Archive for May, 2011

Little Texas: What Might Have Been

May 14, 2011

What Might Have Been by Little Texas is pretty much my favorite music video ever. I get teary every time I watch it and I must have watched it a dozen times. Call me a hopeless romantic or just a big sap, but I never tire of it. It’s a great song that speaks directly (more…)

Super Mario Gets Tough on Bullying

May 13, 2011

Mario Balotelli

I’m not a soccer fan, but I am a fan of the way Mario Balotelli, a professional Italian soccer player, stepped up and helped a young fan stand up for himself. If a baseball player had so much as talked to me when I was a kid, I would have been thrilled. So I can only imagine that this youngster is still walking on air. Here’s what happened, according to this article:

A lot of pro athletes talk a good game when it comes to being opposed to bullying in school. But we must all bow to Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, who took things to a whole different level recently in England. Among Balotelli’s recent exploits was giving a thousand pounds to a homeless man outside of a casino. But recently he topped that.

As Balotelli was leaving the team’s Carrington practice facility recently, he stopped to (more…)

The Tao of Touch

May 12, 2011

One reason why I enjoy working as a certified massage therapist is because it’s a wonderful way to receive the benefits of nurturing touch, even though I’m the only one doing the touching. Connecting with another human being in that way is therapeutic to both the giver and receiver. If you’re single—or sadly, often even if you’re in a relationship—chances are that you are touch deprived, often severely so. I like the way that Marge Piercy addresses the issue in this poem.

by Marge Piercy

What magic does touch create
that we crave it so. That babies
do not thrive without it. That
the nurse who cuts tough nails
and sands calluses on the elderly
tells me sometimes men weep
as she rubs lotion on their feet.

Yet the touch of a stranger
the (more…)

My Graduation Girl!

May 11, 2011

The newly minted college graduate and me

Sunday, May 8, 2011, was a big, big day for the best girl ever! My daughter, Erin, graduated from college with a major in Women’s Studies and a minor in Psychology. She had taken a decade off from school after her freshman year and, with the love and support of her husband, Abe (the best son-in-law ever), returned to finish her degree. Congratulations, Erin, on your tremendous accomplishment!

Oh, you’re probably wondering about that green figurine in the photo. Years ago, when Erin was little, she excitedly inserted a quarter in a grocery store gumball-type machine that dispensed little prizes. To her chagrin, out popped a green dog wearing a Rambo-like artillery belt. Erin, quite the pacifist, was (more…)

How to Become a Cancer Pre-vivor

May 10, 2011

Merit Gest

I enjoy reading about people with positive attitudes who remain optimistic in the face of serious life challenges. That’s why I liked this essay by Merit Gest on Mamapedia Voices, a website featuring posts from up-and-coming mom bloggers and well-known mom experts. I’m impressed by the way Merit reframed her approach to maintaining good  health and viewing the threat of cancer, and I know her words will inspire others.

Challenging Assumptions. Creating Possibilities.

Ten yeas ago, the assumption was that to find your buddies from high school and connect with them you would have to spend a lot of time doing research by phone. Now, Facebook has created new possibilities to connect people all over the world in moments.

Going back a little farther in time, here’s another assumption that’s changing — and it’s definitely more serious. Twenty years ago, if your mother died from breast cancer, you may have assumed that you were more likely to die from the disease as well. Now genetic testing and preventative surgeries are giving women options to outlive their mothers.

As someone who faced a double threat from both ovarian and breast cancer, I ask (more…)

When I Am Only a Dream

May 9, 2011

Photo of Paramahansa Yogananda, courtesy of Self-Realization Fellowship

Inherent in a guru-disciple relationship is an eternal bond and a solemn promise. The guru vows to guide and guard his devoted disciples until they reach the supreme goal of unity with God. This relationship is not dependent on whether or not the guru is in his physical body; in fact, it is understood that leaving the earthly plane frees the guru to be of even greater help to the devotee because he is no longer confined to a limiting physical form.

