Gratitude for Scarcity (?)

Since this post today is reflective of our current times, it may not make any sense. I picked an ironic title on purpose, however, these words contain a wealth of meaning. I profess to be a “wordsmith”, but I’m also occasionally a rhyming poet, and always a rambling one, so this is what I see:

Where does the wealth go?

Nature’s abundance in the world. I cannot see it, for the trees,

which are not there because the forests are bare… Shelves are bare in the stores, we can’t get any more…

I cannot go out until I spray paint my hair (to cover up those roots!), or put on a cap and it’s getting too warm for that!

I cannot go on with this silly rhyme, but can’t help myself – do it all the time! (Anyone who knows me, swears this is true!)

Getting serious now, even as I ramble I can see the irony… How can you have an attitude of gratitude when there’s lack and limitation?

Answer: Not only CAN you have that “attitude of gratitude”, but you MUST in order to survive!

WHY?  Because there’s so much Real Wealth in the Natural World, that we humans neglect or simply forget, so…

here’s a gentle reminder:

Roses or any glorious blooms remind us of our budding creativity!

As soon as you shift from the feelings of lack and limitation to abundance, you open up the gateways of your imagination. Better that, than allowing the walls to cave in on you! It’s human nature to appreciate beautiful things, so surround yourself in your home with potted plants, bouquets of flowers, your favorite artifacts or family heirlooms taken out of the mothballs, and proudly displayed wherever you want. Doesn’t matter that no one else will see your household decor. It’s enough that it makes you feel good just looking at your treasures! Oh boy, and if it’s a homemade item created by you or a loved one — a painting, sculpture, or clothing knitted or crocheted by hand, that’s even better. 🙂

In addition, some sage advice to remember: “Health Is Wealth”. Now more than ever, nobody can afford to take their health for granted. Whatever is touted as boosting the immune system is getting loads of press, lots of attention. But the old adage still applies: “Let your food be your medicine; let your medicine be your food.” In other words, we need to be proactive with our health, and not rely solely upon doctors, drugs or think the next “magic pill” will do the trick…

I was just talking to a dear friend of mine, of my parent’s generation, and I was really concerned about her health. She’s had a chronic condition for a long time and wears a neck brace because she fell and injured her head/ spinal column and damaged the Vagus nerve. Here is a definition: “The vagus nerve runs throughout the body and is responsible for the function and regulation of main bodily systems such as the heart and digestive tracts. The vagus nerve is used to regulate a variety of body functions including the heartbeat and the muscle movement necessary to keep you breathing.”  Her courage and stubborn resilience has kept her going, when others would have given up!

Even, being so debilitated, my friend managed to drive quite a distance to a specialist, a doctor highly recommended to her. However, when she mentioned the problem and her symptoms, this doctor said he didn’t know what the “vagus nerve” was – had never heard of that!  What?? How could that be??  After driving over 50 miles to see this so-called “specialist”, she finds out there’s nothing he can do for her! Well, needless to say, she doesn’t have much faith in doctors anymore!  Her faith is in God and His divine plan for her life. I believe that’s how it should be! “Let go and Let God” is one of my favorite mottos, and is very comforting and reassuring. 🙂

We must hold fast to Hope, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Be grateful for what you have. Reach out to others who have far less – the vulnerable members of our society. So this is my CALL TO ACTION:  Sign and Send your Petition for Pandemic Relief to include undocumented immigrants!

Thanks for your care and concern! Bless you, and keep you safe!!

Blogging 101: Balance btw. planning and being spontaneous

I’ve always wanted to be a celebrated columnist, and now I’m doing much the same — on the Internet, in cyberspace! It’s even better because I am co-creating a new community of bloggers, not just tooting my own horn to a bunch of avid readers.

