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True Beauty

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Jane Goodall

How do we measure ourselves? In our journey toward health, well being, and strength it is easy to get sidetracked by superficial images of beauty. We are bombarded with images portraying beauty as glamor; a beautiful woman is young, thin, wrinkle free, and 'enhanced'. It is easy to fall into the trap of measuring our own beauty against a model image that is not only digitally and/or surgically enhanced, it is ultimately hollow.

As we age, it is hard not to inspect and assess our bodies harshly. Wrinkles, uneven skin tone, tummies that are no longer flat, lumps and bumps that didn't used to be there, appear in our mirrors and become a self referencing focus.

But is our beauty really measured by that, or is it actually measured by the character of our souls, the lives we've led, the positive impact we have had on this world, our kindness, the difficulties we had struggled with and ascended?

The beauty of a super model will fade quickly and be she will be replaced by a younger, cosmetically enhanced model and fade into oblivion. True beauty reflects a strength of character and a commitment to sharing that strength with others.

Here are a few of my favorite beautiful women...


Rosa Parks

Mother Teresa

Thubten Chodron

Winona LaDuke

Maya Angelou

Aung San Suu Kyi

Tina Turner

Joan Baez

Toni Morrison

Georgia O'Keefe

Neva Powell

Here's to all of my gorgeous Spark Friends. Look in the mirror and see the REAL you.

Share your authentic beauty with the world.

Love,
Chris

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILVERWITCH59 2/8/2010 7:52PM

    emoticon

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SELINASART 2/8/2010 3:27PM

    You are gorgeous! These women are indeed all beautiful, as are you.

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BUSYBRE 2/7/2010 1:47PM

    Oh yes keep adding to it! How wonderful!!

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PATTYSH 2/7/2010 1:27PM

    And ..... my personal favorite, Mary Draper Ingles--though we don't have any picture or drawing of her. If you don't know who I mean, read FOLLOW THE RIVER by Jim Thom. Its a very inspiring story!

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LMB-ESQ 2/7/2010 12:51PM

    So many beautiful women! Thanks for sharing and thanks for reminding us that age has a certain beauty all its own. I also love Georgia O'Keefe, and I find Jane Goodall to be an inspiration. And as far as looks... well, I hope I possess HALF of Tina Turner's looks and poise when I'm her age!

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BUSYBRE 2/7/2010 11:32AM

    wonderful blog (again) ... one of my favourites is Georgia O'Keefe, an American painter ... but there are so many wonderful women aren't there!

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RASTUS55 2/7/2010 10:29AM

    I would expect such a blog from a beautiful woman as yourself!! Beauty judged by the exterior is so superficial but I do agree that even the most visually beautiful women are not so beautiful if their soul doesn't reflect that same beauty!! Beauty from within seems to find its way out and you don't have to make the cover of "Glamour" magazine to be awesome! This is a great blog and I appreciate the women you listed in your blog....They derserved the notoriety indeed!! VERY GOOD!!!!
Ruth


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Bliss

Saturday, February 06, 2010



True bliss is found in the simplest of forms

The quiet, muted beauty of a snowbound day

The unbridled joy of an exuberant child

The soft vibration of music

The warmth of family and friendship

It comes from not trying so hard, just taking the time to mindfully enjoy the present.

Wishing you many blissful moments,

Chris
(and Stella)



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GUMJUMP 2/8/2010 8:26PM

    What a beautiful picture for a screensaver. There is nothing like fresh snow. And your dog is a beauty!

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AQUAJANE 2/7/2010 12:23PM

    I love that picture of Stella romping in the snow! emoticon

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BUSYBRE 2/6/2010 10:24PM

    stella is adorable

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SILVERWITCH59 2/6/2010 9:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARY1313 2/6/2010 7:41PM

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing!

Mary

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LMB-ESQ 2/6/2010 7:39PM

    Beautiful... thanks for sharing.

