Tag Archives: Health

And the Standing People Say . . .

Each day right now bears some similarities, and also many differences.

As I drive out to the next trailhead there is a certain level of anxiety encroaching.

That’s the similarity.

But it’s not my anxiety.  It belongs to others.

Continue reading And the Standing People Say . . .

A Moment of Reflection – WTF!

In the past couple of years or so, a small cohort of friends and I have entered into our retirement phases.  Retirement from careers, that is, not life.  In fact, one might say life begins anew at this time.

We suddenly have time to do the things we want.  Of course, we have to figure what those are.

And I was having a discussion with one of those friends yesterday about this very topic because he asked me to read over a article he had written about his experiences and how he is now free of the toxic environment in which he worked.  It’s a good piece and I hope he publishes it somewhere.

If you’re a Facebook friend you will have already seen this, but here is the reply I sent him after reading his piece.  With a couple of minor edits and spacing added for flow  . . .

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Continue reading A Moment of Reflection – WTF!

The Beta Male – Being “Woke” – Part 3

A few summers ago, I was up in Michigan visiting family.  The focal point, my brother’s home, was crowded so I bedded down at a nearby hotel.  It happened there was a lounge in the hotel and so it also happened that taking a break there after reunion time with family each day led me to meet a couple of new friends.

Even if these relationships would be passing in short order, three days to be exact, I would still call them friendships.  We bonded over sharing our purposes for our travel and our daily episodes into life.

One of these people was a very beautiful woman, lesbian in sexual orientation.  I’ll call her Mary.  The other was a somewhat boisterous guy, all American male.  Tom.  And then there was me.

Continue reading The Beta Male – Being “Woke” – Part 3

Query

So, I’m walking backwards today.  I’ve often said I do things backwards in life, in terms of my career growth, progression of tackling various challenges, both mental and physical, etc.  But today, I’m applying this to writing a post for the blog.

I usually get some type of thought bubble, stumble upon related materials and then try to link them all together.  A draft comes together.  I polish and post it.  And I enjoy, and learn from, the comments that follow.

Today, I’m going to ask for comments before I write.  Yes, the backwards approach.

Continue reading Query

Neurocognitive Scaffolding

Disclaimer:  Beware – today I dive into a more technical piece of work versus my more poetic stuff 🙂

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I always love it when new terms of art are coined.  The coupling of words and formation of short phrases to describe something, a concept, possibly already known or possibly a new formulation.  It seems to be the perpetual motion of researchers, politicians, and wordsmiths alike, to boil a concept down into a few short syllables to describe something of monumental proportions.

Why?

Well once the label or buzzword or soundbite is created, no one has any need to reference the material supporting it, or even read and digest it for that matter.  It sort of becomes a “given.”  It is a self-explanatory definition that generally becomes universally accepted.

It is the same philosophy journalists use when they try to tell the whole story in just the headline.  Reading the story becomes superfluous, and with lowering attention spans many readers don’t make it past those headlines.

You might even compare this practice to that of our ancient ancestors drawing pictograms and petroglyphs on cave walls.  Reducing an idea to its most elementary form in an attempt to communicate.

Actually, I think images may even be more powerful than words in the sense that they convey detail that encompasses all of the senses that can cross language barriers.  Some days, I would prefer petroglyphs to the written and spoken language 😊

But, should simple or even complex phraseology be given such deference?

I’m not sure.  Such practices have the potential to oversimplify.  And in the case of journalists, many times their stories don’t match their headlines – not even close.

So where am I going with this?  Well, I stumbled upon a new term this week involving our aging brains.  “Neurocognitive Scaffolding.”

Continue reading Neurocognitive Scaffolding

First Camp

There is a sort of calm that takes over as twilight turns to night sky.

As the sun sets, the nuclear fuel driving the shifting breezes subsides.  The towering tree branches no longer swaying back and forth.  Releasing their grips with neighboring limbs.  As if some inaudible song had reached the outro of its final chorus and the dancers now return to their seats.  Resting their mighty legs for tomorrows gyrations.

Continue reading First Camp

Fugitives From Ourselves

Ozark Cabin with John Gardner Quote

Yesterday, my post was about the need to get back out into Nature to promote both our physical and mental health.  What constituted the path to true happiness.  The outward journey to inner healing.

So I felt the need to balance that today with this quote about the inward journey.  This is the toughest journey of all.  And it’s something we often try to avoid.  It can be a scary trek, but it’s also the most rewarding.  Making contact with our spiritual selves.  Without all of the distractions from the external world.

The quote is spot on.  Sometimes people lose themselves.  They become automatons.  Traversing the same trails every day.  Speaking in clichés.  Allowing platitudes to fill the mind.  Avoiding self-examination.

A little time spent in quiet meditation every day is a step to getting back in touch with our real selves.  Unplug from the technological world.  Disconnect from the external illusion and find your authentic soul.

LOGOz

Photo: I chose this pic because this isolated cabin in the Ozark mountains is a good analogy to our inner selves.  Yes, in the material world it’s an external physical structure, but it can symbolically serve to represent our inner consciousness.  Our soul.  Our particle of awareness.  Our gift from the Source.

It is surrounded by a vast external world of distraction and illusion where we often flee.

Come home and relax for a spell.  Sit by the fireplace.  Reconnect with your spiritual self.  Expand your consciousness.

I actually stayed in this little cabin a few years back.  It was a great place to get back to Nature.  Away from the frenetic pace of modernity.  And away from our self-generated hubris.  Not only a place to heal in the outdoors, but a place to make that inward journey in peace and solitude.

In Metta

Call of the Wild*

I’ve been doing a lot of stumbling lately.

