Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Music Monday! Young and Beautiful

May has been a busy month for us at the Raige residence. We went from Mother's day, to youngest son's birthday, then daughter's birthday. Mix in out of town visitors for half the month, things are crazy.

Mother's Day was wonderful though, as I mentioned here, we went to see The Great Gatsby, which I loved. My daughter loved it too, we shared the excitement of waiting for the movie to come out by both reading the book, and then we went together to see it.

For her birthday, which was last week, I am dedicating this Music Monday to her. My beautiful daughter, who I hope understands that she will always be beautiful, even when she is not young. 

As she turns 17 this year, and getting ready to apply for colleges, she is about to embark on her adult life.  And as she continues on her life journey, I hope she remembers who she is is not what she looks like, but how she tends to herself, how she treats others, and what is inside. She can always be young and beautiful, if that is how she feels. 

We all can be young and beautiful, can't we? If that is what we are inside......

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Thought of the Day

A statement I uttered while on the phone with my cousin last weekend, while I was trying to find out my maternal grandfather's parents name: "It is questions like this that we really should have asked when the people who knew the answers were still with us."

My daughter was finishing up a Genealogy project she was doing for school.  I called 3 different family members, and no one knew my grandfather's parent's names. My great grandparents names were lost. 

How quickly our lives are forgotten, how quickly our names are no longer important. 

My maternal grandparents both passed away before I was born, and for some reason they were not talked about much. They both passed away by the time they were in their early 60's, and each one experienced a difficult health issue before their death. What we heard most about them is their suffering at the end of their lives. 

There were some great accomplishments my grandfather achieved, we know a few tidbits. (in the pic above he is receiving an award - he is on the right) But, what stories are there of their younger, happy days? Just a few photos with dates on the back, like this photo, either just before or just after their marriage in 1931.

But his parents names no one knew. Yes, a distant cousin probably knew, but there was not time to track her down before the project was due. 

At least we had some photos. I love the old photos, but the stories to go along with them are even better. This photo, below, was found in a dresser, no date, no name, just the photo in the drawer. It is my grandmother, when she was young and healthy, but where was she and when was this? We will never know. 

Why didn't we ask questions when my mother was alive? Why didn't we ask when the people who knew the answers were still with us? Ah, hindsight IS 20/20 they say. Shoulda coulda woulda doesn't get you what you want.

I DO know that my mother and her sister used to like to play in a cemetery. It was always a funny story my mother liked to tell. They lived next door to a cemetery, and would go over to it to enjoy all the space, and run around and play in it.  I remember thinking when I was little that this was crazy, and brave! I believe the cemetery is behind them in this photo, behind the tall metal fence. At least one fun story can be passed down.

So ask now, tell now. It is important to tell those you love while they can still hear you, and you can still tell.

What is a favorite family story of yours?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Spring has Sprung and the Circle of Life

There is so much to find during Spring. The world comes alive, and we notice things with such color and hope. I have spent the last few weeks completely enjoying the Spring, mostly in the gorgeous flowers that are suddenly everywhere!

We also noticed our bushes had some unusual activity lately. And look what we found!

We eagerly were anticipating baby birds, peeking occasionally at the nest when Momma wasn't there to view the beautiful blue eggs. The trademark of the Robin eggs.

So the weeks went on and the flowers bloomed beautifully, and started the end of their run. We check and check the nest. And one day....

Gone. All 3 gone. No shells to be found anywhere.

We were all so sad about this, even though we know such is the circle of life. It is just so special to see, and witness nature's blooming all around, and just as disheartening to see nature's circle that takes away potential life. Hopefully Momma Robin had a chance to build another nest, somewhere a bit higher up perhaps, and maybe she will have a few more blue eggs hatch into babies. Perhaps. Or the raccoons, who I suspect were the thieves here, will have a prosperous Spring.

Still, there is much beauty to be seen, and even some things that make me smile. That is what I appreciate about Spring, the new growth, the hope and potential of new beginnings, of prospering.

The animals are still out and about, and there are plenty of young rabbits around. Caught this little guy on the side of the road, plenty wary of me and Lady J. 

