign up and get on lists, but sometimes the most wonderful opportunities are the ones you simply stay open for.

The giving attitude can grow. This intention gives you room to acknowledge when you give. This has the effect of increasing good feelings on both sides, but also, more opportunities to serve. Just noticing is an amazing expander.  It works well for gratitude, as well.  You can feel good by giving, by seeing the effect of that giving and in the reliving of it as you write it down and notice all the ways there are to give.

Giving is like a bunch of roses. Susan Jeffers, in her most elegant way, suggests pretending someone gives you 50 roses.  From her book, End the Struggle and Dance with Life,” you are instructed to find people you can give these loving roses to.  She also adds to write down and keep track of the 50.  She says you won’t need to be given any more. By the time you’ve given away 50, you’ll be on a roll and just continuing to look for recipients of your kind and loving roses.  I like that!

I hope that I can continue my attitude of giving into the New Year. I’m going to start the year with 50 roses and see where it goes!

Friends and family alike told me watching the movies was NOT the way to experience Harry Potter.  That I had to read the books.  When I finally did it, I took it one step better and listened to the amazing Jim Dale read them.  But, when I finished each book, I watched the movies again.

The first time through the movies, I found that I tended to fall asleep in them.  I thought maybe that was because I liked the world so much, felt so good in it, I was lulled into sleep.

Now, as I make my way through them again, I’m finding both good and bad points to the film versions.

I did start with the movies so I always picture the characters as the actors who portrayed them.  I have to say, excellent performances all the way around. The kids were surprisingly good.  Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltraine . . .  need I say more?  No complaints with the cast.

Part of the fun of the movies is that you get to see some of the sights come alive.  Very often, I was not disappointed.  It’s quite amazing what you can do with money and talent.  When they portrayed some of the more elaborate adventures, I was duly impressed. The Tri-Wizard Tournament comes to mind.  The trip into the cave at the shoreline was good, too.  As was, I thought, the Ministry of Magic.  Some scenes they didn’t even try.  Like the Quiddich World Cup – I was hoping to see a lot more of that. I just saw The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and I was sorely disappointed in the tent.  I had thought it would be bigger inside.  That would’ve been easy to do.  I never even saw a kitchen.  I wasn’t too happy with Sirius’ house either. It seemed so much more interesting in the book.

Perhaps the biggest problems I found with the movies were the choices of what to include and what not to.  I have seen enough movies to know that some of those choices were made for dramatic effect.  And perhaps in some cases, some were left out because they were just too complicated to pull off.  The trickier ones were, I think, in the dialog.  I found several places where pertinent information was left out.  So much so, that if I didn’t know better, I would’ve been confused.  My husband, who is very clever and never misses a thing, asked me questions. (It’s usually the other way around.)  Some of these holes could’ve been filled with just a line or two.  I don’t know why they were skipped.

 I now think that the reason I feel asleep when I first watched the movies was because I was completely lost.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done a review.  In order to counteract the commuting blues, I’ve been listening to Harry Potter books.

Up until this point I had only seen the movies. I enjoyed them very much, but I like all that magic and sorcery stuff.  The movies where a wonderful escape and better than average entertainment. But truthfully, I’m not sure I understood what all the fuss was about.  Friends and family alike, who had read the books. looked down their noses at me for only seeing it through the movies.

As a side note, let me say that the gentleman who reads the books for the audio version is marvelous, doing voices for everyone.  It brings it alive in a way that silent reading never could. The voices echo in my head long after the CD has been tucked away.

But it is the story of Harry Potter, along with the characters that make it so special.  After listening to the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” I went back to the movie.  What I saw shocked me.  As I said, I had gotten a kick out of it the first time. But this time I noticed how lightly the characters were sketched. How could anyone know who these people were?  I couldn’t believe I could’ve followed the story when great swatches were left out and new unnecessary scenes put in. When Dumbledore gave Hermione 50 points for using logic, why didn’t my logic ask. “Where did she do that?”  A small scene that probably could’ve been done without much fuss.  Where Hermione reads the instructions  and figures out which bottle isn’t poisonous, without using magic.  Done. Explained.  I know there are restraints in film making.  It really would not have made any sense to go through Uncle Vernon Dursley’s thinking that the book begins with. It’s nearly impossible to get the full range of the characters or scenes, I know that.  I just couldn’t believe how light it all felt.  They were so right.