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RASTUS55 2/6/2010 7:36PM

    What a beautiful blog and pictures....Gotta love those puddles...nothing seems to slow them down!!! They have one gear and that is HIGH! I love it!
Ruth


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Thinking Ahead Toward Spring

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I am loving this glorious winter day, but also really looking forward to the new growing season, spring, and glorious summer days in the garden. Along with my seed order, this year I am excited to be ordering eggs to hatch, too. We used to have chickens, but our coop was shabby and coyotes raided the coop one night, taking out our entire family of hens. It has taken a few years to get our new chicken coop, but now that we have it, I can hardly wait to have sweet hens clucking around the yard.

I am ordering:



Plymouth Barred Rocks - this was the first kind of chicken I ever had. My barred rock was my pet on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, believe it or not. I think I posted about her on another blog page.



Black Australorps - very docile, winter hardy chickens.



And a couple of Sultans. Sultans are just about the sweetest chickens you can find. They are worthless in terms of egg production, but highly worth having for entertainment value. For those of you, who know me, joy is high on my list of worthwhile things. emoticon

We used to have a female Sultan, who my son named Arnie thinking she was a rooster during her chickhood. She recognized her name and would come running when we called her. She would ride around contentedly on our shoulders like a parrot.

So, winter, have your last blast of snowy beauty, and let spring breeze in. Visions of Sugar Peas run through my head.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUSYBRE 2/6/2010 3:59PM

    opps - I'm having chicken envy! I can't wait to read about them in the months to come ... I just ordered a 4 foot four-florescent tube set up for my seedlings and can't wait to get planting basil & tomatoes (peppers, fennel, broccoli, leeks, beets, carrots, etc)

Comment edited on: 2/6/2010 4:00:41 PM

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RASTUS55 2/6/2010 3:04PM

    When I read this I smiled GREAT BIG emoticonbecause I have worked for McMurray Hatchery for the past 6 years. They sell all these kinds of chickens and I have many different varieties of them myself. I love the Black Australorps!! My friend keeps Barred Rocks and they do such a super job of laying as well. I have Aracaunas, Black Australorps, Salmon Favorelles, Delaware, Red Stars, Light Brahmas, Silkies and a Mottled Houdan. Our hatch season has just begun so I was loving on all the baby chicks this morning at work. Yea Saturday work sucks but at least I like my job and get to see all the babies!! FUN STUFF!
Thinking ahead to spring will help the rest of the winter go faster!!
Ruth


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PUDLECRAZY 2/6/2010 12:13PM

    What kinds of herbs will you be growing, Mary?

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MARY1313 2/6/2010 11:58AM

    Oh Girl! I am with you. I have already been to Lowe's looking at the bulbs and, yes, I have bought some LOL. I have my Zinnia seeds ready, I will get my 5 gallon buckets ready in the next week or two for my tomato plants. And I am going to have some herbs too! I will be hanging out on my small patio in the mornings and in the evenings after it cools off. I am a sun baby for sure, I love the long growing season we have in Alabama. I have been watching the red bud trees for signs of buds on their branches. They are the first to bloom in the spring. the daffodils are already way up out of the ground. It's Coming!!!!

Mary

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Snow Walking

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I was happy to only have half a day of work yesterday, as the snow started coming down and I worried a little about driving home on the hilly, winding road that leads to my home. But the snow coming down was lovely and it wasn't bitterly cold like it was when we had our last snowfall.

I had to arrive at work earlier than usual because I had parent conferences scheduled quite early to accommodate working parents, so I didn't get my usual 2 mile walk in before work. I looked forward all morning to getting home to take a snowy walk with Stella. After all, walking with a poodle in the snow is a highly entertaining way to get your exercise!



The field was an excellent place for a girl to stick her face in the snow and lick it back off.





Dashing through the woods was a real kick!



And of course, no walk is complete without a game of Hide and Seek.

I did not manage to get my complete total of 10,000 steps in today, but I think I must have gotten a little ab exercise laughing, and the snow was gorgeous. I am looking forward to seeing what our accumulation is in the morning.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLASUE 2/7/2010 10:14AM

    I love Stella's enthusiasm for life. It must be infectious! emoticon

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SILVERWITCH59 2/6/2010 9:36PM

    emoticon

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MARY1313 2/6/2010 5:52PM

    Lovely pictures! That Stella loves life!

