Winter 2016 Update

Blues From The Past

Happy 2016! I am relieved the holiday season is over and a fresh new year has begun as I find myself energized in motivation.

In years long gone when my home was center stage for celebration with family, I immersed myself in the preparations with enthusiasm.

When it was all over and Jan. 1st arrived I always felt the blues set in. The bright sparkling decorations, holiday food, and entertaining were gone and the thought of more months of dreary Winter days seemed endless until the emergence of Spring.

Now that most of my (small) family members have passed on and the rest are scattered across the country I find the time of year pared way down…and I am o.k. with that…now.

It’s been a process over many years where the lead up to Thanksgiving dropped me into a gloomy place where I remained until after New Year’s Day. I would struggle to put up a good front but inside I was hurting from the loss of what used to be with those I loved and missed. The festive retail decorations, advertisements/holiday music on the radio, and watching my friends in the same place I used to be would sting like a hot needle poking my body and soul each time. If I could have fast-forwarded thru it all it would have been done with a quick press of my finger.

I had to change my thinking and alleviate my pain of loss that the holidays can bring about. Practicing living in the moment has helped me a lot.  My mind had accepted what used to be but my emotions had not caught up.

One of my life mottos is “There Are Trade-Offs In All Situations”. Whatever changes life tosses your way…there is loss and there is gain.

I could not change those I have lost in my life however I am not alone on my path. My husband has been nothing but patient and supportive of my dark moods regardless of how much he could know the depth I tried to cover from him. I realized how selfish and unfair I was in expecting him to continue without a resolute effort on my part to overcome this “darkness”.

The stress of finding the economy to provide a good time, baking deadlines, projects and arranging schedules are long gone. I will always have the wonderful memories that accompanied it all that made everything worth it tucked away in my heart. I realized in watching my friends with their frenzied pressures of creating their own preparations for a good time that I felt none!

I felt a freedom to create new memories with my man in the way we want to do it without pressure of expectations outside of our own desires. I also felt a bit of envy from a good friend that we had such freedom to go our own way…together.

Am I completely “cured”? <-smile I continue to mend but that deep dark veil with the painful needle like pokes are gone. I am more focused on “the now” and being happy with where I am today.

I do not “do” New Year’s resolutions. What I do is look forward to clearing out the clutter in my “nest” and digging into my projects with renewed eagerness with more focus on taking better care of my body. It’s more of a fresh attitude in waking up every day and moving forward on my path with conscious intentions. So I don’t need to “hibernate” until Spring…I look forward to what I will accomplish once it does!

On a lighter note : ). I have become a football fan! Sports fans have never been a part of my immediate family growing up. On that note, I have never lived in a home where it was any issue. I would go so far as to note if my home teams were doing well but never take time to watch any games. If I went to someone’s house and they had a game on I felt it was a background sound to tune out. I might ask politely who was playing or winning but that is where interest ended.

I remember years ago coming home for a visit, while living far away, to see my grandparents. Upon my arrival to their house…they were watching a baseball game with the “home team”. Both had their feet up in their recliners. I was pleasantly and amusingly shocked! My grandmother knew the key players and supplied me with information about them enthusiastically. How incredibly cute they are, I thought.

Fast forward to 2014 and the Seahawks were headed for the Super Bowl. I caught the passionate fever of a true fan! Yes…and my husband even bought me my first NFL t-shirt. I can now talk football with my best friend’s husband…lol. (O.K…I am still a newbie learning!) My husband teases me about being a football widower and is very pleasant and amused when I tell him I have to watch the game.

We (fans) are rooting for them once again that they will return for a 3rd time. Regardless…true fans will always be supportive.

Go ‘Hawks!

Getting older with grace is allowing oneself to be open to new things and ideas. That is the way I see it anyway. I don’t think we are ever done learning about ourselves and who we are if we remain aware and receptive in recognizing new levels of discovery.

I wish you all the best for the brand new year!

Peace on Your Path,

Jasmine

Webmistress – Majickal Garden

Summer 2015 Update

How Are You – And Do I Care?