Back to the book, I believe that story first, character second is what makes this so memorable. The story has great appeal for children, but also for adults. Perhaps the children miss some of the more subtle aspects, but not enough to detract from the adventure. It’s so wonderful and magical to go through their years at school, one by one, slowly watching as events from the past unfold, influence and crack open the present.

It’s a story with heart, so that even if you’ve never played “Quidditch” or taken a potions class, you can find a place to relate.  Harry’s longing to know his parents and find out who he is touches all hearts, whether a wizard or not.

The characters are a delicious variety of good guys, bad guys, friends and foes.  Professor Snape who seems so sinister, lurking around, wishing he could be the Defense Against the Black Arts teacher, secretly helping Harry.  Hagrid, big and bumbling, with such a soft inside. How can you not love someone who owns a vicious, three headed monster dog and calls him Fluffy? Harry himself is multi-dimensional character: half whining pedestrian kid and half great wizard with courage and cunning.  Dumbledore, the greatest head master in school history, one of the greatest wizards ever has a sparkle in his eyes and always speaks calmly. Each character is carefully drawn out.

A mark of a great writer is the details. And JK Rowling has given us so many palpable ones.  I love the way she marks the seasons with bits about the weather. The devices she uses to move the arc along shows you are in the hands of a master storyteller. The things she chooses make the story come alive and sparkle, down to the chocolate frogs with moving pictures of great wizards and witches for collecting and trading.

I am completely absorbed and don’t care a whit about the traffic!



Politeness brings to mind things like courtesy, respect, manners, consideration.  All powerful words, holding the potential for good things to follow.

There are certainly those who practice politeness.  In the morning at the convenient store, my heart is lightened by the patrons holding doors for each other.  Once in a while another driver will let me in, when I ask with my blinker. If you look, you will see signs of politeness.

But I’ve also noticed lately — mostly in teenagers — people who don’t bother to say “excuse me” or forget to hold the door, refuse to let you in.  Now, I know, there are those who have a lot on their minds. Tell me, though, how much space does it take?  It surprises me that more teens (and adults) do not regularly practice it.  Being polite creates magic!

Think of the old story:  A man is yelled at by his boss.  Comes home and is mean to his wife, who is short with the child, who kicks the cat.  Just a little kindness and politeness can instantly stop that process.  You can, just by taking a moment to be nice to someone, start a chain reaction that can spread throughout the world!

When people ask, “What can I, just a little person in my small corner of the planet, do to help the human race?”  Politeness.  Doing even a small kindness can make someone’s day, who will then feel more like making someone else’s day. This carpet of good will can go a long way towards curing what ails human beings.

I believe it may be based in respect.  Having respect for yourself, you’re more likely to have respect for others.  You need to find a space where you care about someone else.

To heck with all that!  Just think about all the good which can come from just a small amount of effort.  Why wouldn’t anyone, even a teenager, want to feel that power?  In the end it is power.  Powerful magic.  To think that just by holding a door for someone, or saying “excuse me” when you step in front of them, you could be touching the lives of many hundreds of people!  Not just the person you’ve helped, but those who witness your kindness as well.  We certainly understand how things can spread on the Internet. Why can’t it work, just as well, on the physical plane?

Not only do you have the power to effect tons of people, you can also do wonders for yourself.  Let’s say you’re feeling lousy.  Your boss yelled at you, or you were cut off on the highway, maybe you’re just depressed about something going on in your life.  Do something kind for someone else and feel the warmth spread across your chest.

Just imagine. . .  You could do wonders for your own health and, at the same time, create a healing ripple that could reach someone on the other side of the planet!   All by the slightest movement of your hand, or a quick utterance, the tiniest act of kindness.  I’d call that magic.

