Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sucess Puzzle part 1 (of at least 6)

During Lent I was going to seriously work through this program again with Dirk. Many things happened that made that a spotty endeavor at best. So, I am going to work through my thoughts here. I think all my adoring all three or four of you.... might find this process interesting and useful. The last time I did it, was a couple years before creating The Center! It was definitely the catalyst for that jump in my life.

The Success Puzzle by Bob Proctor

What is Success? Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. ~Earl Nightingale

How do you define Progressive? Forward moving, advancing

How do you define Realization? Understanding, reaching manifestation

How do you define Worthy? Valuable, honorable, good

How do you define Ideal? Perfection, perfect plan, best possible situation

Awareness: The changes that are needed to enjoy an ideal life are internal. Most people lack the awareness of the aboundance that surrounds them all the time, just waiting to be accepted.

When you study life, you can study science or theology. Both tell us nothing is created or destroyed so everything we will ever need is here right now, in one state or another, we just lack the awareness to use it.

We are made up of three basic parts:
The Conscious mind: This part is where we reason, made decisions, have free will. The conscious mind can accept or reject ideas and make changes to our behaviors. "We become what we think about."

The Subconscious mind: Often called the emotional mind, the subconscious mind cannot accept or reject ideas. It can only accept what it is told. Here are where habits live, 'automatic responses', things we do or feel without thinking why. It works at the cellular level. It knows NO limits except those we choose to give it.

The Body: Thoughts and images that are choosen by the conscious mind and pressed upon the subconscious mind have to be acted out by the body. Actions you are involved in determine your results.

So: Thoughts determine Feelings which determine Actions which determine Results

The most important thing needed to be Successful is a "Proper Attitude!"

"The greatest discovery of my genration is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." ~William James

"Mind is the great power in all creation." ~J.B. Rhine

"The only thing that will grow is the thing we give energy too." ~Emerson

"Ideas are alive, they grow." ~Tom Willhite

With this new information in mind.... can you come up with 4-6 action statements that would move you closer to your ideal life?

These are mine... I would love to know yours, leave me a note to let me know where you posted them.

Write positive notes to myself.

2) Take time to let the successes sink in without finding the flaws.

3) Spend time really trying to figure out which path I want to head down at this juncture of my life. Write out a plan or ideas for my perfect days....

4) Work on awareness, keep visions of what I want foremost in my mind so that when I sense the opportunities I am ready.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Simple Pleasures.....

As inspired by Tia of Living Deliberately here is my simple pleasure for this week.....

Being able to rent movies On Demand. The movies are less than $4.00, no going out in the car to get them, no late fees because I forgot to take them back, interesting selection of independent movies I probably would not have tried because the store would not have carried them.

Today I rented


This Sundance award winning film refreshingly addresses the Latino/American culture as experienced in the Echo Park area of L.A. Some themes running throughout are coming of age through the exciting wedding-like Quinceanera celebrating the 15th birthday of Latino girls. I was impressed by the honesty and goodness of each character in their chosen lifestyles. Spirituality runs throughout the formalized services headed by Magdalena's father(the serious but judgmental religious type)to the nonjudgmental Tio Tomas' acceptance and love given to all, regardless of circumstances, lifestyle, or "sin."

Echo Park culture is shown to make the most of what they have, without self-pity or whining. This movie should make the big screen for it's flair, artistry, honesty, and empathy for our country's largest minority, under-represented till now. Hooray for Quinceanera! It's joyful and a and real "upper."

I agree with this reviewer. I think I expected something else from the movie (more like a teen comedy), but was very suprised at the beautiful real people it portrayed struggling with life changing decisions. The subtle spirituality running through the movie was just right. God was present without being preachy at all! This was a real treat today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thirteen goals....

I have not done very well at Thursday Thirteen. Since I had to take a break from cleaning and goals have been on my mind lately (I didn't realize I had so many :) ), I thought I would ponder

1) Double my income without doubling my work load. I want to get back on our debt snowball and money makeover. We were doing great, then my step-dad was out of work for 18 months, then just when he went back Dirk got sick and has been home with no income for over 6 months.... I just thank God everyday that we had an emergency account, and that both of them were never out of work at the same time. However, after 2 years things are stretched about as tight as they can get.

2) Figure out how to afford a part-time accountant for the business.

3) Get all the books in the house into the computer so that I know what I have and where it is!

4) Slowly developing the Resource Center into more of an artist's colony or retreat, where kids work with adults in a creative environment most of the time while still covering the 'basics' a couple hours a day. Maybe even starting a boarding school for kids interested in the arts.