By Jasmine

Webmistress – The Majickal Garden

 

How many times a day are you asked “How are you?” I am referring to people that are casual acquaintances we meet as we move about our public ways. In consciously observing these greetings with those that cross my path it has got me thinking about why we do this.

On the surface many seem shallow, automatic and insincere in their delivery. “Do they really want to know?” When someone begins to walk past you they might toss out a “How ya doing?” Am I supposed to respond to their backs as they move away from me? Feeling awkward but not wanting to appear rude I have done just that…which leaves me feeling awkward anyway after doing so!

Because of my conscious quest to understand this social greeting I have been noting a few times where I was about to ask the question to a person’s face and when I was about to deliver it decided against it as I questioned my own sincerity in the moment.

My summation, after thinking about this for some time now, is that primarily it’s an extension to a simple “Hi” or “Hello”.

Of course, the one that is tossed over their shoulder in passing is simply an offhand greeting; “I see you and am merely letting you know” and might require nothing more than a quick smile.

I found myself studying this at the grocery store. Many of the checkers going about their job automatically deliver the “How are you” line with a weariness of having done so for the umpteenth time in that day. They don’t appear to require an answer as their focus is on sliding my purchases over the scanner so we can finish our transaction and they can move on to the next in their line.

Regardless of the automation or tone of delivery…it leaves an opening to develop a conversation, of some sort. It is the moment to offer some social finesse and experience a “paths crossed moment” with conversation while offering some pleasure to an otherwise potentially mundane exercise of human interaction.

Instead of answering with a generic dismissive “I’m fine” I think about something positive in my day and share it. “I am enjoying the sunshine today and as you are my last stop of a long day I am looking forward to spending time in my garden upon my return home.” This might elicit a conversation about what I have growing in it and suddenly we are sharing a moment. It’s really an opportunity…should one choose to see it that way!

I might turn it back to them. There is a very sweet gray haired woman that works at the service desk where multi-tasking is a part of her job. That day, as many others, I had to wait a while for her to get to me. It’s easy to be patient when you see someone working so diligently! She apologized for my wait and after she asked how I was…I told her I had no complaints this fine day and life is good. (Even if it was a crappy day…I do not need to share it with her.) Then I told her I noticed how busy she always is and how she seems to maintain a sunny attitude. She stopped what she was doing for me and looked me in the eye with a genuine grateful smile…taking her time to answer. She said she appreciated very much my observation and said she wished more customers were as nice as I was in saying so. She finished by telling me that some people can be very unkind.

I had another young checker, after her automatic “How are you?” who I asked how her day was going and what side of her shift she was on she responded by telling me she was off in an hour and with a tired sigh told me she had to go to school when she got off. I smiled and said “Ah, then you will be spending time for yourself and your future!” She appeared to stop and think about this and smiled quickly back at me. She told me she never thought about it that way and she would remember that….thank you she said, with sincerity.

In our busy lives remember how initiating a human connection…even if brief…and how uplifting for that moment by taking time to do this by extending compassion for another soul can be uplifting for both sides. We leave the situation with a spring in our step and the goodwill left behind can be considerable.

All this from a simple vague “How are you?” : )

However busy and hectic your days might be…I hope you find some healthy quiet repose time in this the beautiful colorful growth time of Summer. Enjoy those joyful times by being in them exclusively without worry of past or future…solely in the moment!

Peace On Your Path

 

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Carl Jung

summerhacks_us

Spring 2015 Update

Written by Jasmine

(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)

daffodils

 

Warm greetings in this most welcome time of new growth! For some it has been a very long Winter laden with record breaking snowfalls. Here in the Pacific Northwest, with not a flake in sight all season where I live, it turned out to be wet and mild temps from the norm. Even our beautiful mountains have suffered with a much depleted snow pack.

I feel the urge to get busy in clearing out the cob webs and clutter that manages to appear during the dormant time and freshen the place up.

