WordlessWednesday…NOOOO!!!

I’m tired of no words!! I want some words!! Apparently, because I am so visual and kinesthetic, (NOT very auditory), I need way, WAY more WORDS than most. (Probably one of the things that makes me a good therapist.)

I mean these Zoom meetings, and SKYPE Sessions with my clients are great, actually modern day miracles, in my elderly opinion, but I want to TALK with someone, lots of someones, and be able to use the rest of my senses in a conversation!!

I miss walking arm in arm with someone. I hate that the little kids in my neighborhood that usually run up and hug my legs (I’m everyone’s Grandma on my street), are now coached (appropriately so) to stay far away from me. I miss comforting a neighbor, friend or client with a hand squeeze, a shoulder pat, or a big, long, juicy hug!

Whew! Glad to get that out!

Now, onto my WordlessWednesday post.

Spirit Lifters; Day 34 of being “grounded”

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Super Bad Transmittable Contagious Awful Virus! (a parody of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!) [Video]

 

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Now, PLEASE

WORDS WORDS WORDS 

Lots of them in the Comment section!!

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

Spirit Lifter-Day 25 of being “Grounded” Part Four

So if you are a regular reader, you know I can sometimes end up slightly off the beaten path…kinda out there…a little weird.

Today is one of those posts, but it’s all my friend Karuna’s fault. (Check out her blog, especially if you like Mother Nature HERO stories. She is one, though she would never call herself that.)

Beauty in My Backyard-Spring 2020

 

Anyway, I credit her with getting me started on WordPress…but that’s not why today’s post is her fault.

Early in my blog, because I wrote about my Bugs, and she blogged about her Worms, we discovered both of us were fairly grossed out by each other’s creepy, crawly passions. So we tried to teach each other about our respective…uh, pets? I could never quite see the whole worm thing (she raises them to help in the gardens or something) and I’m not sure she ever got my bug thing either.

We share one passion for sure though. We both believe there are lessons absolutely everywhere in life. You just have to be open to them. There are huge ones of course, like what the whole earth is learning right now (the hard way, the very hard way).

Lesson example: Given the stunning, clear blue skies showing up across the planet, from just a few days of humans staying inside and not polluting, why didn’t we do that long before now, on purpose, on our own, even for just a cosmic minute, every now and then, you know, to give the earth a break, a breather???

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/national/its-official-metro-manila-now-has-bluer-skies-cleaner-air/ar-BB11IRj2?ocid=spartandhp

 

But the smaller lessons so valuable also.

Because I love Karuna, I continue to work on shifting my perspective on worms and here’s what happened on my morning walk.

Two things you need to know first.

  1. I’ll photograph anything
  2. I was born not wanting to ever kill a living thing

Again if you are a regular, number one above you may have noticed. But the second one, well, here’s where it may get weird.

I’m not sure what all I actually believe, spiritually speaking, but I do know one thing.

I, specifically, am not supposed to kill anything….well, except the carpenter ants eating my house, and I suppose, like most of us today, I would relish killing Covid 19!

But I’m telling you, I brought it here with me.

I also believe that this is a deeply personal thing and not everyone else was born the way. I was.  I try to have very little judgment about others who can hunt a deer, or step on a cock roach, or join the military. (Don’t get me wrong, I have spent a life time “fighting” for peace and protesting wars, but I know ultimately, every person has to make decisions like that for themselves.)

 

close up of woman holding a hamster
Photo by Rudolf Jakkel on Pexels.com

So back to my walk…

It was exceptionally beautiful out this morning, crisp, cold, bright blue, breezy, and freshly pollen-washed everywhere from last night’s downpour.

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With my camera (Galaxy 8+) in hand, I took off in search of something uplifting to photograph. In minutes, I spotted this in the low sun, glistening on the wet roadway.

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It was so huge and so cool looking with the sun from behind it, of COURSE, I had to take a picture…for Karuna!

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Amazing, really. You can see all the insides!

But, as I was bending over to get a close up, I spotted the only one of my neighbors I don’t get along with…for many years now. She was headed in my direction. I was rattled because I don’t like pretending to be nice….so with her, I don’t. But that doesn’t feel good either…so I figured, in light of the Zombie Apocalypse, I might try it anyway.

It was then that my phone slid out of my grip…yep, crashing right onto my worm!!

I swear, I could hear it scream! It curled up tight, wriggled a bunch, and then tried to stretch back out to crawl away, but in the wrong direction. I found a stick, lifted it gently and set it down in the grass it had seemed to be headed for when I nearly killed it.