Mary

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DEB007 2/6/2010 10:53AM

    I love your blog and the pictures to go along with it. My dog CeCe is so little she would be lost in the snow being that she is mostly all white. Sounds like you had a great time and a good laugh and thats always a GOOD THING. We all need to laugh more these days!

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BUSYBRE 2/6/2010 10:06AM

    Oh if we could all be like Stella in our exercising - very joyful!

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KATIEGLEN012 2/6/2010 7:34AM

    This is a wonderful post!!!! Unabashed joy. Stella definitely sees exercise as a delight! When approached in such a joyful manner the time must fly.

Jack will be here all day today. We're baking muffins, playing Legoes and walking Barkley. I'll be laughing a lot too! Have a great day.

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ALLEGROVIVO 2/6/2010 6:50AM

    These are great photos Chris....love them! Stella and Louie totally look like relatives.
Have a great weekend! Nancy and Louie

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LMB-ESQ 2/6/2010 6:35AM

    A foot of snow here! Not going anywhere today till I dig my car out.... oh, okay, I'm just not going anywhere today at all then LOL

I wish I had woods to walk in, I'm stuck on the sidewalk. Glad you got a good laugh in, she must really keep you hopping... and it's obvious how much joy she brings you!

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Yay! They Got it Right!

Friday, February 05, 2010

I was very disappointed in the new Cordoba flamenco guitar I ordered in January. On the other hand, there are still ethical businesses and the Guitar Salon International, where I ordered from, was one of them. They paid for the return postage, had UPS pick it up at my house, and sent one back to me which is actually and upgrade from the one I originally ordered. It is gorgeous and has the low flamenco action I was looking for. I have been having a wonderful time playing this afternoon, getting the feel of a guitar with a wider neck than I am used to. My music is sounding great on it!









You might wonder what a guitar has to do with dieting. It doesn't really. I was drawn to Spark People, less because I needed to lose weight, so much as I needed to reduce stress and get my health back. I believe that the key to weight loss and physical health is corresponding spiritual and emotional health; that our minds, hearts, and bodies are not separate entities. Each plays a part in helping us lead fulfilling and meaningful lives, and each needs to be nourished for us to flourish as individuals.

I did not start learning to play guitar until I was in my 50s. After the sudden death of my granddaughter, and a week later, the violent death of one of my students, I was grieving so deeply, I thought I would never be able to emerge from the depths of my sadness and anger. On my deceased granddaughter's birthday, I bought my first guitar so I could start a recovery through music. Music has become a meditation for me. The very act of spending time working to develop the most beautiful sounds possible from my instrument is soothing and brings me to a very centered place. Music feeds and nourishes the soul. The act of practice, the vibrations of the instrument, and the beauty of music can have such a powerful impact on the well-being of body, heart, and soul.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARY1313 2/5/2010 10:18PM

    That is a beautiful guitar! I started playing guitar over 30 years ago. I just picked it up and taught myself. It is a very good friend and I find that when I am sad or down, when I pick up my guitar and play and sing, there is no way I can remain sad. the act of singing and playing is so uplifting and cathartic that I don't know what I would have done without it many many times. I suspect this is so with you.

I play an accoustic, an Alvarez and I love her. Thanks for sharing your grief and your joy!

Mary

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AQUAJANE 2/5/2010 9:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELLENS2525 2/5/2010 8:38PM

    What a beauty! Thanks for sharing your pictures and that wonderful story. I'm sorry for the tragedy you went through. That was alot to overcome. And it's nice to know there are still good companies around who appreciate your business!

emoticon

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BUSYBRE 2/5/2010 8:06PM

    ... what a good day you have had receiving your new upgrade ... grief is a process ... for you to be able to work your way through it this elegantly is a gift to share - thanks for that!

Comment edited on: 2/5/2010 8:07:30 PM

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RASTUS55 2/5/2010 5:34PM

    You know one has to be satisfied in their own heart before things like weight loss will work for you. Music is a beautiful way to work through the toughest of times. I have wanted to learn guitar for a very long time now because I sing and thought it would be so pleasurable to strum my own accompaniment. I hope you find peace in that guitar because to me it would be so soothing!! I understand where your coming from girl with all of my heart! Maybe someday we can meet and you can strum while I sing! I would love that!
Ruth
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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