Just before his mahasamadhi (conscious leaving of the physical body), Paramahansa Yogananda said to Sri Daya Mata, who would become his spiritual and organizational successor, “When I am gone, only love can take my place. Be so drunk with the love of God, night and day, that you won’t know anything but God; and give that love to all.” He also promised his devotees, “To those who think me near, I will be near.”

Yogananda conveyed the same comfort and solace in this hauntingly beautiful poem he wrote in 1940 at his hermitage in Encinitas as a few of his devotees sat at his feet, reading the lines as he wrote and handed them to them.


I come to tell you all of Him,
And the way to encase Him in your bosom,
And of the discipline that brings His grace.
Those of you who have asked me (more…)

Beseeching the Heavens

May 8, 2011

If you have trouble imagining a life of abundance, remember that every child of God is deserving of all the riches of the universe.

No matter how qualified and deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.
Richard Bach

If this were not so, your first instinct would not be lifting (more…)

You Possess Exactly What You Desire

May 7, 2011

When you ask the universe for what you want, it is not your thoughts and words but the conviction behind them that carry the most weight, that ensure that you and your desire become a vibrational match. Such conviction requires that you also have faith in yourself, that you believe in your innate worthiness to receive life’s gifts.

Believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true.

If you sense any resistance on your part, you may be blocking (more…)

Everyone Is a Self-Made Person

May 6, 2011

This moment—and every moment—is yours to do with as you will. It is the way you spend your moments that has brought you to where you are and that will deliver you to where you will be.

Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past.
H. F. Hedge

What can you do right now, what can you think (more…)

Are You Asleep at the Wheel?

May 5, 2011

If you’re like me, you probably thought when you were younger that you were as fully conscious and aware as you were ever going to be. Ah, the innocence of youth. Then, as the years rolled by, you realized that you had been just self-absorbed enough to not realize that you were sleepwalking through life. As you gradually “awoke in the dream” and learned how to become a conscious witness to your own life, you marveled at how clueless you had been.

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
Lao Tzu

That’s the Catch-22 of life. You don’t have a clue (more…)

Dog Teasing 101

May 4, 2011

Need a one-minute laugh break? I don’t think I’ve (more…)

Is This My Home or My Home Away From Home?

May 3, 2011

The weird thing about being back in Minnesota is that it doesn’t feel weird at all. Everything looks and feels so familiar that it seems like I’ve been gone for five days instead of five months. Encinitas feels so much like home that I didn’t know if there was room in my heart for two homes. Yep, there is. In fact, I like that I now have two places that feel like home. I have lots of friends in both places and feel like I’m part of the fabric of the community.

Palm trees and ocean beaches are wonderful but what makes a place feel like home is (more…)

Leaving Paradise

May 2, 2011

I am sitting in the San Diego airport. I will soon be sitting on a chair in the sky, winging my way back to Minnesota after five glorious months in Encinitas. Emotions are mixed. I am happy that I will soon see my family and friends, but I will miss my daily life in paradise. I will be in Minnesota for three months and then fly back to California in early August for another nine months.

I love living simply. It isn’t for everyone but it works for me. I am intentionally homeless; I (more…)

Is There a Heaven, or Just Heaven on Earth?

May 1, 2011

Is there life after death? Of course. As Paramahansa Yogananda explained during a 1938 talk in Encinitas, California:

You are beholding only the middle of life; you do not see the beginning or the end. It isn’t even reasonable to assume that death is the end—that we who are so intelligent and full of life cease to exist as soon as we fall asleep in death. The whole human being is a cluster of the creative thoughts and consciousness of God, which physical death cannot destroy. If death were the end, then there is no God, and there are no realized masters—it is all a pack of lies. The great ones wouldn’t urge you to become better, for what would be the use if, good or bad, we are all junked at the end of life? What would be the value of the scriptures? Why should good men try to be even better? There would be no justice whatsoever if this present existence is all there is to each individual life. What of those souls who lived only a few years, or lived in blind or crippled bodies?

Even if you are virtually certain that the only thing waiting for you at the end of your life is, well, the end of your life, it is tremendously worthwhile to pursue enlightenment through whatever spiritual path feels like home to you. After all, wouldn’t you (more…)