Tag Archives: Love

6 LITTLE STORIES

{1}
All villagers decided to pray for rain.
On the day of prayer all the people gathered,
only one boy came with an umbrella.
That’s FAITH .
{2}
When you throw babies in the air,
they laugh because they don’t doubt you will catch them.
That’s TRUST.
{3}
Every night we go to bed
without any assurance of being alive the next morning.
But still we set the alarms to wake up.
That’s HOPE.
{4}
We plan for tomorrow
in spite of zero knowledge of the future.
That’s CONFIDENCE.
{5}
We see the world suffering,
but still we get married and have children.
That’s LOVE.
{6}
On an old man’s shirt a sentence was written:
‘I am not 80 years old –
I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’
That’s ATTITUDE.
 *     *     *
Thanks Linda B.!

Want more inspiration and smiles?  Check out Pawsitively Tuesdays:

Pawsitively Tuesday – turning to exercise

Pawsitively Tuesday – Think about it.

Pawsitively Tuesday – A Whale of an Idea

The HeART of Spirituality – Virtues – Take 2

In case you need a refresher on what a virtue is here are a few:  Patience, Responsibility, Joy, Love, Compassion, Justice, Generosity.

 Can you guess the virtue* I need to work on?

Take a look at the second group of fabulous prayer/contemplation cards!  Here’s the first group – Take 1

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“Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all. 

Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world.”

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” . . . we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion of God which has been founded by all the Prophets. And the religion of God is absolute love and unity.” – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace. p. 32.

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Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till the END.

(Try out the exercise we did after making the cards.  Click here for the entire list of virtues and the worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE)

*The Virtue of Moderation 

10 packages, possible trans fats

Another Spontaneously posed picture of those who were able to stay till the END.
Another SPONTANEOUSLY POSED picture of those who were able to stay till  the END.

The HeART of Spirituality – Communion – Take 1

Ten amazing people made room in their holiday schedules and came to Tapestry Unitarian Congregation for . . .  TA DA!!!

A HeART of Spirituality workshop!

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 Seven spontaneously posed participants

Reverend Kent Doss talked a bit about the history of communion before making the prayer/contemplation cards,  The group was small enough for each person to share what their cards represented.  The evening  ended with a discussion about virtues.

Card #1 – The love of God, love of self – the spark within or what is holy to you

Card #2 – Virtues that connect you – unity with family, friends, colleagues and the world

Here’s the first group of cards and the spiritual principle of unity, oneness and love guiding my choice of focus for the cards.

Can you tell which cards reflect LOVE and which cards express VIRTUES?

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“All the divine Manifestations (Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh) have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. 

They have taught that men should love and mutually help each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity.”

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“The fundamental truth of the Manifestations* is peace. This underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one another.”  – Abdu’l-BahaThe Promulgation of Universal Peace

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*Throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God among them – Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh)—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities.

(Click here for the second group of the cards . . .

. . . and the virtue I need to work on . . .)

Hooked on Haiku & Love

July 4th

Independence Day

when hate and greed are banished

from land of plenty

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 Fireworks of mind

respect, compassion and love 

sparklers of the heart

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It’s freedom for all

when the world is lit in love

until then we pray

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42,500 Acts of Kindness Needed

“. . . do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections.”*

Sense the breeze of love

soothing every beating heart 

Connected as one

Haiku-Heights prompt - BREEZE
prompt – BREEZE

My father, the oldest of 5 children, was born in England where his father and pregnant mother fled to from Poland.  The story of why and how has died with all my relatives.

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

“THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.””What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.””The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.”

“. . . Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.

“The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.”

“As Germany invaded and began occupying European neighbors, the use of camps and ghettos was expanded to confine and sometimes kill not only Jews but also homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and many other ethnic groups in Eastern Europe. The camps and ghettos varied enormously in their mission, organization and size, depending on the Nazis’ needs, the researchers have found.”

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

42,500 acts of kindness is a start – a tiny, symbolic start,

so that hatred and bigotry may end.