Rescue mission accomplished, I turned around to “be nice” to my neighbor but she had moved on…rapidly, I’m sure having collected more evidence for her file on me. (She plays with worms in the middle of the street!)

On the rest of my walk, I searched my mind and heart for the lessons in this complicated encounter. I won’t bore you with those details because it turned into a whole self-therapy session. A LOT of lessons!!

Bottom line here? I have to call my youngest sister, who has been estranged from me for a couple of years now….

Bessey Girls

 

And just in case, my elaborate story didn’t lift your spirits (like it did mine), here’s a wonderful poem circulating right now.

 

“Lockdown” – March 13, 2020
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
(The Franciscan Order)

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

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Plaza Major, Madrid-as never seen before 

 

 

Spirit Lifters-Day 20 of being “Grounded” Part Three

OK, I’ve never had a Facebook page.

I know, I know, but I’m only telling you because I think what I am sharing today is more like what I have seen on Facebook. One of them even came from Facebook.

In my quest for daily Spirit Lifters, I came across these three things that have been a delight to experience!

Since I know dancing, singing and laughter are the best spirit lifters, here you go!

 

The first, though it sets the bar pretty high, is so inspiring, it makes me want to find the nearest dance studio and take lessons. Oh wait…Social distancing would prevent that.

So maybe I’ll just go outside and dance alone on the lawn. Who knows, after they get over gathering still more proof that the oldest resident in the neighborhood is very weird, my neighbors might join me!

We could start a new Anti-Virus Lawn-Dancing CRAZE!

Maybe it would go VIRAL! (ha-ha…too soon?)

 

Next, since there seems to be some bad-mouthing going on in my country about the younger people ignoring the Stay Home edicts in different states, I found this wonderful example of young people, coming together and doing something amazing and spectacular from the safety of their homes!! And I have to admit, I love that it’s a Boomer Song!

(I guess you’ll have to copy and paste into your browser. I don’t know how to make it a link on my post…I don’t really even know if I’m allowed to share these this way.)

WATCH: Berklee Students Create Virtual Orchestra During Coronavirus, Perform ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’

But my favorite is this last one, the one from Facebook.  Delightful, hysterical, touching, and I bet you watch it more than once!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158289063553653&id=521723652&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

 

Where ever you are, even if your local government has not insisted that you do, PLEASE Stay Home and Stay Safe!

 

Something lite?

Unfortunate collateral victim of CV 19…

 

From their poor hammered website…

The novel coronavirus has an unlikely victim — one of the world’s most popular beers.

Corona has become the subject of memes and videos shared on social media as the toll from the virus climbs worldwide. Reports of an increase in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” show the Mexican beer hasn’t been able to escape the association. The so-called purchase intent among adults in the U.S. has plunged to the lowest in two years, according to data from YouGov Plc.

 

Not That beer has figured very big in my life for many years, like for about one HUNDRED years!  But I do feel bad for them. Heck, growing up in San Diego, Corona was THE beer! We even served it at our 1971 wedding!!! A thrown together event (the bride extremely pregnant). We thought it was so classy to serve beer in bottles with limes!

 

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Rick and me stopping at a gas station flower stand for my wedding bouquet on the way to be married in my childhood church in Pacific Beach. What you might not be able to see is that my dress is handmade (and BLUE, not WHITE) from a maternity pattern…yep, we were very pregnant!

Hang in there, Corona!!!

And my neighbor yesterday, celebrating the completion of a long, LONG time project!!

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Social Distancing??? An Essay (or a journal entry…don’t know which)

This will be a mixed media post with stuff to look at, to listen to, watch, and to read (later, if you wish). I hope it inspires, informs and tickles you.

 

I wrote this in a note to a friend today…

We are living the pages and chapters of future history and philosophy books.
I hope we learn the abundant lessons in our faces right now…for the sake of our grandchildren, and theirs, and theirs….
(Lyrics at bottom of page)
I do understand all the steps and precautions we are needing to take in our communities, our countries, our planet during this Pandemic. I live in the USA’s Ground Zero, and I myself, am in three of the highest risk categories, so I appreciate people being thoughtful in their proximity to me.
But…
Social distancing?? What the hell! Hasn’t technology already been giving us too many tempting examples of that? It’s easier (faster) to text or email someone than to call them. Parents are freaking out about the damage caused by too much screen time for their kids. AND, Distracted driving statistics are horrifying!
Distracted driving deaths

Roughly, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in accidents in which at least one driver was distracted

Heck, there are even patronizing (but wonderful) commercial campaigns on TV against too much social distance created by technology. My favorite is the one where the mom secretly trips the household electrical circuit, shutting off the video games, and forcing the kids to go outside to play basketball. Or the one with two couples, out to a fancy dinner, never looking up from their phones…while texting each other!