The cool thing about blogging is that you give in to your spontaneous side when you write. Nothing is chistled in stone. Everything is subject to change at your whim and/or discretion. You’re not writing an article to publish in a magazine (or now obsolete newspapers). You’re free to create with eager little fingers whatever is on your mind at the time. What’s more, blogging is by nature “conversational”, which you don’t find in most magazine articles or nonfiction books. The conversational writers with whom I’m familiar are Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God books) and Marci Shimoff (“Happy for No Reason”). They both write as they speak, which makes for an easy read. But how did  they develop this casual, give-and take dialogue approach? This is part of my creative flow solution to writer’s block. As I’m still getting used to writing posts, I realize that blogging is indeed a casual platform that serves spontaneity and practical matters with equal alacrity and ease. I just got an email from Blogging Coach, Molly Greene on “How to Build a Perfect Blog Post”, and she’s successfully honed a standardized approach to creating blog posts. This is the planning part, but it allows plenty of room for spontaneity too:

I’ve gotten used to shortening my URLs with Twitter, as I’m happy to do here… One thing that writers Marci and Molly both recommend, which I haven’t done yet, is having a “Call To Action” at the end of each post. Marci Shimoff has many bestsellers to her credit, and she wouldn’t have been so successful without a particular routine or method for organizing her thoughts and ideas. She decides early in her writing drafts what the ultimate call to action will be for her audience. Marci is also a strong proponent of the “shitty first draft” and not being afraid to write badly. (I call it writing from your subconscious mind, where there’s no judgment). Of course, it makes perfect sense for bloggers to also use CTA in their final draft to “stimulate reader engagement” as Molly says so they can grow their own following, and help others do likewise.

Therefore, I’ve decided to present again my introduction at the beginning of Blogging 101, which follows the suggested format (it’s clearly standardized for our Community) and asks questions at the end (Call To Action) while offering a fun and spontaneous way of alleviating writer’s block OR freeing yourself from those nasty gremlins that ZAP your creative energy:

Hi everyone, I’m Jacqueline and I’ve found a way to deal with writer’s block that works quite well. It isn’t the only way, but it definitely gets me in the flow and keeps me there in spite of a multitude of distractions! (Hint: I got this technique from Marci Shimoff, author of “Love For No Reason” and “Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul” books).

My excerpt: My intention is to be of service to other bloggers, by offering a breakthrough approach to overcoming the nefarious and nebulous writers block which is a common affliction for us creatives. And that includes anything which disrupts the flow of your creativity, and keeps your Muse from inspiring you~!

Goal: Actually the excerpt IS my stated goal for this post and theme for my entire WordPress Blog.

My Questions: 1) Do you believe that writer’s block truly is a common concern? I don’t actually reveal the specific method of banishing writer’s block, or why it’s so consistently effective. I am reverse engineering instead, by showing the end result of freestyle writing, which is a verrrry rough first draft (with corrections) as I did with my first three posts. 2) Do you think this will peak curiosity of readers to find out exactly how, with some illustrious help, I’ve conquered this problem?

Link (Optional):

Call To Action: Once you’ve read my early posts, I’d appreciate any suggestions or insights you may have. Thank you!

Banish Writer’s Block: Could You Be My Dream Reader?

I would say that my “dream reader” loves to challenge prevailing notions, taking a fresh look at a popular topic. He/she is an avid writer/blogger as well as reader, and doesn’t hesitate to turn an issue inside out and examine every angle, assuming it’s an interesting enough topic in the first place…

This particular topic is one that’s crucial to really understand. Let’s no longer pay “lip service” to it like the news media does, but instead sincerely deal with the ramifications of such a profile for individuals.

We’ve all heard how important it is to be open and vulnerable, as that reveals your true self to the world. It’s all about being “authentic”, so your audience knows who they’re dealing with. In speaking onstage and doing webinars to promote yourself, the advice on how to be most effective always comes down to that: Be Vulnerable! Only then can your audience or listeners relate to you. You are establishing common ground, which is important so people know you are a flawed human being, like the rest of us. That’s all well and good, and it sounds like reasonable advice to someone who wants very much to put themselves “out there”. But then you have to ask, “Where does all this openness and vulnerability leave me?” Well, that’s a thorny issue. In this day and age, with violence occurring in the least likely places, and families being out of touch (literally lacking physical touch, as we’re connected through mobile devices now) the reality doesn’t exactly measure up in a supportive fashion. Ah, but when you’re a writer, shielded behind your computer, with flying fingers across the keyboard, you can certainly be “open, vulnerable and authentic” in a safer way than say podium speakers in a crowded auditorium. The Internet makes it possible to reach millions of people without ever going out your front door. That’s truly amazing, when you stop to think about it. We’ve successfully leveled the playing field (to some extant) between big wig corporations and small businesses. When it comes to influencing minds and hearts, one person actually CAN make a difference. 😀