*“Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy.”
“Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. The eye that covers faults looks toward the Creator of souls. He created them, trains and provides for them, endows them with capacity and life, sight and hearing; therefore, they are the signs of His grandeur. You must love and be kind to everybody, care for the poor, protect the weak, heal the sick, teach and educate the ignorant.” 
― Abdu’l-Bahá
To read the entire article click on the title or here: www.nytimes.com
 

Jasmine

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Jasmine

In a world of pain

Exists such presence of love

we sigh in relief

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need. Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

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Geoff relates one of the early incidents. “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.” “But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.”-13

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits – and one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted.

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“They are inseparable,” says Geoff. “Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It’s a real treat to see them.”-15

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse.

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Pictured from the left are: “Toby”, a stray Lakeland dog; “Bramble”, orphaned roe deer; “Buster”, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; “Sky”, an injured barn owl; and “Jasmine”, with a mother’s heart doing best what a caring mother would do…and such is the order of God’s Creation.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”. Ephesians 4:2
Thanks Joyce!  Incredibly beautiful story.

Spirituality According to Max, Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick.

“Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), p. 27.

Max, 1989 -2012

Missed the beginning?  Click here:

Prologue & Epilogue

Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule

I haven’t a clue why I decided he was mine.   I just remember turning around, pointing to his enclosure –  “I want that one.”

“You sure?”  My husband’s a bit stunned.

(Small decisions, like what color to paint the wall, incubate in my mind for a long time.  Whereas, buying my first new car, purchasing a house, picking a dog  – these kind of decisions are generally impetuous, emotional  with no basis in logic or fact.)  

“Yes, That one.”  There was no turning back.

The shelter was closing.  If I wanted to adopt I had to return and take him into the play yard to see IF HE LIKED ME  . . . or not.   IF he responded positively THEN  I could then fill out an application to adopt which they would THEN review.

Now I’m getting nervousWhat if he doesn’t like me? What if the shelter volunteers don’t think I am a fit dog owner?  What if someone better comes along and gets him?

The next day he and I have our first face to face.  Literally.  To enter the  large fenced in play yard there’s a very high steep step.  He has very short legs.  I’m told to lift him up the step.  Eyeball to eyeball , he licks  my face and I laugh in delight.  The more I laugh the more he licks.  This dog LOVES me!

In the play yard it’s a variation of “the pillow or me” –  He runs to the fence, barking at something unseen (at least to me)  that needs to be barked at,  runs back to me, licks whatever part of my body he can reach before dashing back to the fence for more barking.  Back and forth, back and forth, he’s as possessed with barking at the fence as he was humping the pillow. I can’t stop laughing and he can’t stop running back and forth, barking and licking, licking and barking.  I was in love.

Apparently the shelter volunteer decided I passed the “likeably test”.  I was allowed to fill out an application to adopt. Now I’m nervous again. Answering questions like:

  • Do I allow pets to sleep with me?” – if I answer “No” they’ll think I’m not a cuddly person.  “Yes”, I don’t care about hygiene.
  • Are there other pets in the household?  No – he’ll be lonely.  Yes – he won’t  get as much attention as he needs.
  • How many hours a day am I at home?  If I’m always at home I’m not interesting enough person to merit adopting such a wonderful dog –  If I work, he’ll be neglected.   If I don’t work I have no means to support him . . . . .

Suddenly truth doesn’t matter. What matters is figuring out what they are looking for so they won’t give MY dog to someone else. Takes me forever to answer the application.  Finally I go with the truth.  I don’t like myself if I lie.  But the truth is I am more  fearful they’ll make home visits, find I lied and take him away.  My mind was crazed with love.

My heart sinks when they announce my application will be REVIEWED. (This is no “APPLICATION”.  This is a life review for top-level security clearance)    He’s scheduled for neutering at the end of the week.  Nothing will  be decided until then.

Would you tell me a bit about him?”  I ask hesitatingly not wanting them to think I’m nosey.