I started with this website for a garden-fresh change that has been long overdue! It is requiring some education on my part in working the updated program which I find rather stimulating in the results it produces. I hope the new look and features are pleasing for you. : )

The latest battle in the news is over Net Neutrality over ISP companies (Internet Service Providers) like Comcast, AT&T and some other interconnect companies. When we access the internet via phone, tablet or computer we get to view websites and videos at pretty much the same speed as everyone else does. The conflict was in the ISP’s desire to control their data pipes from flowing at the speed we have been used to during peak times and in busier areas unless customers were signed up with paying premium payments. Of course they would deem where and when this would happen!

The defense is that the internet belongs to everyone and it was the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) that met these corporations in court and ruled:

“When these rules take effect, broadband service providers will not be allowed to:

  • “Block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices,”
  • “impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device,” or
  • “engage in paid prioritization.

(Quoted from an article in “The Motley Fool” website)

They will contest the ruling as is their right; however it looks like the ruling was solid. I feel this is a huge win for “We The People” against the money grubbin’ corporations that would see us bled dry in order to maintain their quarterly earnings!

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The other day I was doing my yoga routine and injured my elbow. I did not feel it until hours later and quickly my elbow had swollen up, very sore with a significant lack of bending range. I went back over my session and remembered my mind had wandered from the moment to somewhere totally inconsequential to what I was doing. At the time I realized my posture in the pose was off and corrected it but I must have damaged the muscle in the process. I immediately set about using an ice pack every couple hours throughout the rest of the day with limited activity. I had to go out and take care of some business so I pared down my normal prep to only necessary to get myself reasonably presentable. Just putting a scrunchie to a pony tail was a major painful effort! With each step forward I focused solely on that alone. When periods of time came where I had nothing to do but sit calmly still I made sure to savor the moment in awareness and appreciation for  now…everything was alright.

On the 3rd morning upon awakening I gingerly lifted my wounded “wing” off the pillows I had planted it on for my slumber and gave it a bendy run. I had my movement back with but a little bit of soreness and a lot of gratitude that it was a short injury experience. The next morning it was no worse, which gave me hope. However…everyday uses of my limb became greatly limited and offered much challenge to achieve my goals! After a soothing meditation session I replaced frustration and anger for “allowing” it to happen with the knowledge of the reminder it was…to remain “in the moment” fully.

It’s so easy to take basic things in life…like use of all our body parts…for granted. I am comforted with the strength and power of positive thinking that willfully living in the moment brings dealing with incapacitating injury or illness. The only thing to do at those times is whatever is within our ability to help our situation be it with medication, healthy food and supplements or simple tender loving care for ourselves. To accept the things I cannot change…the courage to change the things I can…and the Wisdom to know the difference.

I am looking forward with pleasure to connecting with my awakening garden again as new growth sprouts around me. I hope you find your own connection with nature revitalized and reap the soulful benefits of living in the moment as you doing so.

Peace On Your Path

Jasmine

Webmistress – The Majickal Garden

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different;

being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).

enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will)” – James Baraz

 

▶ Guided Meditation for Sleep… Floating Amongst the Stars – YouTube

I really like this sleep meditation and have been using it often. Insomnia

likes to visit my bed at its own discretion and timing. So I have found

guided imagery with music most helpful during those times.

The male voice is soothing and soft with a pleasant accent.  It’s counter

productive to find your mind wandering in noting you really can’t relax

and follow your guide when all you can think about is how irritating the

voice is to your ears! It lasts an hour and most nights I don’t get past the

first half where I am already drifting in my dreams amongst the stars.

I spend the first 5 min or so lying on my back…mind clear…and allow

my body to sink into the mattress while focusing on the narrator. As

I do this I allow each inhale of breath to settle into each section of my

body and feel it relax…starting with my feet and work upward with

each slow relaxed inhale. Not thinking any words but only observing

as I begin to let go of tension in each body part. With one last long

slow exhale I can feel a slight tingle starting on the top of my head…

traveling down my arms to my fingers and ending in my toes.

At that point I turn over to my sleeping position and allow myself to

be guided to sleep.

(Commentary written by Jasmine-webmistress of The Majickal Garden)