My idea of being vulnerable and authentic is not necessarily “telling all” as in a juicy expose (unless you’re into that sort of thing). It’s more of an honest revelation of your feelings on a subject in a calm, dispassionate manner that invites others to comment in the same way. Not everyone wants to share personal trivia about their family or where/when they grew up. It isn’t relevant most of the time, so who cares? In my spiritual coaching practice, I suggest my clients “drop their story” usually when they seem to be over-invested in the past drama of their lives. Be the “ever-present witnessing awareness” as Deepak Chopra says, and cultivate non-attachment to outcome of your endeavors. That is the most “authentic” way anyone can truly be!

Banish Writer’s Block: What IS Absoulute Beauty?

What a wise and wonderful question! Every person will have an entirely different answer, based on their own unique POV. Mine is rather unorthodox, maybe even unsettling. That’s the “beauty” of it, and not limited to eye of the beholder as with museum art or an attractive body. I’m exploring the other senses, feelings, emotions, within a natural healing process than can turn our perception of “ugly” into something beautiful…

I begin my answer with another question: Why should we be afraid to show grief when we’ve suffered a loss? Maybe “afraid” is too strong a word. More like self-conscious and unwilling to look messy or ugly, as with a face scrunched up with tears. We women know that means mascara running down our cheeks — “Oh-my-gosh, can’t allow anyone to see me like this!” It’s embarrassing, and more so for men due to society’s double standard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Having a “good cry” is therapeutic, shows our sensitivity and we feel so much better afterwards, don’t we? After a rainstorm, the air is so fresh and clean and everything looks beautiful. Whenever we have a drought (as now in California) the raindrops become our Heavenly Father’s merciful tears nourishing the parched earth below. Likewise, when we give free reign to our grief, there is a catharsis taking place which is very healing. Those who hear someone crying, have a natural urge to help that person out of sympathy and kindness. We have a causal relationship here that is “beauty” in action, not just a superficial perception of what we consider attractive, and THAT is the essence of compassion. The tear-stained face is beautiful and the offered shoulder to cry on provides blessed relief. Who knew that you could be at your most “attractive” when grieving the death of a loved one? This emotion is an inherent part of our human experience; an absoulute expression of the Soul. Think of it as the ultimate gift to yourself — the freedom to breathe in the grief and embrace tears you shed as a testament to the one you loved. One of my favorite quotes is from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as a gentle rain from Heaven above to the earth below. It is twice blessed; it blesseth him that gives and him that receives.”

A compassionate heart, humbly baring its soul. Ahh, I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.

Banish Writer’s Block: Unleash the Flow of Creativity!

Blogging is new to me, though I’ve been writing ever since my chubby, grubby little hand could grasp a pen. I’ve only posted three entries previously, and will be writing another tomorrow. I’m very grateful to have discovered this cool new community of bloggers. What a useful and timely gift! My intention is to be of service to other writers, by offering a “breakthrough” approach to overcoming the nefarious and nebulous “writers block” which is a common affliction for us creatives. Before “Blogging 101” I figured I would post once a week. Now I see that more activity would certainly move me along the learning/growing continuum faster, like every day (What the hey?!) I’m hoping that “Blogging 101” will get me into the habit of consistently offering value to my readers (What? – Where are they?  – Don’t have any yet…) so I may earn a place in cyberspace, and become revered in the “blogosphere”. I am a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach and Qigong Master. I gently guide my clients to meditate while doing flowing movements. I’m all about being “in the flow” and moving through life with more ease and grace, whether writing a poem or doing an exercise. I just never knew that blogging online could be an avenue for creative expression… Now I’m boldly venturing where I’ve never gone before, not sure where it will take me, but knowing I will eventually get there – Woo Hoo! 😀

