Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Archive for the ‘Where Happiness Finds You’ Category

The Bear and the Unicorn

For my recent suxteee-seckth birthday, I celebrated with my big ole’ modern family …

… at Savannah’s Tequila’s Town restaurant in Sandfly.

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(Seriously?  Can you believe they come hooting “Happy Bday” laden with tequila for the celebrant!  Even though I had my large head prepared for an oversized sombrero and some flan.)

Post-tequila I received some neat gifts, but perhaps my Favorites came from five-year-old grandtwins Madison (inappropriately pictured above next to the tequila) and Matthew. Their mom let them pick out their gifts for me.  Madison gave me a pink unicorn in a love mug …

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…while Matthew opted for a brown bear that actually smells like chocolate when you rub it vigorously!

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(Matthew is in an over-smiling-for-the-camera stage.)

Oh, they also each got me a large skein of yarn–yellow from Madison and green from Matthew.  Not that I knit (who has the patience for that?!), but because they like to unravel the yarn, make giant spiderwebs and throw it all over the furniture and each other.

Thus, inspired by the tequila, when I got home I opted for a quick photoshoot to document my suxteee-seckth.

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Moral of Story:  the strangest little gifts ofttimes make for the biggest shots of … Joy.

 

 

 

A Call to Calm, A Call to Reset

I love Brand New Years, with no mistakes in them.

[Okay, with relatively few (major) mistakes in them.]

Perhaps it is because I just recently celebrated (?) my suxteee-sickth birthday, that I am being all Contemplative about Life, but I want to give you my “Call” for 2018:

A Call for Calm, A Call to Reset.

“Huh,” you say, Returning Blog Reader?

Well, this:  Politically (on both sides of the aisle), I see, hear and sense discord, disagreement and “I’m not working with you.”  It’s really not just Trump.  It’s the political system that is basically adversarial.

“I hate you because you do not agree with me on issues.”

But it’s pervasive in our society, even entertainment.  We say we hate violence, bemoan and suffer over Las Vegas, Charleston and Orlando–and yet go in throngs to movies with gratuitous violence (check out any blockbuster superhero movie), listen to songs which present women as sexual objects to be used and discarded.

Maybe it is time in this New Year to think about what we are doing day by day, vote by vote, movie ticket by movie ticket, song by song.

Breathing is Life.  Deep in, deep out.  Deep in, deep out.  Deep in, deep out.

Calm.  Peace.

Let’s reset in 2018 to a new norm, one that emphasizes Joy, Peace, Calm and Getting Along.

We really can find Good if we look for it.

Joyous 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YES! I’m Back! Anyone home?

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Oh my goodness!  I’ve been a TERRIBLE blogger this summer, running here, there and everywhere.

BUT I’M BACK!

(Wait, I’m not hearing any shouts of joy.)

The last post was spiritual, so here’s another one that deals with “YES.”

“God tries to create a joyous YES inside you, far more than ny kind of no.”

— Richard Rohr, The Immortal Diamond

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What are you saying yes to this late summer?

 

 

This Road

Each Monday morning, my former colleague Eric Nelson up the road at Georgia Southern University posts a poem on the departmental listserv.  I love today’s.  It feels a little “The Road Not Taken”-ish but with a twist of its own.

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What If This Road

— by Sheenagh Pugh

What if this road, that has held no surprises

these many years, decided not to go

home after all; what if it could turn

left or right with no more ado

than a kite-tail? What if its tarry skin

were like a long, supple bolt of cloth,

that is shaken and rolled out, and takes

a new shape from the contours beneath?

And if it chose to lay itself down

in a new way; around a blind corner,

across hills you must climb without knowing

what’s on the other side; who would not hanker

to be going, at all risks? Who wants to know

a story’s end, or where a road will go?

— from What If This Road and Other Poems (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2003)

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Hairstylist for the Homeless

Every Human Life Is Worth The Same”

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Today I shared the article below in my SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) writing class.  It briefly examines one’s man’s attempt to address the homeless situation.

Take a look and see what you think.  Read the article here:  http://www.dailygood.org/story/851/hairstylist-for-the-homeless-kindness-blog/

Your response/reaction?

Read a related post about a personal experience of mine here:  Touch

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Universally Speaking

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The good folks at the Statesboro Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (especially the Pastoral Care Associate–Shari Barr and the Minister–Reverend Dr. Jane Altman Page) up the road in my old stomping ground of Statesboro, Georgia, where I taught at Georgia Southern University for twenty-plus years, invited me to deliver the message at last Sunday’s service.  What fun!  What joy!

I’ve visited a UU fellowship a time or two before, but had not really looked into their beliefs.  It seems they hold seven principles to be guidance:

  • 1st Principle:  The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • 2nd Principle:  Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • 3rd Principle:  Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • 4th Principle:  A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • 5th Principle:  The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • 6th Principle:  The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • 7th Principle:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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Wow!  All beliefs I hold as important in life.

I arrived a bit early and took pics outside their building.

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Once inside, Shari met me and explained the order of the service.

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And here I am with the Rev. Jane (who I knew for years as a colleague at Georgia Southern).

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Before the service I reconnected with old friends, such as Donna Jones, an officemate of mine in the English Department for years at GSU:

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My talk entitled “Becoming a Balcony People,” about the importance and power of encouragement, went over SO well with the group, mainly because of the attentive folks in attendance.

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(Okay, I know I look a little goofy in that picture.)

What are Balcony People, you ask?  Here’s a brief excerpt from my message:

I submit for your consideration this morning the very simplistic notion that there exist two kinds of people: Balcony People and Basement People.  Balcony People are the folks you come in contact with who encourage you, bless you, give of themselves in some way.  They climb the steps up into your balcony, so to speak, lean over the railing, and yell, “You’re doing great!”  “Keep going!”  “I appreciate you so much.”  “You help make my life better.” “I love you.”  “No, your butt’s not too big.  Really!” 

But in addition to Balcony People, there’s a second category of folks, Basement People.  Basement People go down the steps of your basement, where it’s Dark and Damp and Depressing … and then try to pull you down with them!  They wound with words, or the absence of words.  They harm and cause damage.  They verbally vandalize.

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I love the UU symbol:

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May we all allow our true inner lights of goodness and joy to shine forth.

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Thank you, Statesboro UU.  May all good continue to flow to you!

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Link for full transcript.

Another cool link about the importance of smiling.

Go UU folks!

Livin’ on a Prayer/Dancin’ up a Storm

I LOVE this guy!

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Dance on!

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