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Latin Fest '09

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The storm clouds parted just in time for the music...YES!

...and they resumed right after the last song...felt like Moses and the parting of the waters...lol!

There is something so heartfelt and full of LIFE about latin music! A body just HAS to MOVE to this music...everyone's smiling and having such a great time. What a wonderful way to celebrate summer!

Here are some pics of everyone (even the MAYOR of Binghamton! :-) ) just moving to the music!

Here was a cute distraction I noticed overhead:

"They'll be laughin' & singin' & music swingin' and dancin' in the streets!"

Kudos to the band! Even tho I hadn't a CLUE what they were saying, it was fun to hear the singer and Hispanic members of the crowd kidding back and forth and laughing.

Good time had by all!

Now: SOMEDAY I'll overcome feeling too self-conscious and be one of those dancers out there dancing my heart out!

Terrific ending to the weekend...! This event was sponsored by the City of Binghamton and M & T Bank...kudos to any and all organizations who support the arts! It's events like these which helps to transcend us from the ordinary ho-hum and add QUALITY to our lives! Be sure to let your politicians & businesses which support these events know how much you appreciate them!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULCOLLAGESUE 8/11/2009 11:34PM

    You surprised me, and gave me hope at the same time when you said, "SOMEDAY I'll overcome feeling too self-conscious and be one of those dancers out there dancing my heart out!" I thought you already were! I also remain on the sidelines, to this day. We attended a friends' outdoor, informal wedding, salsa band and all a few weeks ago. I wanted to dance, my husband couldn't bring himself to do it. Though I could have gone out there alone, or joined another couple, I was actually relieved and used him as an excuse. Isn't that sad that we hold ourselves back? I enjoyed the photos and commentary. Thanks for sharing your day.

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ZIRCADIA 8/10/2009 8:07PM

    OH that looks SOOOOOO FUN!!!!!!!! :)

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KASHMIR 8/10/2009 5:09PM

    Thanks for sharing with us, it looks like a FANTASTIC time was had by all!

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LADYWEZ 8/10/2009 5:00AM

    Glad you had a great time. We were on our way there and were driven away by the weather reports. I guess we should have braved it.

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APRILMAY1956 8/10/2009 12:27AM

    Looks like you had a great time. Next year get out and dance, you won't regret it.

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ROYALETBONE 8/9/2009 11:03PM

    Builds community, a sense of place & caring... absolutely! Love the pics.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/9/2009 10:59PM

    Wow! Great pictures! Just seeing that and reading about it makes me want to get up and dance LOL!

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Re-Imagining Oneself!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Recently someone posted the following comment on my SparkPage: "I remember seeing you at convention but I was a bit intimidated to introduce myself... you had been so active on the board pre-convention, and I was more of a 'lurker'... "

It was such a surprise to myself that I could ever seem to be intimidating!

In public, social situations such as the convention *I* tend to be much more of a wall flower...easily intimidated and having to struggle to "put myself out there" and find my "voice" around others. I can be much more animated and spontaneous on a one-to-one basis, but throw me into a room full of people I don't know...? It's a challenge for me to NOT fade into the woodwork...probably a leftover habit from ye olde schooldays playing Dodge ball (such an evil, EVIL game!) in phys. ed. when I was the last one SPLATTED by the ball because I was so good at HIDING up until the end! I remember one occasion when I actually succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?

Anyhow you know the old expression "on the internet nobody knows you're a dog"...?

Well, here on SparkPeople one of the advantages I find is that I am able to "practice" and even "pretend" that I'm much more outgoing than I really am...and hey, if I practice and pretend often enough it starts to become *real* and feels like a part of who I am and MORE like the person I want to be!

It's one of the things I love about the SPARK! And now, in pressing for REAL, face-to-face meet 'n greets with other members of SparkPeople I'm finding even MORE opportunities to make long-desired changes in the way I am around other people.

These thoughts reminded me of a book on therapeutic technique I read a long time ago by Bandler & Grinder: "Frogs Into Princes," which was actually a transcription of a number of their workshops.

In it, they quote Milton Erikson, a world-renowned hypnotherapist who was wheel-chair bound due to polio and often used a story-telling technique in which he would talk about life growing up on the farm in Iowa. These stories were often reportedly deadly dull, however within the stories he would embed therapeutic messages, hypnotic suggestions which were said to have prompted amazing changes in people. Here is the passage from the book and afterward I have a url which takes you to a website where you can read the entire book (not too long either) if you wish. Some pretty innovative ideas there if anyone is interested!