  • About 10 months old.
  • Picked up by Animal Control roaming the streets in a far away city.
  • No identification.
  • Put in a kill-shelter.
  • Rescued the day before he was to be euthanized.
  • Shelter volunteers  named  him Homer.

HOMER! ! !  Trying to keep a blank expression on my face so as not to upset the shelter volunteer,  my mind races.  (I can’t call him HOMER!  He doesn’t look like a Homer, act like a Homer.  Homer is a loser name.  No Homer I’m aware of has ever made it big, except Homer of the Illiad and the Oddysey – ay yi yi – painful flashbacks to struggling with the classics in college.  Homer isn’t quirky, lively and no respectable Homer would EVER hump a pillow.)

Little did I know then how classic  “Homer” really was.

Coming! Homer and the Wicker chair – the plot thickens

Links to all the current chapters (they do need to be read in order to follow the story thread):
Prologue & Epilogue
Chapter 1 – Instincts Rule
Chapter 2 – Love at First Lick
Chapter 3 – Chewsing Heaven
Chapter 4 – Unleashed
Chapter 5 – Our Little Angel
Chapter 6 – Favorite Flavors, Patience & Self Control
Chapter 7 – Love has no Bounds
 
 

The Best Medicine!

Cancelled clients today.  Not feeling well, probably due to titrating off one medication and starting another.  In order to eliminate as many factors as possible to try to find out what is causing my symptom-stuff I’m stopping the meds that may be contributing (under doctors’ supervision).  

Received this wonderful handmade card in the mail today and inside was a loving message and

red hearts!  It’s the best medicine I could have today!

 

Ida, Love the artwork, love the colors colors, love the freedom of expression,  love the card,

love YOU!

Elephant & Ant – Will the Real Eleph Please Stand Up!!!

Been working on some preliminary doodle-sketches for Ramesh’s Poem about the Love Affair Between an Elephant and an Ant.

Ramesh is so creative (and wonderfully quirky) to have dreamt up a relationship between such disparate souls!  But his charming haiku and poem about this unlikely pair captured my attention and my heart.

Here’s a sample of the poetry prelude to Elephant and ANT to whet your taste for more!

Elephant & Ant
by Ramesh Sood
A little More than Ordinary . . .
PreludeBefore Ant
 
Before marrying his Ant
Preliminary Sketch of Rattie!
Our dear hero Elephant
Had fallen for a Female Rat
Oh, don’t ask how could be that
 
Shocked to see the monolith
Rattie thought it really fit
to talk before taking the bait.
 
So happily she agreed for a date
 
 

What’s your vote? Should Elph be Green, Blue, Orange or . . . .?

http://rameshsood.blogspot.com/

Who Could Ask For Anything More!

Love - Rhythm!

I Got Rhythm Haiku

Sing and dance your love
with the joy of grateful hearts
Celebrate life’s tune
 
Swaying to life’s beat
Lifting voices to the sky
Melody of  prayer
 

Here’s my latest LOVE-Page for the Book of Days. Not sure if it’s finished but I’m done! 

For whatever the reason when I was working on the journal page this song kept running through my mind.  It sounded wonderful because My Mind always sings in tune.

This video can’t be “embedded” so you’ll have to use your rhythm and click this link to hear Gene Kelly and the children sing and dance.  It’ll make you smile! Well worth the click!   http://youtu.be/LvglHa_P9BA

Here are the words for those of you who don’t want to hear the wonderfully joyous rendition of:

 I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin

Days can be sunny
With never a sigh,
Don’t need what money
Can buy.
Birds in the tree sing
Their dayful of song.
Why shouldn’t we sing
Along?
I’m chipper all the day,
Happy with my lot.
How did I get that way?
Look at what I’ve got.

I got rhythm,
I got music,
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more?
I got daisies
In green pastures,
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more?
I got daisies
In green pastures,
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more?

Old man trouble,
I don’t mind him —
You won’t find him
‘Round my door

I got starlight,
I got sweet dreams,
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more —
Who could ask for anything more?!

