Tuesday, April 01, 2014
The Iris is an amazing flower. It is a flower that is strong and has courage. It can survive and withstand storms, long winters, and even poor and difficult soil. It does not give up. The ancient greeks used the Iris as a symbol of faith and hope. I see it as a symbol of strength and steadfastness.
As a gardner, I love the Iris. I have bulbs that originally came from gardens of my mother, and even grandmother, going back over 100 years. I have dug them up and moved them from house to house, over decades. They give me a sense of connection, history, and fond memories. Like a Ted Kooser, or Robert Frost poem, when I look upon my Iris beds, I have a sense of appreciation and remembrance of earlier times and lives that were once important.
I will be digging up my Irises again soon as we are moving to a new town. I will plant them in their new home and they will soon be at play and giving strength and beauty.
I will be leaving Spark People for a while. I am not sure how long. When I return, I hope to return like the Iris, having replanted myself, and beginning to grow again.
Best wishes and prayers for anyone who may read this.
Friday, March 07, 2014
In my morning meditation I remembered this poem and found it on the poet's website.
I want to share it with Spark Friends.
The Opening of Eyes
That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
-- David Whyte
"….the opening of eyes long closed." A Spark wish for all of us this spring.
Best wishes for the remainder of March, and for the season of lent.
Saturday, March 01, 2014
To stop, and look at where you are in relation to where you have been brings up many mixed feelings. But I think it important. Especially, when we are trying to improve, and get some place beyond where we are now.
In that spirit I decided to grade myself now that it is the end of February, on how well I did on each of my February goals.
Goals and Grades
1). -Exercise 5 days a week (including 2 days in the gym doing resistance exercise).
I can honestly say that I exercised three days a week, forcing myself to the gym at least one day a week. Blame it on the cold, frigid Michigan winter we have had in February. I didn't get outside as much and I really find gyms boring. Or you can blame it on me. I just need to do better here.
2) -Meditation, spiritual reading, mindfulness daily for 10 minutes.
Grade B+ Did well most days. I am keeping books sitting around handy to pick up and read for a few minutes. That was the key. I want to keep this going, especially now that lent is upon us. I intend to pull out and re read "Purpose Driven Life" and essays by John O Donahue, which a do in lent. So this one will be kind of easy.
3)-Mindful eating……every day. Try to make this a habit. Try again.
Grade C+. it certainly makes a difference when one practices it.. I have to work on this one, and make it a goal again. it seems counter productive to mindfully eat potato chips.
4)-Gratitude every day. Relax, breathe and appreciate.
Grade A. No problem. If I ever get off track I go to my favorite website, Gratefulness.org,
5) -Give someone support, encouragement, compliment, every day.
Grade B+. I put this one foremost in my mind for February. It seemed to work well. It is fun. Will keep doing it.
6) -Water 8 glasses daily.
Grade F. Enough said. Call me a slouch on this one. Will make it a goal again.
7) -Lots of fruits and veges always and daily.
Grade A-. This one is ok. There is not even an effort required.
8) -Daily effort to make contact with friends, family. E mails, text messages will count.
Grade A-. This one turned out to be kind of fun also. Not time consuming with all the ways we can communicate these days. A quick text message, or e mail hello, even, , makes a difference with a family member or old friend.
9) -Calorie tracking daily.
Grade D-. OK Bill….. get it together on this one. I think it is important. So if I really value it I guess I should do it. .
In spite of my mixed grading results I did manage to lose a couple of pounds. But the grades will help me set goals for March. Some Feb goals came easy. Others did not. The goals I did not do well with will take front and center for the month of March and will be my primary set of goals. It is all good. We are all human and we all keep on trying.
Best wishes to you all in March
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Love this little poem. Inspiring and motivating. Much gratitude to my Spark Friend , Maha, for introducing me to the Panhala daily poetry website.
Hope you enjoy this friends…..
Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits -
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs,
if you don't get up and see.
~ Rita Dove ~
(On the Bus with Rosa Parks)
Saturday, February 15, 2014
This week I watched myself balance the two selves (the bad and the good). Self awareness is a beautiful thing (sometimes).
We (my wife and I ) were in a hotel room in Houston this week. She is a patient at the MD Anderson Cancer Center where she is followed for her Stage 4 Lymphoma. We flew there from Michigan (Corporate Angel Network) for her 6 month check up to see if she is still in remission (contrary to all predictions, she is.).
I explain this because the situation was a little nerve wracking while waiting for the end of the week appointment with the Oncologist. And what does Bill do when he gets nervous …… tasty snacks. More calories that I should have, to be sure.
I was fully aware of what I was doing. Little bits, here and there throughout the day and week. Nothing real significant… can of Coke (I usually rarely drink it), some potato chips (hardly ever eat them anymore)… a piece of chocolate, then a second piece, etc…… the list goes on.
Because I was (somewhat) self-aware …. I knew the ‘bad self ‘was rearing it ugly head… so I tried real hard to recognize and at least keep some semblance of self control. It seems I made a conscious choice to I just let the bad behavior be there to some degree . Not sure if that was the correct thing to do but I gave into it. I think I was hoping it would run its course. I was actually planning for it to run its course. I did , after all, recognize I had some control over this..
So the ‘good self ‘ had not left entirely either. . There was lots of down time and waiting time until the end of the week appointment. So I went walking every day. Exploring the neighborhood…. Checking out a huge lovely city park. Every day I had my 10000+ steps on my pedometer. 4 mile walks, and little short ones throughout the day. I felt I was doing at least something to not be totally self destructive for the week.
The net result…. No weight gain…. Stayed the same for the week. Not my goal for the challenge I am in…. but it seems ok. Not sure what I learned about myself… expect that maybe by accepting my own humanness we can move forward…..
I guess that is what we all are all trying to do…. Keep moving forward.
I might add… it helped to have the SP Winter Challenge looming over me throughout the week. I kept thinking about the weigh in and self-reporting I would have to do. That part was all good. And I think if kept my from going totally out of control.
In the words of the great thinker and spiritual advisor, Popeye….
Get An Email Alert Each Time BILLB000 Posts