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    Reaching for Love (Guest Post by Wendy Irene)





    The following was written by my friend and fellow blogger, Wendy Irene. I find myself so often inspired by her writing on peaceful parenting and living, and am so excited to share her gentle and loving spirit with you, my readers. Please visit her site… and I hope you’ll add her to your reading list, too! Peace.

    When you’ve reached the most loving part of yourself, you know. Your actions feel good. They may even make you smile. You are floating in harmony with your soul’s desires. Deep down underneath all the layers we are incredibly loving, kind human beings. When that true authentic part of me is shining through I feel joy. Joy in my heart. Joy in my being. Beauty surrounds me, and the world is soft and glowing.

    At all times it is possible for us to reach for the most loving part of ourselves, even in difficult situations. Possible doesn’t mean it’s always easy though. Currently in my life, I am practicing reaching for the love within me in times of frustration, anger, or impatience. Circumstances happen that trigger parts of our personality that should not be in control. The more I consciously practice not reacting negatively, the easier it becomes.

    Reacting negatively often brings me pain or the feeling of guilt. The energy I put out is being returned to me. It is easy to react, especially when I feel upset, but the pain I cause is never worth it.

    My goal is to go within to search for my place of peace, the eternal spring of love, and stay there until I am ready to act with love, instead of reacting in a way that is harmful to my spirit. I believe that everything returns to us, and I want to be showered with love, therefore that is what I must always choose to give.

    To giving love, especially when it takes every ounce of strength we have. Who we really are... is love.

    --

    Wendy Irene is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at GiveLoveCreateHappiness.com. Mother of two beautiful souls, she strives to live a life of wellness, to create happiness at every turn, and most of all, give love. Follow her on twitter @Wendy_Irene to help spread love, support, and happiness.



    Posted: Apr 30 2012, 00:15 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    LOST: The Questions of the Universe... Unanswered. Bummer.





     

    Over the last few months, I decided to catch up on the last two seasons of the television show LOST. Adam & I had stopped watching after the close of season 4; feeling a bit, well… lost. Ahem. The story was starting to feel contrived; the characters predictable, and it was unlikely that a real resolution was on the horizon. The key resolution, of course, being a reveal of what the island ACTUALLY was, and WHY everyone was on it.

    It was frustrating. But, because I've never liked leaving a story undone (I've been known to trudge through a book that I dislike just because I started it and, well, you never know… it COULD have an amazing ending!), AND because running indoors in cold weather can be BORING, I decided I could set up my laptop on my treadmill, and slog through the last 35 episodes - multitasking for the win!

     

    <Now, here's where you want to stop reading if you haven't watched the whole series, and you're planning on it someday.>

     

    Now, once I got back into the story, it really wasn't slogging, as I'd feared it might be. Almost right away, I that familiar enticement of science fiction and the unknown that drew me into the series in the first place; and the emphasis on mythology and religion in the last two seasons proved particularly intriguing. Taken together those elements made for more thinking, less watch-checking in the last two seasons then the previous couple. And to top it off, the introduction of flash-sideways(es) which were some of the best moments of LOST. That said, the (unnecessary) repetition of "trust me" and "follow me" themes got a bit tiresome. I couldn't help but picture Jack Bauer of 24. Over. and Over again. Of course, when taken in the context of the finale, that particular broken record makes sense:  Light, dark. Good, evil. Which path are you going to choose; who/what are going to follow or believe - in life, death, or the hereafter… trust, choice, follow, believe - or not. But still; it wore on me at times.

     

    My assumption for several seasons was that the inhabitants of the island were dead, and perhaps in a sort of purgatory - earning their redemption or being offered a chance at another go-around in life (think, "Defending Your Life", Al Brooks/Meryl Streep --- LOVED that movie), though, with the arrival of the flash-sideways scenes, I wondered excitedly if LOST were veering back towards sci-fi (alas, this was not to be). I admit that even with the cool new plot lines, I continued through the last two seasons to be concerned that after all was said and done, all the characters, all the mysteries presented in six seasons, there'd be no WAY they'd be able to tie everything up in a nice, neat package. Nevertheless, I was anxiously awaiting the finale. Midway through the final season, I just wanted to KNOW already. Was it heaven, hell, purgatory, a dream, a futuristic planet, the next life, an ACTUAL island?

     

    So, I reached the ending a couple weeks ago. Watched it with eyes wide open. I actually wasn't even running for the last half of the last episode. Hmmm. So.


    Well… I didn't hate it. I wasn't completely disappointed; but I was… mostly disappointed. See, I realized at some point while watching, that those flash-sideways I loved so much, well, I loved them because I really WANTED them to represent redemption, a new shot at life, like a here & now reincarnation: lives they(we) ACTUALLY lived, or COULD live, if they(we) chose to. I wanted the sci-fi time-travel part to be true; I wanted to embrace the paradox of multiple timelines running at the same time (think, Back to the Future). AND, I wanted to believe that even if it WASN'T that, if it WAS, instead, as was heavily suggested in the last season, some kind of life-after-death experience, then the greater message here was: be good, be righteous, be kind, helpful, follow your heart, and you'll get it right – you’re crafting your destiny. It's not God or your religious doctrine choosing your path, nor that your path is already chosen for you, and you’re just moving along it, but that YOU choose your path, you're always choosing your path… and that you'll always have a chance to get it right, even when things don't go right.

     

    But in the end, that isn't what happened; not exactly.  All the loose ends left un-wrapped-up aside (they really DID do a shoddy job with closing up the many sci-fi aspects of the show, much to my disappointment - though I kinda knew it would be that way), my problem with the last episode was that it was a cop out. They all meet in a church and then the world ends with a bright light and lots of hugging, and none of the “bad people” are anywhere to be seen! What?