And with all the rain we have had, meaning LOTS and LOTS of rain, it should be a bountiful Spring. Let's hope it is bountiful for us too. That would certainly ease the stress, and make us appreciate our surroundings even more. I hope there is growth all around.

What is your favorite thing about Spring?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday! No Woman, Nah Cry

Then we would cook corn meal porridge
Of which I'll share with you.......

On the radio today, it is Marley Monday, where they share Bob Marley songs throughout the day. On the way to school, dropping the kids off, we heard this song. My ears picked up the 'corn meal porridge' lyric and instantly I craved it. It was a common breakfast when we lived in the Caribbean, and I haven't had any since we moved from there.

Suddenly I was homesick for my old home, and fond memories of our time there flooded my head. We had tough times then, we struggled plenty in our newly married lives, with a young family and stresses much the same as we are faced with now. We plowed on, we figured it out. We had fun still, we had each other. Everything turned out alright. And it will again.

'Nah Cry, we push h'on trew.' Meaning...'Don't cry we always make it through.' Sometimes we forget, we forget we are strong, and we need to be reminded 'Everything's gonna be alright'.

My feet is my only carriage
So I've got to push on through
But while I'm gone, I mean...

Everything's gonna be alright

No, woman, no cry
Oh, my little sister, don't shed no tears
No, woman, no cry

Ev'rything's gonna be alright

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt - Thurs. Day. and FRIDAY!

I know I know, it is Friday. Actually this post was originally something totally different that it is now. It is a story of Mr. Doubt and Miss Stress trying to make themselves a home right in the middle of my life. Rather suddenly aggressive, and rather quickly all of a sudden.

Why Thurs. Day. ? Well, Wednesday was spent in an allergy fog, and Thursday was just too hard to even say when that day came around. Why was it hard? Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt had actually been hanging around since Wednesday, but I was in too much of a fog to address them. They were there, but were ignored. Well by Thursday, they were most unhappy to be ignored, and reared their ugly heads so much that I could only tackle the day in parts. Thurs. Day. It is what I wrote on our fridge message board, unable to come up with anything witty or positive to say on it. 

Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt greeted me rather early. I wrote a long-winded, negative, complaining post. Then went in to work and there they were bigger than ever! When I could add to the post, let me tell you it was nothing but complaining, nothing but negativity, hopeless rants. 

I read it this morning, tried to re-work it, tried to fix it, but then all that happened was frustrations. Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt had been hanging in the background really since last night. Much discussion, some decisions, and some great family time, the duo were scrunched out of the picture. But my post, oh my it was bad. I felt complete writers frustration. Nothing was coming out the way I wanted it to. Sure yesterday it made sense, but today, well today it just seems negative, weak, and utter garbage. Today, Friday, is much easier to say, and live. Today I am more like, FRIDAY! Whooo!  

Why? Well, really it is often as simple as a new day, a new try, a new outlook, a decision to do things and handle things differently. Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt, well they don't have to hang around, they can just go on their miserable way, and we will figure out how to continue on in a way without them! 

Stranger yet is that today, FRIDAY! is actually one of my longest most difficult days. But heading into it, with out that doubt, and keeping stress at bay, and working WITH those close to me instead of fighting with them, that helps too. 

Yes, today - FRIDAY!  A different attitude, a different outlook, no doubt, less stress anyways, and the feeling that we CAN continue, we will continue, even if it is a slightly different path than the one we were plotting. With the Miss and Mr. gone, I KNOW we can continue, we just have to be flexible, and work together. 

I actually felt like a weight had been lifted. Why? I realized that the weight I was carrying was a self imposed weight. I had invited Miss Stress and Mr. Doubt right in and was making room for them. That left no room for creating, accomplishing, enjoying, moving forward. 

Goodbye, good riddance Mr. Doubt and Miss Stress. Here is to continuing, confidence, and not letting the weight of you get in the way of accomplishing what we can do. 