Old man trouble,
I don’t mind him
You won’t find him Polly
‘Round my door Oh…
I got rhythm,
I got music,
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more? Oh…
I got daisies
In green pastures
I got my man —
Who could ask for anything more?
Who could ask for anything more?!
Who could ask for anything more?!

P.S.  I may not respond to everyone’s comment every time as I’m trying to figure out how to better “pace” myself.  (My tempo was much too fast last year.)  Please know that I read EVERY SINGLE ONE!  (As a matter of fact they can’t get posted unless I read and approve.)  

Please don’t stop.  I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS and

almost 1/2 of all this blog’s subscribers subscribe to the comments.

Journal Page, Book of Days – Love #1

The human heart beats 100,000 times a day, propelling six quarts of blood through 60,000 miles (97,000 kilometers) of vessels—20 times the distance across the U.S. from coast to coast. The blood flows briskly, surging out of a ten-ounce (0.3 kilograms) heart so forcefully that large arteries, when severed, can send a jet of blood several feet into the air.  (Wikipedia)

I used a copy of  the picture I posted for my pacemaker surgery as a starting point for my first journal page on Love.  At the time I wasn’t sure why. After I finished the journal page this is what came to me in

haiku:

Coming straight from God
a mechanical heart beat
radiating love

Love #1 Journal Page

https://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/pacemaker-surgery/

NOW THIS RESEARCH IS FASCINATING!

It’s not always easy to follow your heart. But for human babies and their mothers, following each other’s hearts may be as simple as sharing a smile. A new study shows that 3-month-old infants and their mothers can synchronize their heartbeats to mere milliseconds.

Researchers sat 40 pairs of mothers and infants face-to-face, equipped with sticky skin electrodes on either side of their hearts. Beat for beat, mother-and-child hearts thumped together almost instantly

as they shared loving looks or contented coos.

This cardiac coupling worked only for moms with their own babies, and only when the duos synchronized smiles and other cheerful social behaviors, researchers report in this month’s issue of Infant Behavior and Development.

When humans mirror each other’s facial expressions, they may switch on specific areas in the brain that tell the heart when to thump, the researchers suspect. 

Recycling Resolves Resolutions

It’s a problem for me to come up with resolutions every year.  I lead a pretty good life, I re-cycle paper products & plastic.  I exercise fairly regularly.  I’m kind to most people and all animals.

2012 I’m resolving to bring more creativity into my daily life.  SO!  I registered for Journal Art & Memory Keeping with Effy Wild to create a visual journal page daily.  NO FEE, NO pressure. I am not holding myself to HAVING to do it every day.

First step: You are to pick one word to focus on as the “theme” for the daily pages.  I’ve picked LOVE.  

Second step: Find an old book or journal and create the cover.

 I decided to re-cycle an old partially used journal for this project.  That way I didn’t have to take time to create a journal cover.  Although the picture didn’t photo very well you can see it’s generic enough for love.

Re-cycled Journal Cover

I did pretty good at keeping my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s good to look back and feel a sense of accomplishment.

2011 I resolved to:

  1. Loose weight. I lost weight several times.
  2. Take better care of myself. I got my hair cut regularly and took showers.
  3. Stay on top of my billing and expense accounts.  I got on top of the first 7 months last month and my expense records are neatly thrown in a box and maybe other places.
  4. Eat healthier. Everytime I ate candy or cookies or ice cream I’ve washed it down with nuts (protein)
  5. Keep my desk organized. I’ve organized it several times a month (well, maybe every other month . . . or so
  6. Make How -To -Videos for this blog. I’ve thought about them A LOT.
  7. Re-cycle and cut down on waste.  I put ALL paper & plastic into the re-cycle bin, composted, and turned off the water when I brushed my teeth.

All in all 2011 was a pretty good year for resolutions, wouldn’t you say?

I think I will keep these same 7 resolutions all over again for 2012.

Maybe instead of “love” I should pick “re-cycle”?


“Gumping” Through 2011

Forrest: “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama.

For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going”.

At the end of every year I find myself at another ocean, re-viewing my own “run” . . .