Thank you so much for listening.

There is a change I need to make. It’s not one I relish, but one that will make things easier.  The outcome I want is clear.  The steps are obvious.  

However, there’s a delicate balance to maintain.  It’s important to hold onto the vision of how I wish it to be when the changes are made. But I must also leave myself open. If I allow the Universe to work Its magic, through me, things will turn out far better than I imagine.  I’ve seen it happen before.

It is my job to pinpoint the essences, the features I want.  Then I just need to stay in the present moment, taking the necessary steps, putting out action energy.  The trick is to stay in the belief of the result I choose. While not clinging to the image. Sort of like surfing, I suspect. To roll with what is, do what needs to be done, but not fight the waves.

Still, I balk.  I like things as they are.  I might say they are comfortable.  But are they really?  There seems to be an almost equal number of discomforts. This makes it hard to generate the proper motivation to get moving. Here is where my vision can fuel me, inspire me, get me on the board.

Once I’m on it, though, I must rest into faith to keep going.  Releasing my vision to soar out over the ocean and bring back something beyond my dreams!

I was reading an excerpt from “The Wealthy Spirit,” by Chellie Campbell.  She told the story of having lunch with friends and talking about all the things they wanted to achieve success.  Someone at the table pointed out that success is not all fun and games – there is a down side.

Yikes!  I don’t go for that.  Though I suppose I can allow there may be some things about “success” that are not as pleasant as others.  The upshot of the reading was that if you want success, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it, to accept whatever it brings.

My point is that success is in the eye of the beholder.  Depending on how you define it, every bit can be good.  For me, if I had lots of people praising my work, and telling me they got a lot from it, I could keep a smile on my face and happily greet strangers.  With plenty of praise and encouragement, those critics are a lot easier to handle.  I wouldn’t  even mind traveling so much if I could put up a few boundaries to keep my balance.  When we feel successful simply by being alive, aware, breathing and able to love, what’s the down side?

I’m of the mind (or is it the heart?) that if you want what you have, you always have what you want.  That’s successful!  The magic of life begins there. Every moment is a success and everything that happens merely another aspect of that success.

Here’s to everyone’s success!

I love Thanksgiving.  Not because of the turkey – I don’t eat turkey.  Not the big meal.  Heaven knows I don’t need that!  Being with family and friends is always a pleasure, but that’s not it either.  I love Thanksgiving because it’s a celebration of Gratitude and I believe in the power of Giving Thanks.

All the spiritual teachers encourage thankfulness. Chellie Campbell plays the “Glad Game.”  Cheryl Richardson, the “Thank You Game.”  They want us to know it’s fun, easy and extremely healthful to regularly recite what you’re grateful for.

There is not one person I know that, given a few moments of peace, couldn’t rattle off a dozen or so things to be grateful for. The air we breathe, the beauty of nature, family and friends.  All that we need.  Pretty good digs to live in.  A song that fills you, a movie that lifts your heart, a book that enriches or delights. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

Just think what the world would be like if everyone held gratitude in their heart all the time!  It’s as easy as coming up with 5 things you’re grateful every day.  Watch that quadruple as you open your eyes to see even more. Paying attention to the things you have, rather than the things you don’t, will leave you feeling full and generous.

Look at what thankfulness can do when you’re in the midst of some not-so-glad stuff. Come up with a handful of reasons to be grateful for a person you’re angry at or estranged from, or something you’re not happy about. Then, without saying a word, watch the nature of the situation change to something that’s easier to hold in your heart. Gratitude paves the way for forgiveness. And forgiveness is the ointment that mends all tears. Like magic.

Cheryl Richardson suggests remembering to be grateful for the people who don’t usually hear it.  Any time I can tell these people how thankful I am for the work they do for me.  The staff of my insurance agent’s office who are always so kind and helpful.  The reference librarian who finds exactly the information I need.  The mail lady who brings packages to my door when it’s raining.

I wish for everyone lots of reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving and every moment of every day thereafter.

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