Banish Writer’s Block: Being in the Flow of God’s Grace

I wonder at times if there might possibly be a shortcut to receiving God’s Grace. In what way do we need to be deserving of His beneficence? Or is there any way we can give ourselves wholeheartedly to prayer and/or meditation that will give us a leg up, as it were, to God’s good graces? This begs the question of whether meditation or pray[er]ful contemplation is the quickest easiest route to God’s favor. Can each of us in our own way seek heavenly help without any particular method? (I think that’s what I wrote; spilled water on “particular”). Another question arises: What if simply feeling in a certain way that opens our hearts to compassionate feeling for others is enough to grant us peace of mind, gladness of heart or serenity of the soul? I can’t help but feel there is a simpler way to God’s grace and inner peace that doesn’t necess[ar]ily involve any kind of meditation practice or magical word uttered in praying at the altar. I’m considering the good works of one of the most compassionate souls who ever walked this earth — Mother Theresa. She undoubtably [undoubtedly] prayed each day for God’s guidance and I’m sure received His grace many times over. But it was the acts of kindness and her freely shed tears of sorrow over the neverending [never-ending] plight of the extremely poor people of Calcutta that opened the door to the grace and love of God. Every tear that rolled down her wrinkled, careworn face was a testament to the Lord’s presence on earth. No doubt she intuitively knew that. M.T. [correct spelling “Mother Teresa”] didn’t have to do anything other than devote herself to comforting (probably the word, but other side of paper spill) the poor, sick and elderly to win God’s favor, if you can even call it that. She didn’t have to exactly earn karma points, but if anyone happened to be keeping score, she would have earned more points than you could ever imagine… If those points were dollars,, M.T. would have a bank account 10x that of Bill Gates and W.B. [Warren Buffet] combined, and then some!

Banish Writer’s Block 1st Blog: Let Freedom Sing!

What does the word “freedom” really mean? Let’s break it down, as I am fascinated with the origins of words. Others which intrigue me are kingdom, kinship, relationship, friendship… See the pattern? These words all end in “dom” or “ship”. So the first word, “freedom” is a real enabler because the very pronunciation of this word makes you feel that way. Try it! Say the word aloud. Feel into it and let the meaning wash over you, and sink into your pores – FREEDOM. It almost makes you want to deepen your voice and sound like that guy who sang “Ol’ Man River” in the musical “Showboat”. Just remembered his name: Paul Robson. Listen to that song, for it will resonate with your soul. But I digress – or do I? Maybe that song is about more than a river flowing along. Could it be about freedom to move as you choose? Let’s think about that [for] a moment. Words are tools for communication, which we humans rely upon for all facets of our lives. But what if we were all told to sing our words, instead of just speaking them? Well now, I know that you’re thinking, “I can’t sing.” OK I have news for you. It doesn’t matter the least bit whether or not you have a good voice. If you simply start humming, which that is a beautiful way to vibrate not only your voice box, but your entire body as well. It feels absolutely wonderful doesn’t it? [You can] just with everyday speech start singing — any notes, any timbre or tone. You will find that instinct will kick in and soon you’ll be singing like a bird! It’s fun to experiment with that exercise, and in so doing the word FREEDOM (make it part of your lyrics) will start to take shape beyond the definition and your whole body will FEEL the true meaning and spirit of that beautiful word. It embodies what we cherish most in this country, and sparks controversy and political unrest in other countries. Kind of makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it? [Please] don’t make that word into something political or contentious. Remember that phrase: “It is the spirit of the law, more so than the letter of the law”. Let that be a beacon of light which liberates you such that anytime you speak of freedom and/or the liberties we are blessed with, you feel the true meaning in your heart.