5) Lowering our impact on the earth. This means, planting more vegetables, restarting the compost, do better at recycling, even more reusing or repurposing of things we already have, more conscience effort to buy from locals who produce in environmently friendly ways. Maybe even getting zoned as a farm.... This all ties together with our eating healthier foods too.

6) Being able to afford the wedding of my dreams for my 25th anniversary (Oct '09).

7) Helping Kayleigh with her dream for a simple outdoor wedding in June '08.

8) Having a house totally free of clutter and set up with the best Feng Shui energy possible!

9) Remodeling and updating this house and or buying the 23 acres behind us and building what we want from scratch.

10) Going back to school to study Pastry Arts or Baking. I really find cake decorating and buliding with gingerbread to be extremely relaxing. And since I don't like cake and I HATE icing, I am not even tempted to eat it.

11) Doing whatever it takes and bugging as many doctors as I have to, to figure out how I can loose the weight I need to. I want to stay healthy and the longer my heart has to support enough mass for two adults, the sooner I will get really sick.

12) Building a pond and water garden in the space outside my kitchen.

13) Being outside working at least one hour everyday to make this property look like the magical place it really is!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Day!

From John:
10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

16Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!."

17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

I think the flowering of the cross on Easter morning is a wonderful reinactment of this moment. In the garden, something horrible was turned into something very special. Through death came life forever. So the flowered cross is one of the most powerful Easter symbols for me.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Waiting is hard.....

From Luke:
50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

This is one the candles we used for our Passover Seder this year. I lit it tonight to remind me I have to rest and wait. It is too easy to get caught up in the preparations and not rest. Of all Sabbaths, this one is the most important and it should be all about resting, but it seems impossible to be 'ready' if things didn't get done today. Rest!!! and Wait!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

From the stations...

We did the stations of the cross today and this photo is from the Crucifixion Station.

From Matthew:
45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,[c] lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"[d]

47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."

48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."

50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son[e] of God!"

55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Great Vigil..

Eternal God, shed your light upon those of us who watch for you,
that our lips may praise you,
our hearts bless you,
and our lives glorify you,
Through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen

From the New Zealand BCP

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

It means a lot to me every year to 'stay awake and pray with Jesus for an hour' during the Great Vigil. This year it was set up in the new little chapel and that was nice. I prayed the rosary using the New Zealand BCP. It was very quiet and still this year. I was alone with God.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Wikpedia: Tenebrae (Latin for darkness) is a religious service celebrated by high church elements of Western Christianity. Lighting is gradually reduced throughout the service, initially being fully lit by candles, extinguishing and reduction of light occurring throughout, and eventually ending in total darkness (thus the name of the service). A "great noise" is included as part of the service that represents the earthquake at the crucifixion. The service is not considered to have finished until after everyone has left the place of worship In total silence.

The rites associated with Tenebrae may be derived from customs that are connected to the Jewish fast day of Tisha B'Av (the Ninth Day of Av.) On this day, the book of Lamentations is read, the synagogue is darkened and decorative elements are removed.

Tonight's service was really nice. I love the monastic feel to it. The Psalms and lessons from Lamentations are always moving. With the extinguishing of light and the tone of the bell and the gong, it appeals to many senses. Silence and darkness are very powerful.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

This year's Seder....

"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So she paused. And the Grinch put a hand to her ear.
And she did hear a sound rising over the tornado.
It started in low. Then it started to grow...

But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

She stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped her eyes!
Then she shook!
What she saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without a proper table setting, no not at all!
She HADN'T stopped The Seder from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with her grinch-feet ice-cold in the rain,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without fine china! It came without special linens!
"It came with paper, plastic, and HENS!"
And she puzzled for hours, `till her puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something she hadn't before!
"Maybe Seder," she thought, "doesn't have to be perfect!”
"Maybe Passover...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

And what happened then...? Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute her heart didn't feel quite so tight,
Her attitude she adjusted and through the twilight,
She enjoyed her family! And the food for the feast!
And she...

The Grinch served the grilled meat!

Here is the short version of what happened. First, I had the days mixed up. I KNEW the first night of Passover was on the 2nd, but for two weeks I also KNEW the 2nd was Tuesday night. I woke up Monday morning realizing my mistake, but I didn't get to worried about it because it is also traditional to have an other Seder on night 2... and the Rabbis long ago built a 'safety' net like that into Passover.