     

    I felt betrayed, in a way, that all the suggesting they did about time travel, reincarnation, life choices, following the “good” or “evil” path… they just didn’t follow through. The good guys go to heaven, the end. Sigh, how boring. How predictable. How safe.

     
    I know the answers to the questions of the universe: why we're here, where we're going, what happens next; won't be answered by a television show. But I had hope in LOST.  I had hope that maybe what would come from the millions of viewers tuning in each week was a promise, even just an inkling of a promise, that we have CONTROL over our destiny - that if we DO the right things in the NOW, if we make choices to help, be kind, to LOVE, that regardless of all the dogma, it’s truly the here and now that counts.  I think a lot of people may have left LOST still feeling lost, which is a shame. On the upside, it gave me a few moments of really engaging television, some ideas for my book, and a lot of motivation to keep running. So, there's that.

     

    Did you watch LOST? What did you think?

    Posted: Apr 28 2012, 11:53 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    A Vision Through Rose-Colored Glasses





    'Til now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature. 

    ~Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future, 1963

    It's easy to get into the mindset that things will only get worse with our earth. We're bombarded with bad news: population is growing an alarming rate, diseases are resistant to antibiotics, there's not enough food, too much waste, forests are being cut down, species are becoming extinct, water is polluted, the polar ice caps are melting. Surely, with more time, and more people, things only can get worse… The earth has a finite amount of resources; something has to give… It's in the news, the movies, social media: do something. Or else.

    I'm guilty of it myself, here on this blog, in my head, in my words. I look at my Goodreads bookshelf - some of my favorite literature is dystopian. I've felt before - why even try? The fate of our earth can't be good; not with the amount of damage we've done, the slow pace we've taken to action, the tremendous pace of population increase.  I remember before having children, truly contemplating NOT, because why would we want to bring children into an if-not-now-then-soon wasted earth? I know of childfree couples whose choice has been, at least in part, dictated by the gray murkiness of this seeming eventuality.

     

    But, what if we stopped looking at our future through grease-colored glasses? What if our vision of our future earth was not of destruction, disaster, disease, but rather of innovation, harmony, renewal? Isn't there reason to believe with time we can make of our world a place more like The Celestine Prophecy and less like The Road?

    If we can change our outlook from disaster to promise, we can encourage our children to see a future of possibility. I believe an earth respected, will return our consideration. I'm teaching my children a love of the earth, of all she provides us, and of what we can give her - care, compassion, kindness - both for the earth itself, and all her inhabitants: human, plant, animal. I trust what I believe, they'll carry on. And that their carrying on will reverberate, unmuted by the greyness of "doomsday".  I'd like to think that if our vision as a human race is one that can be crafted, shaped, and directed towards our oneness, our mutual need for earthly redemption, then we have hope for our future.

    What better can we leave to our children, if not an earth full of hope? 

    Posted: Apr 24 2012, 22:25 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Rainbow Orzo Pasta Salad (vegan)





    This salad is quick & easy, healthy, super-fresh, kid-friendly, and best of all (of course), tastes delish! Perfect for a warm Summer (or Spring that feels like Summer) evening! 

    Ingredients:

     

    1 box of orzo pasta

    1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped

    1 bell pepper, chopped (the more color, the better - we only used one, but could have done with a second)

    1 bunch of asparagus, lightly steamed (cooked just enough to tenderize, but not lose crispness - 3 min in the microwave did it for us)

    1 cucumber (seedless if possible), chopped

    1/2 cup of italian dressing (whatever dressing you love the best!)

    salt & pepper to taste

     

    Other things you could add to expand the rainbow… carrots! celery! corn! peas! tomatoes!

     

    Preparation:

     

    Put the pasta on to boil. While it's going, steam the asparagus - but remember to go light; you still want it to have a crispness to it. Chop the veggies (the kids helped with this). When the pasta is ready, drain & immediately cool with cold water. Drain completely. Transfer to a bowl & add veggies (more kid help!), pour over the dressing, add salt & pepper, stir (even more kid help!), and then… enjoy!

    This keeps well in the fridge for a few days; watch the cukes for softness, otherwise, all the other veggies hold up well. 

     

    (I know this isn't a grea photo, but I had to add it - just for the GUSTO with which this boy stirs the pasta!)

    Posted: Apr 18 2012, 23:17 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Sunday Spark: Spring Break





    As our Spring Break comes to a close today, I'm looking back with fondness on a week that we didn't really go anywhere, butwe had a grand time all the same - relaxing, witnessing the many Spring flowers in bloom, planting and finding geocaches, and just enjoying tons of family time. Okay, yes, and enduring the stomach bug too (fortunately, that passed quickly). And with today's weather in the 80's, the kids put up a lemonade stand (They made $3.75!!). I hope your Spring break was as agreeable as ours (less the intestinal flu). Happy Spring! 

    Lemonade stand and chalk drawing in April!

     

    Clematis in our front garden, in nearly full bloom!

     

    Swinging...

     

    Iris in our front yard. So quickly they come & go...

     

    One of many geocaches we found this week!

     

    Ah, tulips - the sure sign of Spring!

     

    Serious egg-dying at Grandma's house.

     

    Eggs on the lawn after the fifth or six hide & seek game.

     

    Fetching a ball from the pond. 

     

    The stunning beauty of nature & why I love New Jersey - the pines.

    Posted: Apr 15 2012, 19:36 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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