Have a Spectacular Saturday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Music Monday! Yes Sir, That's My Baby

Yes sir, It's Monday! This week we are celebrating two things - first, so far the highlight of the month for me, a perfect Mother's Day gift was going to see The Great Gatsby. I have always loved the Roaring 20's era, the fashions in particular. The dresses, the headpieces, the dances, the parties. It seemed like a crazy fun time. The Buildings Were Higher, The Parties Were Bigger, The Morals Were Looser and the Liquor Was Cheaper. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

The second thing to celebrate is my youngest son's birthday (today) and his interest in the same era. He has discovered music and films from this time period, and into the 1930's, and makes us all listen and watch movies from then. (Let me tell you the movies from the 1930's I find difficult to get through...if it wasn't for the colorful and amusing language I wouldn't make it through ANY of them)

So to celebrate his birthday, and the great time I had at the movies with the whole family, here is 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby.
I remember my father playing this song on the piano when I was young. He was a teenager in the 1930's and learned all the songs of the times on the piano, as my grandmother was a piano teacher. At many of our family gatherings he would play a song or two, singing right along, and this is one he played frequently.

Yes Sir, let's not forget the fun times we had once, are having now, and can have anytime we want to. Doing the Charleston may help you get that smile on - it is a crazy fun dance! Yes Sir, dance, have fun, enjoy, and celebrate. Maybe we will reach that green light, maybe not, but sometimes it's about the journey, not the destination, and having fun along the way makes the journey worth the trip. Happy Monday.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Find ~ Views from the Road

Technically, these finds are from yesterday, but since we got home so late, it is today's Friday Find.

Usually interstate driving isn't very interesting. Just miles and miles of road, each interstate looking much like another you have most certainly been on for hours and hours. I find my eyes get tired of looking at the land, which starts to look like everywhere else you have been.

So, I happened to notice the sky. The sky, so big, so vast.  I think I also noticed the sky more because everything around us was flat. When you live in the North Carolina mountains, and have to drive East to the other side of the state, you notice how flat the rest of the state is. I am so used to the mountains, when not in them, everything is so...well...flat. And I noticed that over this flat land there is a huge sky, full of beautiful colors and clouds.

Especially when the sun is setting, and the whole word is this brilliant cool blue dusk. It could have been the 8 hours on the road, that I was tired and ready to be home with my full family together. (We had gone to pick up my son from college, so we all were anxious to be home and together relaxing.) But I noticed that the sky at this time of night was awesome. It made me appreciate this world we live in. Appreciate that I wasn't driving, yes, but really appreciate the beauty in the moment, the company I was in, and the colors, so cool and soothing. 

I found views from the road don't always have to be of the road, or what is on the side of the road. We should be open to seeing beauty in everything, even if it is just the sky at dusk, with car lights everywhere, and the land whizzing by.....the sky is beautiful.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Walking on Wednesdays ~ Great Friends Who Encourage Us Not to Give Up

Just when we find it difficult to continue, just when we are about to give up, up steps a friend to encourage us to keep going. Just this morning, I was at the point I thought giving up was the best way to go forward. Stress, worry, and uncertainty got the best of me. It was a small gift I received recently that changed my whole day.

About a week and a half ago, a dear friend, whom I 'met' online first and then have only had the pleasure once to see in person, sent me a little something in the mail. It is an arm band to house your MP3 player while you run. 

She made it for me, she wanted to try a new pattern. I was happy to be the guinea pig really, because when I don't have on my new running pants with the pockets for such things, I have to hold my mp3 player in my hand. Along with my phone, and the leash, this is really annoying. 

I got it in the mail, and sadly it sat for a few days untried. Then she sent me a note asking about it. She noted how she sent it for encouragement and wondered how it fit and how I liked it. Well, I was so touched, I don't know why it didn't occur to me that she was encouraging me to keep running! I was so caught up in the stresses of my life, I didn't take the time to realize my friend reached out and was helping me. 

After the first use, I was hooked. It is perfect. It holds the my little Walkman in just the right place that it doesn't interfere with the dog leash, and I don't accidentally get my arm caught up in the wires and pull the ear bud right off my ear. (this happens regularly when in the pocket of my pants.) I put it on, and essentially forget about it and just enjoy the music, which helps me get through the run!  