Then I forget to take the Turkey out of the freezer, until late Monday afternoon. I always buy fresh, but my mom, to help me out bought the frozen turkey. Well at noon this morning it was still frozen. Dirk, wonderful dh that he is goes down to the new butcher shop about a mile from the house to get fresh meat I can cook.... he comes back with two fryer hens. They are not fit for roasting so I cut them up and marinate them for a couple hours, thinking it is a pretty day grilling them will be nice.

Then as the day goes on, Athena and I are cooking and I discover no red wine in the house at all. No grape juice either, only sparkling apple cider! So, Dirk goes back out. While he is out I discover we don't the ingredients for Macaroons either. The store is totally sold out of them and the only cookie he can find with no flour does have butter, "oh well," I say, "we can live with that I guess." But inside I was starting to get very frustrated....

Now the dishes...the only dish we could find was the Seder Plate because I keep it hung up on the kitchen wall all year long! Elijah's cup, my special linens, the special dishes, candles, candle sticks, etc...none of it was in the hall closet where it should have been! The whole Seder box was gone. So we had to eat off paper and plastic.... now I was starting to get really grouchy!

I did say this was the short version right. Ok, to keep it short....the potatoes got over boiled so the mashed potatoes were much more like soup. Because it started to storm as the chicken went on the grill it took way too long and the asparagus got over cooked. Even when the chicken did come off the grill it tasted more smoked than grilled. Not bad, just not what I wanted.

When we finally sat down to begin (very late, but just before the sun would have been down if it weren't storming) I was ready for it to be over. I was going through the motions when I started to hear... Athena reading the Hebrew prayers, my sister reading for meaning instead of speed (like in the past), Nathan reading passages without being asked, everyone's laughter.... then the passage in our Haggadah that said you must have these three symbols to have a complete Seder....and I realized we had those three things (lamb bone, matzah, and bitter herbs) and much more. All the important elements were there in front of me.

I remembered too, about the Holocaust victims that had to celebrate Passover with saved scraps or nothing at all. Seder is about Freedom and that means freedom from being perfect too! I have been trying for a few years to write a play about the perfect Seder.... That one would probably not be nearly as powerful as one like this where everything went wrong, but God still made it right!

Monday, April 2, 2007

the morning before the eve of Passover.....

In Temple times the paschal lamb was offered during the afternoon of the eve of Passover; therefore more laws and ceremonies are grouped around this day than around the eve of any other holiday. On the evening of the day preceding Passover the ceremony of searching for leaven is performed by the master of the house (Pes. 2a; see Jew. Encyc. ii. 628 s.v.; BediḲat ḤameẒ).

This is a tradition that has always fasinated me. You clean your house from top to bottom, get rid of all leaven products, dust, and crumbs. Then when it is spotless, you hide just a little cracker or bread crumb somewhere in the house and the head of the house, with kids following close behind, searches high and low in every room looking for it. They sweep it away and burned before noon.

The reason behind this is that sin hides in our life, even when we think we have it all cleaned up and aired out, we still have to go searching until it is all uncovered and given to God. Then for 8 days we eat no leavening. This is where my faith collides. Like this year when Passover is during Holy Week, it is hard...well alright impossible..for my family to keep 8 full days of unleaven bread because Easter without fresh Challah or fresh Cinnamon rolls is just not Easter! It is also hard to go back to Matza after tasting real bread.

Theologically, I love the symbolizm of sin and the denial of self that Passover brings. I love celebrating the Freedom that a Passover Seder is all about. I find the season of Passover to be as meaningful as Lent and love it when it comes the week before holy week or ends on Good Friday. However, when they intersect the way they do this year I have to decide which is a more powerful expression of my faith...the Risen Lord on Easter Morning, or Elijah coming as the stranger to bless my home.... Both are about Freedom, but the paths are different.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Palm Sunday--what is it all about?

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He said in reply "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"
(Luke 19:39-40)

I like how Fr. Ben said today that Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, to be more correct, is like the cliff notes version of Holy Week. The service starts on the high note of Jesus being adored by the masses and ends with the Crucifixion. Too much information in to short a time.

I love the pageantry of the Palm procession. The pretty clothes, the pretty flowers, the green of spring, the love that went into making the palms and even the way the larger palm branches wave in the breeze. God is waking up the world, that is what it feels like on Palm Sunday morning. I pause in that Glory. I rest in that Peace.

It sets the tone for me for the rest of the week. I know that I will spend every night in worship, so I can savor each step. I don't have to focus on the Passion or the Crucifixion today. Their days will come. Today is about rejoicing and being in the moment of the awaking, the recognition.

This is about God walking among the people again. Not just the high and learned, but the lowest and poorest people too, accessible to all.

So sing today:
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC won't you smile at me?
Sanna Hosanna
Hey Superstar