2011 has been an eventful year — Tallulah was falsely blamed for my light-headedness, chest pain.  That went on for about 3 months.  I was visited by “mysterious visitors” that kept me up all night coughing.  That went on for about 6 months. (recurs periodically but still don’t know why).  Couldn’t run without pain for about 6 months. (Finally gave in and had a cortisone shot).

I worked 7 days a week.  Every week I figured since I already had worked 5 I might as well work two more.

Consequently I got fibro fogged and messed up my appointments – double booking or forgetting to write down the right time or writing the right time on the wrong day …

Those are the things that went wrong.  What went right?  I’m sure there was a lot – I just don’t remember where I wrote them down.

Not quite sure what I’m suppose to learn from 2011 . . . yet.  With years of hindsight I figured out that having fibromyalgia gives me greater compassion; Having  heart problems reminds me to wake up everyday with a  loving heart;  My study of Baha’i removed my fears and gave me faith and  a bit of wisdom.

I can hear my friends saying it was time to apply the compassion, love and wisdom to myself and stop running.

Hey, Forrest, pass me the box of chocolates . . .

P.S.  In case you didn’t notice, I have been lying on the beach without a computer for the last several days!


How to Make the Question: “Am I Enough?” Funny!

Important topic for EVERYONE

and a funny presentation by Brene Brown in the Ted video.  

You will enjoy!

I work with people everyday, helping them intellectually understand and emotionally integrate the truth of who they are.

I would not be able to do this if I hadn’t taken my own journey in my own therapy to learn I was “enough” :  I wasn’t a fraud and I didn’t have to be afraid that others would discover what was wrong with me if I allowed myself to be vulnerable.

I would not be able to work with others if I didn’t believe we all need to live our lives based on that which Jesus taught – LOVE and Baha’u’llah taught – WE ARE ALL ONE.

When I heard this talk by Brene Brown I was blown away to hear her say with science, with humor and with vulnerability what I had learned and struggle to live by.

In moments of shame

practice gratitude and joy

Let myself be seen

In moments of fear

love with my whole heart and soul

Know, I am enough

(P.S. This haiku was written weeks ago!  I am still haiku’d-out!)

Saved by my Brother & Duffy from Haiku Burn-out

Duffy & Sheila

Last day of Challenge

no words, inspirations left

I’m all haikued-out

Saved by my brother

writing spontaneously

Duffy inspired

Love, by Rick Yerman

Duffy walks lightly

Knee starts to mend right on time

Gentle licks show thanks

http://Haiku-Heights.blogspot.com

  Duffy, my brother Rick and Sister-in-law Sheila’s furry child is a sweetie and is on the mend.

Duffy required TPLO ‘knee’ surgery with 10-12 weeks of recovery. Both his rear ACL’s are either fully torn or tearing and the left one fully blew out.

Now that’s a face anyone could love!

He outweighs Max probably by about 40 pounds so I’ll say that he’s one of the cutest, most loving BIG dogs on the planet.

Max is still Champion of Poise!

The Perfect Healing: Love, Peace & Prayer!

   My post yesterday  https://judithwesterfield.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/unrequited-love/ about how looking at art creates the same neurochemistry as love and a post several months ago about making art/crafts creates the same neurochemistry as calm merged when I read Cloe Filson’s blog. 

Cloe is an artist, a “real life artist” and a Baha’i.

When I saw how Cloe’s illustrated her Baha’i prayer-book I had a aha moment! What a perfect combination:  Love, Peace & Prayer.

Take a look at how Cloe combines all three in this tiny sample of Cloe’s two posts which you can access in the links below

reallifeartist.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bahai-prayer-book-illustration-project-1/

reallifeartist.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/bahai-prayer-book-illustration-project-part-2/

Cloe Filson’s Baha’i Prayer Book art

“I’m a Baha’i. Every Baha’i prays at least once a day, but all are welcome to do so as much as they feel inclined, sometimes by oneself and sometimes with others. Baha’is think of prayer as conversation with God, and God as the unknowable essence.”

“Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote prayers to help His followers articulate the needs and longings of their souls, though we are also free to use our own words. Baha’is also meditate in whatever way they choose.”

“I myself pray to align and realign myself with the circumstances of my life and the general thrust of the universe. I also pray because Bahá’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of my faith, instructed His followers to do so each day.”

“One year, at camp, my friend Samuel and I came up with the idea of adding some illustration to our prayer books; we figured that, since prayer is a beautiful thing, we might benefit from using beautified prayer books. It has been an ongoing project, at least for me, ever since. Every now and then, I do another page or two.”‘ Cloe Filson, RealLifeArtist


There’s a lot more illustrations on Cloe’s blog of how she illustrated her Baha’i Prayer Book.

Unrequited Love

Judy's Journal Page

I’m in love.  Unfortunately I’ve not made time to spend with the object of my affection.  Fortunately, my paramour has lots of other lovers and doesn’t miss my attention.  I pine alone. 

This video made me realize that if I am going to feel good about my love affair, attention must be paid.

“There is a reason why art has served as a means of soulful self-expression for centuries upon centuries. All forms of art, from painting to dancing to music, are very personal and emotional experiences — both for the artists and the viewers.

While it is a common experience to fall in love with a certain artwork, scientists now have evidence that shows the brain reacts similarly when viewing artwork and when falling in love. New research by Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London demonstrates that viewing a beautiful work of art creates the same chemical response as love. Both experiences trigger the feel-good chemical dopamine. So if you’re missing that special someone, perhaps partake in a daily dose of art inspiration.”

And even if you aren’t missing “that special someone” take in a daily dose of creative expression.

We all can use as much dopamine as we can get.

Love, What does it mean?

Can you say “I love you” any better?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What does love mean?’ The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’
Terri – age 4
Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’
Danny – age 7
Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together & you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss’
Emily – age 8
‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’
Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)
If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,’
Nikka – age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet)
Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’
Noelle – age 7
During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’
Cindy – age 8
‘My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’
Clare – age 6
‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’
Mary Ann – age 4
I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’
Lauren – age 4
‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image)
Karen – age 7
‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’
Mark – age 6
You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’
Lauren – age 8

And the final one — Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.

The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four-year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’

Can Compassion be Taught?

A blogger friend asked me this question.  Can compassion be taught?
My primitive thoughts:

1.  To be compassionate we have to put our egos aside.  When self-importance, personal need, greed drive us compassion fades.

2. People must be willing to learn.  What’s the saying? You can lead a human to God but you can’t make him believe.

3. Humans can be taught HOW to be compassionate toward others. 

An example that I come across every time I do couples counseling is that each partner intends compassion while the other partner experiences it as hurt or neglect.  The disparity between INTENTION and EXPERIENCE is based on how each of us PERCEIVES our “reality”.

Ex: The man is being compassionate when he tries to find a solution to the wife’s pain and all she wants is a shoulder to cry on and arms around her.  A wife is being compassionate when she expresses FEELINGS by putting  her arms around him when all he wants is her to bring him a hot meal and stop shopping.

Yes, these are stereotypes but substitute what you “do” to show compassion and you can teach yourself how to match your partners experience to you intention.  Just do what your partner wants instead of what you want.  Fill out the blanks to figure it out.

  • When I show compassion I (behavior)________________ therefore that’s what I want from my partner.
  • When my partner shows compassion he/she (behavior)______________________therefore that’s what he/she wants in return.

Almost to a fault you can believe that whatever one person DOES to show their compassion is precisely what they WANT in return.

4. The easiest way to teach compassion is to put the individual in situations with people less fortunate.  World travel, volunteering, support groups, charitable work are all ways of finding compassion.  Internet chat rooms and forums play similar roles.  (I am not yet convinced that having some kind of direct contact is still not the best way to develop compassion but technology has given us the way of behaving compassionately at a distance.)

After compassion is LOVE.

Can you teach love?

We’re Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack on-Line!