Today, as I mentioned, it was particularly difficult for me to get out the door. I am heavy with worry and stress, and that saps almost all my energy. I honestly didn't know how I would find the energy to run. But I had planned to write about this great armband today, and I just wasn't feeling it, so I HAD to get out there and use it to be able to write about it. I forced myself to go, knowing I would be helping my friend by sharing her talent. 

Slipping on the armband, getting my shoes on, the dog so happy we were going she got in her submissive mode, I was actually dreading the run. Once I got the music going, I decided I would at least walk, and if I was walking I would get some extra hills in. Well, after the first hill I decided I should run on the flatter parts, and the second hill I ran up, and by the 3rd hill I decided I would go ahead and running my normal route, meaning the distance would be longer. 

At the beginning of the workout, I was on the verge of tears feeling like I just couldn't keep going on with the amount of stress I was enduring, and by the end I was pushing myself to go farther and harder than usual. What would I do if I just gave up? I would have nothing then, nothing after coming so far. I decided then that giving up was not an option. I would just push harder.
Without the arm band, without my friend's encouragement, I may have just stayed in this morning, feeling like giving up. But I wanted to share her wonderful creation, to write about it and help her, but really, she was the one helping me. 

It was her small gesture that helped me realize that giving it all I've got it what I needed to do. A great friend, who ultimately encouraged me not to give up. Bet she didn't even guess her little gesture would do so much. Thank you Frauke.

If you would like an armband of your own, please contact my friend Frauke.  It may just get you to give it all you've got.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Music Monday! Bohemian Rhapsody

After a long 5 days of work, I sometimes come up blank when it comes time for Music Monday. So I asked hubby what song he would like to hear for today's post, and he, without hesitation, said 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

I asked 'Why?' and he said 'What do you mean why?'

'I need to write about it, say something about it, it has to fit in my blog, that's why.' To this he responded with the conclusive, 'I don't know'.

And that was all he had to say about that.

So here I am this morning, procrastinating washing the pots and pans from last night, before my run, before I have to open for the last day of my work week, before my much anticipated day off tomorrow, and my mind is not focusing on a song. My mind is not focusing on anything actually. 

And I think, 'Why DO I have to write about it? Why does there have to be a commentary on each song?' 

To that I say 'I don't know'. No, there doesn't always need to be reflection, analysis, or a lesson implied. Sometimes we just need to go 'any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me....' 

Bohemian Rhapsody, the full 6-plus minutes, just because.

May your week include moments of just because. Because sometimes we should just sit back, enjoy, no commentary, just go with it, any way the wind blows..........

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Snakes, Wizards and Gnomes, OH MY.

Some days, the distractions are a welcome relief to the stresses that are going on in your life. 

I am lucky that, if I go far enough, on my run I can have such a fantastical distraction. Let me explain.....
It was a beautiful foggy morning the other day - I was actually glad it was grey and foggy, it seemed to match my mood.

After my warm up hill, and run through downtown, my mood wasn't much improved. This led me to want to go just a little farther. I thought it would be the one thing that would get me through the day, that I pushed myself and succeeded. 'A little extra distance would be the only thing I could be happy about today', I thought. The stresses were so bad I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day.
But then I noticed the most unusual thing. Upon what had I come across? What the was this bursting from the ground? A snake! A very large snake.
Then, what should I see, a wizard to greet me? With a wise owl no less. 
And then...a gnome....lounging about next to the wizard. Now, wait a minute.....
Yikes, then 2 more gnomes upon the step! And a monk or something on the side of the path. I had come upon quite a different world here, right on Main Street! Yes, this was all in one yard.

I noticed there came a chuckle out of me, and the dog, so excited to be smelling such new smells, was frantically sniffing and wagging her tail. It occurred to me then. 

I was taking life a bit too seriously. Not make it through the day? Of course I would. It may be difficult, but the sun will set and rise again. I would make it through, and why must it be so awful really. Why can't I smile, laugh, enjoy the fantasy when it appears? 

We must allow ourselves moments of fantasy, of enjoyment. More than a moment really. Fill up your yard with snakes, wizards, and gnomes! Sometimes we get caught up in the seriousness of life, and forget that we are meant to dream, smile, explore, and laugh.

The wizard would approve, the snake will ensure no harm will come to you. And what fun you will have when the dragon arrives.....