 

Many, many years ago now, I was asked to write a review in the Pre and Peri-Natal Psychology Medical Journal, of a book called Untouched by Mariana Caplan. It was a powerful description of what we, as a species, needed to consider in light of the rapid changes happening in human contact, brought about by the age of technology.

Here’s the review, in case you want to read it later…

https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-1380835931/untouched-the-need-for-genuine-affection-in-an-impersonal

(The book has since been re-published under the title To Touch is to Live: The Need for Genuine Affection in an Impersonal World by Mariana Caplan)

 

My feeling today is even though we may be more distant physically, touching each other and looking into each others eyes less, we are potentially, miraculously and profoundly more “in touch” with each other than ever before. 
Or at least we can be.
I have not hugged my best friends in years, but I can tap my phone a few times and be right in the same room with them, face to face, while still 5285 miles across the planet. How amazing is that???
Believe me, I am NOT saying this phone contact is anywhere nearly as satisfying as a bear hug, a snuggle on the couch, or a meaningful look into their eyes, but I have to admit, the alternatives are fairly tolerable….as long as they are balanced by the occasional in-person visit.
And now…”Social Distancing”??? I get it. I hope it saves us, but I feel compelled to issue this precaution. If we have to do this for very long, it can (and will) become the norm for a whole species, making all of our former natural, tactile, kinesthetic expressions of human affection, respect, comradery, kindness, and love seem foreign, suspect, improper, and even dangerous. (Whew! What a sentence! What a THOUGHT!)
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the main photo I use in my therapy practice…
In an exhausting attempt to keep myself grounded in my deepest spiritual beliefs during this global (and personal) crisis, I search each and every day for new perspectives on all of this.
I am including below, some things I have found online (thank you technology) that have been comforting as well as enlightening to me during my already extended period of being “grounded”.
I love reading what Joan Borysenko has to say about things. She is a Harvard Medical School trained cell biologist and licensed psychologist…and one of the more spiritual people I know. She wrote this a few days ago:

Since last week, a lot has happened regarding the novel coronavirus. With the sharp uptick of cases, and the projection that a majority of Americans could be infected, we are now being directed to prepare for the likelihood of staying home much more.

As a psychologist, I am always looking for hidden opportunities within life’s inevitable difficulties. One possible opportunity I see, is to become more mindful of how we react to fear and uncertainty… and to cultivate greater resilience and gratitude for the good things in life.

This immediately made me think of the song Resilient by Rising Appalachia. I post this song often. It is one of my main themes these days. Worth a listen (and a viewing) again.
Pump up your volume and watch it standing up. See if you can do that without bursting into movement yourself!
Then, this also crossed my path. It is actually the thing that shook me out of my own personal “wide spread panic” and got me to remember that the way I was seeing what’s going on in the world was not the only way to look at it.
Blush.
And me, all the time preaching about Chosen Perspectives!!
It came from Facebook (which I am not on) and it had a name on it so I’m going to credit that person.

Amongst all the fear and confusion, there’s this…❤️ a different perspective …

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.

And, what if…

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…

That all is interconnected.

What if…

the virus is here to help us?

To reset.
To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards — a deep meditation — rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.

To reconnect with self — what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor.

The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?

And, washing our hands — how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society — what if it is one that is favorable for us?

What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/ more kind to our environment.

An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was time for a change, we all knew that.

And, change has arrived.

What if…

Gutpreet Gill

 

Thanks for reading this today. More than ever, I’d love to have you comment…share your own experience…connect with others about this.

Last thing about practicing Social Distance

 

 

 

Lyrics to above songs:

Climbing to Safety by Widespread Panic

You tell me love, has always scared you
Like the things under your bed
Baby, we can walk on water
Like some junkies swore they did

You call me on the phone, you say that it is crucial
Stick your fingers in your ears ’til they explode
It’s just business, and it rolls along as usual
Must grab each others collar, we must rise out of the water
‘Cause you know as well as I do that it’s no fun to die alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters
Climb to safety
You never left me in the dark here on my own
Climb to safety
I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder
Climb to safety
I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters
Climb to safety
You never left me in the dark here on my own
Climb to safety
I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder
Climb to safety
I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

Yeah, climb to safety
Ooh, climb to safety, safety
Yeah
Climb to safety

 