L = LIFE

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it”.
Unknown author.
My Human is D=Discombobolated.  She’s not sure if today is J, K or L.  in the Blogging Challenge, A – Z . So I picked “L“.
I’m particularly fond of LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

I LOVE to LICK anything I LIKE
I LIKE to LICK everyone I LOVE.
and I LOVE ALL OF YOU cuz you LOVE me Too!
Lickingly yours, LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
THE Max

Can You Imagine a World Where All Beings Responded this Way?

YOU… and a WHALE

The Whale… If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.
When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

I pass this on to you with love, my friends, in the same spirit.

And love to Kathe Caldwell http://www.hypnosissolutions.net/ for passing this on to me.

How to Turn a Professional into a Person

Totally caught off-guard, I was tearfully surprised!

Delicious cookies were mixed on the table with paint and glue and paintings of chronic conditions-love and healing.

Sitting around the table were 6 incredible women, all with their own fear, pain and hope.  It was the last of 8 meetings of the Purposely Positive Support Group/Workshop for people with life-altering medical conditions.

And the sneaky little group  surprised me with love.  A HUGE 22 x 16 framed Thank you picture with messages from each that were so warm and touching I couldn’t hold back the tears.

Hey, I tried.  After all I’m a Professional (note the capital “P”).  I’m a psychotherapist (note the small “p”)  Everyone else is supposed to have feelings.  I am TRAINED to remain calm but curious, engaging but not engaged and humane but not human.

I blew it.  My well-trained psyche collapsed under the weight of love.  Theirs and Mine.

In alphabetical order:

Cindi, Cory, Fariba, Lori, Nancy, Theresa –  back at you.

No One Can Tell Me that I’m Doing Wrong Today

“Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I love you (Yes, I do)
And when you give me that pretty little pout
It turns me inside out
There’s something about you, baby (I don’t know)

No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
Whenever I see you smile at me
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
Whenever I see your smiling face my way
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today
No one can tell me that I’m doing wrong today”

James Taylor

Giving Gratitude

It’s November in Southern California where flowers are confused and think it’s spring.

What a day!  Cool, crisp, slight wind, clear blue sky.  Went on my daily prayer walk with Max – my way of celebrating God,  giving gratitude and Max’s way of celebrating being a dog.

Giving gratitude always includes Jim.  When I was at a crossroads,  Jim was heaven-sent.  He  taught me about Baha’i.  It was as if my eyes opened to a world I had always known and believed:

Jim, my eternal appreciation and thankfulness for Your guidance, gifts of confirmation and Your love. You’ve opened my heart, ignited my mind and elevated my soul.

with Love,

Judy

P.S.  from Max who wants you to know he’s eternally grateful for the prayer walks!

Intentional Acts of Kindness

I have participants periodically decorate Random Acts of Kindness Cards in my workshops.

And when I give away one of my CDs I include a Pass-it-On kindness card.

When I saw Chris Dunmire’s Intentional Acts of Kindness page on her

CreativityPortal Blog Creativity-Portal.com

I said “YESSSSSS”!  That’s exactly what we need —–INTENTIONAL Acts of Kindness.

Here’ what Chris writes: “A kinder world, one thought at a time

Who has the power to make this a kinder world? You do! All it takes is for one person to ‘plant an act of kindness’ and it has the potential to grow and spread for everyone’s benefit.

Creativity Portal’s Kindness section has been visited by people worldwide seeking information about kindness and tools they can use to spread more kindness around in the world. We invite you to download some of our free printables below and visit other kindness Web sites so we can all participate in intentional acts of kindness and make life a little brighter for everyone.”

Chris has invented one fun way to inspire more kind acts to continue from person to person through her printable Kindness Pass-Along Gift Cards. These cards are free for you to download, print, and use to spread more kindness in your home, office, school, or community.  So make sure you check them out on her blog.

Here’s a PDF copy of my card.  It’s printed on Business Card stock, front and back.

Acts of Kindness Cark, Front.jpeg

Acts of Kindness Card, back.jpeg

WHAT  is YOUR INTENTIONAL ACT OF KINDNESS ?  And what intentional act of kindness have you received?