"The last time that I went to see Milton Erickson, he said something to me. And as I was sitting there in front of him, it didn't make sense. Most of his covert metaphors have made... eons of sense to me. But he said something to me which would have taken me a while to figure out. Milton said to me:

"You don't consider yourself a therapist, but you are a therapist." And I said "Well, not really." He said "Well, let's pretend ... that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing ... when you're pretending this ... is to understand... that you are really not.... You are just pretending.... And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending... for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it." And then he looked at me and he said: 'Goodbye.'"


Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-SHAWN- 8/9/2009 9:57PM

    This post makes me think of all those boxes where you're suppose to describe yourself...

I never have a clue as to what I should write. I don't know me.

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    I love your humor! How you humbly describe painful experiences. Your Dodge Ball experience stays with me: "...succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?"

I had seen that member's comment, and it stayed with me, too. I looked at your before photo, then convention photo, and saw how thin (read: fit) can be interpreted differently. You certainly exuded confidence at the convention. Maybe those of us not yet well-versed in confidence misunderstand it as intimidation.

Thanks for the Milton quote and link, and another enjoyable blog. Your writing remains true to the Don I am getting to know: Welcoming, honest, and without pretense.

P.S. I liked the title of your blog. It brought to mind a SoulCollage card I created a couple of years ago called "Made in My Own Image" - slightly different title, same sentiment. Go, Don!

Comment edited on: 8/9/2009 3:27:40 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/8/2009 1:43PM


Reminds me of all of us in grad school sitting around bemoaning the idea that we were all frauds and didn't know everything we were supposed to, and that our professors would some day realize this and kick us out.

As the years went by (we were working on PhDs in genetics, which takes a while) and we became more sophisticated we started to notice that the professors were "faking it" too... And then we finally realized that if you work hard enough and fake it well enough, it's just the same as really doing it.

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ROYALETBONE 8/8/2009 3:05AM

    Ahh- a wallflower in bloom.
Thanks for the link--- I perused a few pages on my pitifully small screen- it's been a long time since I read that book. I want to go get it and read it again.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Got up, put in 45 mins. on treadmill first thing...later in the morning I had a "walk 'n talk" with a client of mine prone to depression. It always feels good when clients begin to see and feel the boost from walking!

But the BEST part was that although the weather was supposed to be stormy it was PERFECT! High 70's, clear blue skies and lots of sunshine, low humidity...got out with wife after work to go to the park together and went jogging/speed walking for another 50 mins...woo hoo!

I don't push myself to jog very often but every time I'm amazed that I'm actually JOGGING! Jogged further than I ever have before too!

Lot's of other walkers, runners, bikers out also...everybody smiling and just steeped in good will...mighty fine day! :-)


PS...sharing a chuckle posted by one of my SparkTeam members:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are so inspirational! Way to go!!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/6/2009 7:35AM

    NY is a beautiful state, I can't wait for our visit there! My husband & I are gonna do alot of hiking. I loved that link by the way!

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ROYALETBONE 8/6/2009 1:58AM

    Wow- jogging! What an athletic feat that is.
Loved the link.. Thanks!

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ZIRCADIA 8/5/2009 11:09PM

    WOOHOO on jogging! I want some of THAT weather please! :)

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    Isn't it great to be outdoors and share it with other equally appreciative folks! emoticon

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Take Me To The Wide Open Waters!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Although the weather was VERY intimidating earlier today (heavy showers!), four VERY fortunate members of SparkPeople persisted and we DID IT! And did we ever have a BLAST!

Between the four of us, we had THREE counties represented...by myself as one of the Binghamton SparkTeam leaders, the co-leaders of the Ithaca SparkTeam (ORIGAMIFREAK & CARRIE1948) and one of the Syracuse SparkTeam leaders (KRISLEEB & her daughter)! The rain dwindled to nothing so Mother Nature smiled on us...(I think I have to give some credit to ROYALETBONE & her 'anti-rain' dance...lol!).

It was only my second time kayaking, but I LOVED it...broke out into the wide open waters of Cayuga Lake with Cornell and the Ithaca community surrounding the lake. I saw BIG FISH just leaping outta the water, ducks & geese skimming and skipping across the water as they were either landing or taking off...

