40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
Robert picked a bouquet in the field beside our house yesterday. Robin's photo.

Daffy-down-dilly is now come to town / With a petticoat green & a bright yellow gown

February wild flower beside the driveway. Robin's photo.

I have 50 pics in my gallery


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Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. --Rainer Maria Rilke

The Spring Equinox March 20, 2014 heralds the coming of new life, of green peeking out all over, of blossoms, of folliage filling out the trees, of warmer days. Blessed be!

What is up with me?

~ My latest dream which is slowly evolving into something closer to reality is to drive my camper out to California beginning latter May, in the warmth of springtime weather. 1) I love road trips 2) I fear I must sell the camper, for my financial situation is so sparse 3) The ...
The Spring Equinox March 20, 2014 heralds the coming of new life, of green peeking out all over, of blossoms, of folliage filling out the trees, of warmer days. Blessed be!

What is up with me?

~ My latest dream which is slowly evolving into something closer to reality is to drive my camper out to California beginning latter May, in the warmth of springtime weather. 1) I love road trips 2) I fear I must sell the camper, for my financial situation is so sparse 3) The market value of it is up to double what it would be here in Arkansas 4) I can touch down on native soil, looking in on beloved friends, after much too much time being away.

~ December of 2013 I completed the BA in Spanish.

~ The longed-for six-day meditation retreat with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, "Healing Yourself, Healing the World" Sept 24-29 was all I could have hoped for and more. Three friends and I trundled to Magnolia Grove Monastery near Batesville, Mississippi in my sweet little camper, Kurma (Turtle) Avatara. Two of us slept in the camper and two in a tent.

~ The newest addition to my 3-D SparkFriends is
DRAGONFLY7149, aka Gail. Gail and Bob live in BC, Canada and they flew to Orlando where they rented a car; I road-tripped there from AR. We rendezvoused at a lovely lakeside cottage near Huntsville, Alabama for four days of fun and friendship in May, 2013.

~ I returned March 19, 2013 from a three-month sojourn in the foothills of the Andes of northern Ecuador, Land of the Eternal Springtime, renewed in body, mind, and spirit. I wrote photo-journals (Spark blogs #1-#8, Ecuador, 2013) offering a glimpse of my travels.

~During my travels, thanks in large part to SparkPeople, I have had the joy to meet, and in many cases stay with, the first 5 rows of SparkFriends, ending with the Venerable Spark Guy, Chris Downie himself, who I met at a Spark Rally in 2009!

~I am committed to optimal body*mind*spirit health to help attune me to that "still small voice" within that is signaling the way to the next signpost on the Path.
An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

~ In the meantime, I intend to...

"...have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

~The shape my life will morph into in the foreseeable future is a mystery -- I'm trying to "live the questions now" with grace, letting go of all anxiety about the future. Oh, and anyway T. S. Eliot tells us...

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Bottom line in all of this is:

"Don't take life too serious -- it's all just so mysterious!"
-- George Gershwin


And here's more "kitchen table" wisdom:

Your personal history is not your true identity. Don't let the past define who you are.
-- Eckhart Tolle
Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music
-- Aulus Cornelius Celsus (50-25 BC), Physician
My actions are my true belongings. They are the ground on which I stand.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Fifth Remembrance
CARPE MOMENTUM! (Seize the moment!)
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
barn's burnt down;
now I can see
the moon
-- Masahide
Usually we think that brave people have no fear.
The truth is they are intimate with fear.
-- Pema Chodron
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
-- William James
Where attention goes, energy flows.
-- James Redfield
Choices are the hinges of destiny.
-- Pythagoras
Self-conquest is the greatest of victories.
-- Plato
Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
-- Lao Tzu
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit
-- Aristotle
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
-- The Buddha
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
-- Bob Marley, Redemption Song
The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
-- Marcus Aurelius
The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.
-- Marcus Aurelius
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato
If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you,"
that would suffice.
-- Meister Eckhart
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
-- Cynthia Ozick
To lengthen thy life,
lessen thy meals.
-- Benjamin Franklin
Never eat more than you can lift.
-- Miss Piggy
It's better to start at night than not at all!
Losing weight is hard; maintaining is hard; pick your hard.
-- Vegetarian Board friends
Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.
-- Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
Read More About VALERIEMAHA (Updated March 21)

Current Status:
VALERIEMAHA The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one's life. (Cont'd.)
set 10 hours ago



My Ticker:

 current weight: 140.5 

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Member Since: 6/2/2006

SparkPoints: 49,561

Fitness Minutes: 40,384

My Goals:
~ know joy

~ no judgment

~ love and respect body-mind-spirit

My Program:
~ Daily meditation
and pranayama practice

~ Daily gratitudes journaling

~ Exercise at least 10 min./day

~ Daily posting on SP Food & Fitness Trackers

~ 20 min. strength training every-other day

Personal Information:
I'm a California native, and I have lived primarily in northern CA/San Francisco Bay Area when not traveling or living out-of-state or internationally.

I currently live near Little Rock, AR. I returned to school to pick up a degree in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013!

I'm a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I have also developed various service projects in Ecuador.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my primary teacher.

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole organic foods, plant-based diet since 1980. I enjoy cooking delicious food with *attitude.*

Other Information:
I love a good movie (e.g., The Visitor; Iris; The Man Who Sued God; Bella) or read (authors Mary Catherine Bateson and Jill Ker Conway are current favorites). I also read sacred texts and other spiritual books, and Swami Satchidananda, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh are among favorite wisdom writers.

As a wimpy Pisces swimming around in the cosmic ocean with lots of air influence, I don't like books or movies too negative, or intense or horrific. My delicate sensibility is easily thrown off-balance. Really.

Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Whyte, John O'Donohue, Pablo Neruda and Rumi are favorite poets. And music! From Angelique Kidjo and Amadeus Mozart to Diana Krall and Krishna Das...and a world in-between!

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Member Comments:
4/17/2014 12:56:10 AM

Thank you for lovin' on my gratitudes emoticon
The good news from my publisher is that a six book fiction series I pitched is going to be approved for Fall 2015. I can't express in words how exciting this is for me. I've been dreaming of writing (but have been too afraid to manifest it) for almost 20 years.
I've turned a corner in myself, and it's beautiful.

And how are you, dear Maha? emoticon

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4/15/2014 8:34:06 PM

You are so sweet.

No I haven't watched it. I'm glad you are enjoying it.

I am wiped out and off to bed now at 6:33 pm emoticon

Have a nice evening my friend.

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4/11/2014 7:27:12 PM

.....especially the green ones!

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4/11/2014 5:52:24 PM

Thanks for the kind comment my dear! It is my absolute pleasure to show support for my SP buds.....and, come to think of it, buds of all kinds!!


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4/7/2014 2:18:26 AM

I am grateful for every thoughtful, thought-provoking, and inspirational quote you've posted; I'm grateful for all the wonderful links you've posted; I'm grateful for your presence here in my virtual life; I'm grateful that you have an adventurous spirit; I'm grateful that you listen to your heart and follow your spirit...but still, I'm sad; you will be missing from this world and greatly missed.
You are a light, bright and beautiful. emoticon

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