I really like that word.  Its main definition is about walking in an unsteady manner, being clumsy, to almost fall, or to make an error.  Blunder.  But I like the other definition, that of unexpectantly coming upon something – like truth.

Now that’s no error.  That’s magic.

Continue reading Call of the Wild*

Happiness

I like this quote because it truly cuts to the heart of it.  We can not find happiness in the external world, or through ownership of material possessions.  True happiness is an internal state of mind and the mind can’t find its way there if it is living in the past, or focused on the future, or by thinking that something or someone else outside ourselves will somehow deliver it to us.  In a pretty package with a bow on top.

It can only be found in the moment with love and through grace in actually living.

I must say for me, travel, being in motion, taking in the real world around me with all of my senses, helps me to live in that moment of spiritual experience.  Just like the moment of this sunset 🙂

LOGOz

 

For Vera

Look closely.  What do you see?

About three years back, I was walking along the roadside and I saw Red Clover blooming in the ditch.  I bent over and snapped a picture, a close up, without even giving it much thought.

Later, back home.  I opened the pic up on the computer screen and my jaw dropped.  It was, is, absolutely stunning!  At least I think so.

What we often regard as single blooms are really composite flowers.  A cluster of miniature florets forming that glorious efflorescence.  And this is what I saw.

Red Clover+C1

A common plant.  So common that people don’t seem to notice it.  Just walk on by.

The Bumble Bees notice it , though.  It seems to be one of their favorites.

But just look at those tiny composite flowers.  The angle of the ones at the top produce the effect of looking at flames dancing in a fire.

But straight on, you can see the tiny detail of each independent bloom.  The red veins of each. Those vascular bundles of Xylem and Phloem that extend the entire length of the plant. The Pistil, holding the reproductive organs.  Each of these tiny flowers will become a seed . . . once the bees do their work.   It will transform and appear much like the head of a Dandelion, before the tiny umbrellas balloon its many children to their distant destinations.  To start the cycle anew.

And to the side and lower views, you see each of the microblooms’ petals.  What an intricate design.

Like a cluster of diminutive orchids.

So many focal points.  The camera can’t decide.  It zooms in on the tiny hairlike projections in between the hues of crimson.

Three years ago, with the snapping of a picture, I snapped back into life.  Back into the life that matters most.  Appreciating the real world and all its glory.  And this re-awaking was fueled by what some would call the commonplace.  Would scarcely give a glance to such a plant.  A wildflower.  An uncultivated beast.

After all, it’s not a Rose . . .

My friend Vera and I were talking about this in relation to my post Wildflowers yesterday.  The uniqueness, the beauty, the ability to recognize and appreciate it before it’s gone.  And I think she said it perfectly when she said:

“It’s funny how we are inclined to categorize things as common or rare, forgetting/ignoring the fact that each one is unique within their own kind. It takes wise reminders to be conscious of that. To have the capacity to appreciate beauty while it lasts, or indeed, transience, in general, demands high wisdom and appropriate temperament.”

And so I dedicate this post to her.  And if you really want to read some fine poetry, and by “fine” I mean amazing, you should check out her blog.  To Dad With Love Poetry.

Until the next wildflower . . .

LOGOz

 

Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

You can fill in the blank in the title.  I might say . . . “are miraculous.”

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I can remember back in college, I had friends who used to wear their headphones constantly.  They told me they couldn’t study without listening to music.  And I always found that hard to believe because if I’m listening to music, the only other thing I can do at the same time is dance.  And I’m not so great at that either, although I have fun flailing about 🙂

I mean I can’t even go to sleep listening to music.  Music just seems to engage some part of my brain that carries me somewhere else completely.

And totally.

Continue reading Silence is Golden, but Mantras . . .

To Feel is Life

I know there are times where the words just don’t seem to flow, but is that really “writer’s block?”  I mean maybe I just don’t feel like writing something today.  Maybe I have other things to do.  Or maybe I’m a bit burnt.

A crispy-critter.

Sometimes writing something, a story from the past or a poem about a relationship, is just like a sucker punch to the gut.  It knocks the wind right out of me, and I really need some recovery time.  Some mindless activity to let a new scab form over that old wound.

Some wounds take a while to heal.  Some never seem to heal.  Such is life.

In fact, some wounds I don’t want to heal.  Never.

Now that might sound weird, but stop and think about it for a minute.  Or two.  Or three, maybe.  However long you need.  It may only be a blink of an eye for some of you.

There was a point I hit when I was a nurse where I had seen so much trauma that I really feared that I would no longer be able to cry.  Seriously.  Is there a limit on tears?  Are we only given the capacity to have so many?  Only allowed to cry one river of tears?  If so, my tears were all used up.

But I experienced another tragedy shortly after that fear hit me that left me crying for a full day.  And while the events of that tragedy were awful, I’m glad I experienced it.  And I hold onto it.  And I cry every time I think about it.  And it happened over 25 years ago.

I’m just glad that I didn’t lose the human connection.  My ability to empathize.  My ability to feel emotion.  To feel pain.

I think it’s essential to life itself.

If you lose this ability, you’re no longer human.  You would no longer even be animal.  You would be a machine.  Processing mechanical inputs and spitting out mechanical outputs.

To feel is to heal.  To feel is to love.  To feel is to live.

To feel for another’s suffering demonstrates that interconnection we have with everything in all life.  To actually feel the same feelings that another entity is experiencing, well, that’s a true connection of spirit.

It’s illuminating.  It’s invaluable.  It’s enlightenment in a raw form.

LOGOz

Photo: A portion of a dandelion’s head – its seeds covered in the morning dew.  Imagine each drop of water to be a separate story.  A story of life.  All such stories are intertwined 🙂