Resilient by Rising Appalachia
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table
Again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen
These times are poignant
The winds have shifted
It’s all we can do
To stay uplifted
Pipelines through backyards
Wolves howling out front
Yeah I got my crew but truth is what I want
Realigned and on point
Power to the peaceful, prayers to the waters
Women at the center
All vessels open to give and receive
Let’s see this system brought down to its knees
I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning
I’m made of dirt, yeah
Made of the fine things
My father taught me
That I’m a speck of dust and this world
Was made for me so let’s go and try our luck
I’ve got my roots down down down down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down deep
So what are we doing here
What has been done
What are you gonna do about it
When the world comes undone
My voice feels tiny
And I’m sure so does yours
Put us all together we’ll make a mighty roar
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen…

Covid 19 Lock Down Survival Kit Saint Patrick’s day, 2020

To start with, one of my favorite musicians, Geoffrey Castle, an electric violinist, who plays everything from hard rock and roll to Irish Ballads, and whose biggest performance of the year is naturally Saint Patrick’s Day, has suggested that tonight, from the safety of our own living rooms, at 7 PM (PST), everyone sing along with The Wild Rover

https://music.geoffreycastle.com/track/wild-rover

He says, “No live stream, no pay per view, nothing all fancy and high tech like that, just a moment in time when all across the land we sing the best Irish Drinking song ever, all together!
Sort of like a St. Patrick’s Flash Mob, except without the “mob” part.
Actual drinking of whiskey is entirely up to you.”

 

Like so many other professions, the need to address current health crisis on our planet has basically eliminated Geoffrey’s income for now. So listen to his stuff and buy something should you feel inspired to…

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Next, I have received so many wonderful emails this week from my clients sharing how they are taking care of themselves while in “Self Quarantine”!! Maybe one will inspire you!!

One couple has banded together with another couple, their best friends, to support each other, and not be alone. Living, working and sharing meals at home.

Another couple writes: “We are both working from home and I just feel a new sense of connection and love between us 🙂 What a time to get that when we get to be stuck together with this new working from home lifestyle!”

Trapped in a New York apartment and working from home, this person says “I’m organizing my apartment, taking long baths, and online shopping.” (This could be dangerous for me personally…Hmm, do I really need 5 of those gaiter neck warmers??)

I LOVE this, a couple who has been struggling so hard to find enough time to keep their relationship healthy says, “We’re hunkered down in our house and oddly this time has actually been good for us even though life is very strange right now. I think cutting out the commute, social planning and resetting has meant slightly less stress and more time for those small moments of joy.”

And in a hard irony, from a newly retired person, is uplifting anyway! “What a time for having to avoid contact with people now that I am (finally) trying to expand my social connections, not limit them.  Oh well.  I have survived pet rocks, disco, gas shortages, big hair bands, grunge and having a reality tv president, so I have hope and faith that I will manage to get through this okay. :-)”

Joan Borysenko

I’ve been finding some very uplifting things and great advice online. One of my favorite “teachers” is Joan Borysenko. She shared this wonderful video a few days ago. About 8 minutes,to help you ground and relax.

Taking the Fear Out of Coronavirus

Joan wrote today: Even amidst this crisis, and all the preparation it entails, we have the ability, perhaps the obligation, to spend a little time looking for the beauty, the goodness and the grace in life. Focusing on the good calms our mind, strengthens our immunity, and it feels wonderful!

 

And lastly, for all the young people still experiencing the blissful belief in immortality, us older folks need you to slow your party roll for just a while, so you don’t expose us to this virus. Just remember:

Your Grandparents were called to war. 

You’re being called to sit on your couch.

You can do this!!

 

So hunker down. DO all the nice things for yourself you rarely have time for. We’ll all wait it out together.

In the mean time…can you CROCHET????

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Lens Artist Photo Challenge #87 Part Two Reflections

I guess these are selfies? Kind of? But taken of the mirror so I could send them to my long-time hair stylist. I liked what she did and wanted to thank her. She’s helping me grieve (and sort of hide) a dramatic, medication-induced hair loss the last couple of years. THAT has sure given me a lot to reflect about…

 

 

Next just a simple series of puddles. I grew up in San Diego and puddles were extremely rare, so now I am apparently fascinated by them..

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And last, some surprise shots of one of our family’s kitties! He was recently very ill and is in his own form of quarantine, (NOT the “virus”!) so this is my main way of connecting with him for a while longer. He has grown so much in just the two weeks we have been separated! Can’t wait to feel that air-like fur again!!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections