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The 12 Days of Christmas, 3

Thursday, December 16, 2010



From classic to jazzy with a most favorite artist, female jazz pianist-vocalist Diana Krall, a native of British Columbia and married to musician Elvin Bishop. She and her hawt trio are doing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," the title cut from her Christmas collection (she's a big hit in Europe, thus the added Portuguese translation).

A girlfriend gave me one of her CD's many years ago, thus beginning the love affair. Acquiring her DVD, Live in Paris, which is absolutely mesmerizing, made me a life-long convert to her elegant creativity.



THE 3rd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLCkVCiuQRs&
feature=related

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNANN43 12/16/2010 7:20PM

    My Dad gave me Diana Krall's Christmas CD & Bette Midler's Cool Yule a few ago. LOVE them both!!!

emoticon for the link!

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SLASALLE 12/16/2010 3:30PM

    OK - If this is Day 3 for you on the 12 days to Christmas, I've apparently been WAY out of the loop. I will try to pay more attention, especially because I always love your choices, whether it be poetry, prose or music!!!

Thanks!

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BISCO_ 12/16/2010 2:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 12/16/2010 9:00AM

    Have most of Krall's work, including the DVD...the best!

Don

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 2

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



In sharp contrast to soul singer Stevie Wonder yesterday, today I'm offering Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George and the Choirs of Coventry and Lichfield Cathedrals doing a favorite Christmas song, In the Bleak Mid-Winter. Gustav Holst wrote the music for the poem by Christina Rossetti.

I saw New Zealand Maori Dame Kiri perform in the San Francisco Opera many moons ago, and have been a big-time fan ever since. Though I hadn't previously heard Michael George, I enjoyed him immensely as well (he ain't hard to look at, either!)

In lieu of experiencing the event live at the Coventry Cathedral, here is a virtual tour of the 900+ years old cathedral in Canterbury, Britain:
www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/visit-u
s/virtual-tour.php


THE 2nd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbcpKCdTREQ

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 12/15/2010 6:07PM

    I have always loved this music. Thanks for sharing this version Maha.



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GOANNA2 12/15/2010 4:36PM

    emoticonJust loved it Maha.
That has a true meaning of Christmas.
Dame Kiri is a wonderful singer. emoticon

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LYNNANN43 12/15/2010 11:55AM

    Gorgeous.. just gorgeous. It actually brought tears to my eyes. emoticon

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/15/2010 11:37AM

    LOVE IT!

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DDOORN 12/15/2010 8:58AM

    Pierce Pettis sings a beautiful version of this song on one of the Winter Solstice collections, I believe #3. James Taylor chose it for one of his holiday albums...his is also a great rendition!

Don

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/15/2010 7:30AM

    What a lovely peaceful start to my morning! Thank you.

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JLWOF1 12/15/2010 7:20AM

    That was beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 1

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It is exactly 12 days before Christmas...and since I love music so much, I have been ruminating about posting a YouTube link to a favorite Christmas song each of the days. And I think I will -- it's so easy and no time at all!



I'm beginning with a musical hero, Stevie Wonder, doing Joy to the World with the group Take 6. The video quality could be better, but it's ok, and the music is quite wonderful.

THE 1st DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2tiFrc2tM0

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZIMAT 12/15/2010 9:07AM

    You must be getting into the spirit...

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DDOORN 12/15/2010 8:57AM

    Stevie is one of my "go to" singers...he's all OVER my mp3 player...! :-)

Take 6 is "wonderful" too!

Don

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SWEETSEASON 12/14/2010 9:47PM

  Love Stevie Wonder :)

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CARRAND 12/14/2010 8:52PM

    Love Stevie Wonder. Thanks!

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GOANNA2 12/14/2010 6:31PM

    I loved the medley.
Thnks Maha. emoticon

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/14/2010 6:24PM

    love it!!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 12/14/2010 6:06PM

    Great idea!

emoticon emoticon

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LYNNANN43 12/14/2010 6:04PM

    emoticon for the link, MAHA!

I had on my Christmas CDs all day & baking all of our Christmas cookies:D
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JMGLEN62 12/14/2010 5:30PM

    I love Christmas songs and this is a great idea!

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FITANDFABMIA 12/14/2010 5:28PM

    I like Carol of the Bells! emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 12/14/2010 5:28PM

    Great idea!

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And know there is more that you can't see....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lots of extraordinary content...no words from me:



Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

~ Joy Harjo ~
(How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Eagle_Poem.h
tml



www.joyharjo.com/Home.html

Joy Harjo (born Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 9, 1951) is an American poet, musician, and author of Native American Canadian ancestry. Known primarily as a poet, Harjo has also taught at the college level, played alto saxophone with a band called Poetic Justice, edited literary journals, and written screenplays. She is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and is of Cherokee descent. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_Harjo

EAGLE MEDICINE (SPIRIT):

Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. It is the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of Earth. Eagle soars and is quick to observe expansiveness within the overall pattern of life. From the heights of the clouds, Eagle is close to the heavens where the Great Spirit dwells.

The feathers of Eagle are considered to be the most sacred of healing tools. They have been used for centuries by shamans to cleanse the auras of patients coming to them for healing. Within the belief systems of native American tribes, Eagle represents A STATE OF GRACE achieved through hard work, understanding, and a completion of the tests of initiation which result in the taking of one's personal power. It is only through the trial of experiencing the lows in life as well as the highs, and through the trial of trusting one's connection to the Great Spirit, that the right to use the essence of Eagle medicine is earned.

Eagle is reminding you to take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life. The power of recognizing this opportunity may come in the form of a spiritual test. In being astute, you may recognize the places within you soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need bolstering or refinement. By looking at the overall tapestry, Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible.

In learning to fiercely attack your personal fear of the unknown, the wings of your soul will be supported by the ever-present breezes, which are the breath of the Great Spirit.

Feed your body, but more importantly feed your soul. Within the realm of Mother Earth and Father Sky, the dance that leads to flight involves the conquering of fear and the willingness to join in the adventure that you are co-creating with the Divine.

If Eagle has majestically soared into your consciousness, you are being put on notice to reconnect with the element of air. Air is of the mental plane, and in this instance it is of the higher mind. Wisdom comes in many strange and curious forms and is always related to the creative force of the Great Spirit.

If you have been walking in the shadows of former realities, Eagle brings illumination. Eagle teaches you to look higher and to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as well as the light. See the beauty in both, and you will take flight like the Eagle.

Eagle medicine is the gift we give ourselves to remind us of the freedom of the skies. Eagle asks you to give yourself permission to legalize freedom and to follow the joy your heart desires.
www.apogeephoto.com/marla/eagle.htm

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIRIRADHA 12/14/2010 9:17AM

    Thank you for the morning food for my soul!

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WALKINGANNIE 12/13/2010 6:15PM

    Thank you Maha. Extraordinary content indeed.

emoticon

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SLASALLE 12/13/2010 4:33PM

    Love the "extraordinary content," but what's with the "no words from me" part of it? I LOVE your words too!!!

I so understand the connection of nature and spirit ... and got a lot of that this weekend, with a hawk soaring above me as I walked and six beautiful does standing on a hillside as I walked by.

xoxoxo

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GOANNA2 12/13/2010 4:32PM

    Thank you Maha,
Namaste emoticon

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LYNNANN43 12/13/2010 2:24PM

    Beautiful... simply beautiful.

Body... Mind... Spirit emoticon

emoticon

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LKOPACK 12/13/2010 10:57AM

    Thanks, I love this poem.

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/13/2010 10:52AM

    Oh what a beautiful beautiful blog!

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DDOORN 12/13/2010 10:02AM

    Thx 'Maha...wonderful reminder this holiday season to "feed our spirit" and celebrate the "freedom of the skies"!

Don

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MISS_VIV 12/13/2010 9:48AM

    THANK YOU - and good morning.
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MAKING IT HAPPEN Week 3 -- 20 days until 2011

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I finished the second week of the challenge yesterday at the same weight as when I began. Granted, I'm trying to build an infrastructure of consistency in exercise and strength training, but that's just the CM half of the total equation I created for myself:
Consistent Movement + Conscious Eating = Whee! Optimal Wellness (CE+CM=WOW)

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Some musings at this point in the challenge --

@ I LOVE my online SparkTime. It is one of the true enjoyments of my day. But it can also easily "take me over" and throw my balance totally off, if I'm not careful. I really need to take a hard look at morning SparkPeople usage, because that's prime time for meditation practice, aerobic workout, strength training and studying.

Saving physical activity and studying until late afternoon or evening is VERY dangerous, because my energy lowers considerably at that time. And if dinner is added to the "mix" the energy is being used for digestion. Tuesday I didn't get aerobic workout done for that reason.

ACTION: I'm going to experiment this week postponing SparkTime (other than tracking and a morning gratitudes post) until late afternoon, for guilt-free enjoyment! I know it will be difficult, but I think in the long run I can adjust and it will be beneficial in more ways than I can even imagine at the moment.

@ Wednesday was a dyn-o-mite day of movement, and then I got into the ice cream. Let's negate all the calories burned, shall we? How's that for successfully sabotaging my effort! Then there was Thursday, an excellent day of movement, after which I got carried away eating Newman's Chocolate Alphabet Cookies for more sabotage, instant gratification, and momentary comfort.

SanDiegoJohn wrote a brilliant blog, "Starting Over? No, You're Not" and in it he said, "So don't beat yourself up with the, 'hey, look, I'm starting over again and don't think I can do it.' Because while it may have been something the old you could not stick with, the NEW you is stronger, smarter, wiser, and better equipped for the challenge. You can do it. The person you are right now, right this very moment, can do it. So stop looking backwards and focus all the energy on the path ahead of you." tinyurl.com/22rlt37

ACTION: As I begin the new week, with a *tabula rasa,* I will "focus all my energy on the path ahead."

@ I have repeatedly made excuses for not again taking up tracking of nutrition. I met my goal weight and maintained it the last time I consistently tracked my food. And this article Stephanie sent me as encouragement couldn't be any clearer, "Lose Twice the Weight by Tracking Your Food:" Or how about this as an alternative title, "Stop GAINING Weight by Tracking Your Food." tinyurl.com/67qloz

My friend Russellorama wrote a brilliant blog on RESISTANCE. In part it says, "Rosetta defined resistance as 'the act of resisting or pushing back...a psychological defense mechanism wherein a patient rejects, denies or otherwise opposes the thereapeutic efforts.' She also noted that scientifically, resistance is closely linked to friction, whose sole purpose is to fight motion, resulting in drag, which works against that motion. Simply put, RESISTANCE KEEPS YOU FROM MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD." tinyurl.com/27kebv6

ACTION: So l.Did.It. I entered my foods for the day in the Nutrition Tracker yesterday. It's not a pretty picture, and that's likely part of the reason I've been so resistant to beginning again. I've been saying that it's the cumbersome nature of tracking foods, but that was obviously a smoke screen. I'm going to continue doing it. So, as John suggested, the NEW me is ready, at three weeks into my personal challenge, to be stronger, smarter, wiser, and better equipped for success.
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Here again is my end-of-year challenge to build habits that will last. By December 31, 2010 I will~~

~ do daily sadhana (spiritual practice)
~ do regular exercise and strength training and track my exercise
~ eat more consciously and track my food
~ be moving toward my goal weight of 128 pounds

AND THE BEAT GOES ON:

20 DAYS, Sun Dec 12

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- DONE (233 calories)
~ Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

19 DAYS, Mon Dec 13

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 30 minutes of cardio -- DONE (330 calories)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
~ 1 hr. Qigong. -- DONE
~ Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

18 DAYS, Tues Dec 14

~ 15 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- BUST
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

17 DAYS, Wed Dec 15

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 30 minutes minimum of cardio -- DONE (343 calories)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
~ 5 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

16 DAYS, Thurs Dec 16

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- BUST
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

15 DAYS, Fri Dec 17

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 32 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- DONE (355 calories burned)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

14 DAYS, Sat Dec 18

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 1.3 hrs. of yoga -- DONE
~ 1.3 hour bicycle ride -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE
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ETC. to:

JANUARY 1, 2011
HAPPY New Year!

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The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself -- the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us -- that's where it's at.
-- Jesse Owens
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 12/14/2010 3:10PM

    Ohoh... here I am in the morning sparking away my exercise time again :) It is SO easy to do... Alright already. I hear the cardio calling. Hugs you!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/12/2010 11:20PM

    I just love your blogs!!! Keep up the amazing work! You inspire me!

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DDOORN 12/12/2010 10:49PM

    Good for you 'Maha! I hear you re: going overboard with Spark time...we are such a GREAT community, but have definitely found myself getting carried away at times.

Tracking really DOES take care of the pounds, doesn't it...? So simple, yet so hard! Kudos to PUSHING through on this!

Don

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SLASALLE 12/12/2010 9:38PM

    Hey there, dear Maha. YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!!! Look at the realities of all that you are learning ... this is ALL AWESOME.

An idea - What about dividing your Spark time into categories, and then labeling those categories as either "requisite" or "extras." THEN REWARD YOURSELF FOR CE AND CM with extra Spark time that you so enjoy. NOTE: I consider tracking food as "requisite." ROFLOL You had to know that was coming next!!! :-)

Your biggest learning piece: You KNOWING what your resistance to the tracker is all about. So what if it's not pretty? It's a HUGE STEP that you took and I want to provide as much positive reinforcement for that as possible. JUST PLEASE REMEMBER, make SURE to offset the "not so pretty picture" with everything YOU DID RIGHT. Tracking and looking at the big nasty picture is NOT ABOUT beating yourself up for the nasty picture, but rather, learning how to improve.

I am SO PROUD OF YOU, MY AMAZING FRIEND!!! You GO, GIRL - because YOU ROCK!!

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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PUDLECRAZY 12/12/2010 8:30PM

    Like you, I love my Spark time, but find it can get in my way of other things. I struggle to find balance with that. I tend to try to keep it to early morning and late evening. Same with that addictive old Facebook, which I probably wouldn't bother with if it weren't such a great way to keep in touch with family and friends who as so far away.

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SWEETSEASON 12/12/2010 6:51PM

  Dear Maha, I hope you read my emal, to see who this is from . I love what you wrote Consistent Movement + Conscious Eating = Whee! Optimal Wellness (CE+CM=WOW) Thank you for the SanDiegoJohn quote, I truly needed to read that.
~ Your Sparkfriend always!

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CARRAND 12/12/2010 3:51PM

    I love my on-line Spark time, too, and like you I try to limit it to evenings. I have to work, then exercise, then get dinner and finally do my Sparking. Sometimes on the weekends I get to it earlier, but I can't let it take over my day or I don't get anything else done.

I find the food tracking invaluable. It really focuses me on eating healthy foods if I make myself accountable by tracking. So far it's working. I've met my weight goal and I'm going to maintain it for a while, then I may set another, lower goal for myself. I've moved my goal twice already, as previous goals were met. I'd like to lose more belly fat, but my face is getting kind of thin and making me look older. Oh well, we're never satisfied.

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WATERMELLEN 12/12/2010 3:22PM

    Sadly, I too have to track everything I eat -- or else I gain weight. Simple, but it's something that I delude myself about over and over again . . . .

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