My arms got a super workout...feeling it now...! :-)

ORIGAMIFREAK brought her camera in a waterproof case and we were able to capture some super pics! Check 'em out!


We met another fellow kayaker who was kind enough to take a number of the pics...also filled him in on SparkPeople...hey, ya never know...lol!

For me, one of the most gratifying parts of this journey I've been on since joining SparkPeople has been to finally do ALL those things I've allowed to pass me by earlier on in my life...this is the stuff that I find SO MOTIVATING! Reclaiming my LIFE! Woo hoo! :-)

Hoping to organize another kayaking event later this month...YES!

Hoping this finds everyone on the tail end of a most SPARK-FILLED weekend!


PS...We're doing it AGAIN at Whitney Point August 30th...anyone interested in joining us...? Check out this message thread! www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 8/3/2009 11:40PM

    I'm not a water person, but that sounds really great. Hope your arms are feeling a bit better this evening - wooo! Great pics emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 8/3/2009 4:57PM

    I WANT TO GO KAYAKING!!!!!!!!!!! :D That looks soooooo fun!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/3/2009 12:43PM

    Yep, it was lots of fun. Although I live around here, I hadn't been in Cayuga lake before. I usually go on Seneca lake because it's near my house.

The artificial shoals on the side of the channel between the red lights surprised me! Nothing like suddenly running aground in the middle of nowhere and hearing Things scraping along the bottom of your month-old boat...

P.S. It was technically 4 counties represented (but 3 spark teams), since I live in Seneca Co and Carrie lives in Tompkins Co (Ithaca/Fingerlakes theoretically could cover as many as 6 counties. I'm not sure what the actual number is from where all our members live.)

Comment edited on: 8/3/2009 5:43:02 PM

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ZELLAZM 8/3/2009 6:44AM

    This looks like fun - I may see about doing some canoeing while I'm in FL! Thanks for the good travel wishes...I'm looking forward to my trip!


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ROYALETBONE 8/3/2009 3:13AM

    Cayuga & you look good together.
I'm obsessed with getting my paper mache kayak into the water... but trying to make sure she will be usable more than a couple of times. I love to kayak!

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THANIA1 8/3/2009 2:02AM

    awesome , looks like you had lots of fun.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 8/2/2009 11:21PM

    Don..... Glad you had a lot of fun. Now you need to learn how to fly fish. We go out in pontoon boats which is as much fun as Kayaking.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/2/2009 11:13PM

    Oh boy! You DID go! I'm glad you had a great time!

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A Wise Woman's Stone

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A fellow member of SparkPeople recommended this site to me:


To me, this story from MotivateUs.com had SparkPeople written all over it!

A Wise Woman's Stone

A wise woman, who was traveling in the mountains, found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."

--- Author Unknown

When I read this story, it occurred to me that here at SparkPeople.com we're all giving each other, drawing out from one another this special ability to give away our precious stones. All our stories, posts, SparkGoodies...we give them away and keep growing and SPARKING our way through life!

Just wanted to pass this along with gratitude for all of you in our SparkPeople community!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 8/3/2009 2:14PM

    Thanks for this wonderful thought. I think the world needs more people that are willing to give even if what they are giving is precious. Thanks for all your giving and support of others.

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DENNIS48 7/31/2009 12:48PM

    That woman must have been stoned.

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MOV4WARD 7/29/2009 7:55PM

    Thanks! wonderful! Sparking has changed my life in profound ways, the best of which is knowing i'm not alone with the struggle! Glad we're sparking2gether :)

(snags) copy, folds & puts in pocket.

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TRAINOF4 7/29/2009 3:14PM

    I LOVE that story. The moral is good - I will share it with as many people as possible. Our world would be a far better place for everyone if we could all learn the lesson of giving.

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CARRIE1948 7/29/2009 9:53AM

    What a lovely way to reinforce the benefits of giving and receiving.

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ROYALETBONE 7/29/2009 1:08AM

    What a wonderful post. I'm feeling so lucky to have run into you.... and your wonderful blogs.
Let's keep sharing our precious tales, one with another.

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CAOMAGIC 7/29/2009 12:15AM

    If we each exchange a dollar, we each have a dollar. If we each exchange ideas, we each have two ideas.

I am very greatful for the Sparkpeople community.

Cindy O.

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