Tuesday, January 30, 2007

 

The Winds Doth Blow


Today the ferocious winds are still blowing. Everything that wasn't tied down on our deck got either knocked down, blown around, or blown away. My wind chimes outside my window where my computer desk sits are going crazy. The big-mother-chime has a long metal piece which hangs down from the middle. Every now and then a gust will blow this hard metal right into the window, and the sound is as if a bullet is hitting my window. I jump out of my skin every time this happens! To say I am disturbed by these aggravating winds is putting it mildly! The windsurfers are probably ecstatic.

After writing this first paragraph, it struck me the smart thing to do would be to walk outside and simply take down the chimes! And so I will! I just did it. Ahhh....no more bullet sounds. If all of life's annoyances were this simple.

Most every day an annoyance enters my life. Such is life. Depending upon the size of the annoyance, I am either mildly annoyed or hugely stressed. The list is endless: where did I put that bill? Why am I being billed for something from last October? Where did that important phone number, email, or address get placed? You know how it goes. Questions demanding answers equates to time spent doing things we don't want to be doing, such as searching for an hour for something when we know we put it exactly right THERE! This is why we need vacations! If not a get-away, at least meditation.

I love being organized, and the desire for even MORE organization is always with me.
Life is so much easier when you're organized, and then the small niggly annoyances don't grow into major stressors. Last month I made a commitment to becoming extremely organized this year, and what I'm discovering about this commitment is that there is a lot more work involved in getting super organized than I bargained for. I'm ready for a vacation to a serene retreat where the winds are gentle and my mind isn't dwelling on my 'to-do lists'.

Better yet, I'm gonna go meditate. It's easier. I don't have to travel. Except inwards.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

 

Maui Dharma Center Celebrates Lha Bab Stupa

Today was a very special day. We attended the celebration of the new Maui Dharma Center Lha Bab Stupa in Paia. This memorial stupa in honor of the late Lama Tenzin (the former head of the Dharma Center who passed away in 2001) has been conceived and spearheaded by Georgianna Cook (photographed in white in the following slide show) who worked closely with Lama Tenzin and still sits on the board and manages the Dharma Center.

The Dharma Center gave the public a chance to participate in the ceremonial opening today by asking for items to be contributed to be sealed inside the Stupa-- anything of spiritual, sentimental value...but not anything unclean. As the participants (including us) filed up the stairs, we had to cover our faces with a cloth (which was provided for us) to put over our mouth and nose and another cloth to hold whatever was given to us that had been donated. Our hands could not touch the items we carried up the stairs into the stupa.

Many items had been put on the ceremonial altar, chanted and prayed over. This included thousands of Tsa Tsas--small gold and red relics containing prayers. These tsa tsas had been handmade by members of the Dharma Center over a period of several months. Many precious items had been donated from far and wide-- beside the personal offerings given by the public and handmade by the members.

The dimensions of the Paia Lha Bab Stupa have met the exact Tibetan Stupa requirements. "A Stupa is a symbol of the Wisdom Teachings of all the Buddhas, and represents the Perfect Enlightened Mind." The Paia Stupa "commemorates the Buddha's descent from the God Realm of Tushita and his subsequent return to earth."

We waited our turn in line for over an hour. We had no idea what we would be given to bring up the stairs to put inside the stupa. We left our precious items to be included in the donation basket below. (All of this story is presented in slide presentation at the end of this post.) When it came my turn, I was given a statue of KUAN YIN! As most people must know by know, my real name isn't kuanyin. This is simply my blog name, and I chose the name Kuanyin because I am in resonance with Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. For more information about Kuan Yin (spelled many different ways in different cultures), click here.

It's at moments like this that you realize that indeed There Are No Accidents! There were only a small amount of statues to be carried up the stairs, and the rest of the items were wrapped in cloth. The odds of me having the honor to place Kuan Yin in the Stupa were huge, for there was a large crowd of people and items. My partner received a Buddha to bring as an offering. The photos are below.

For more information, visit the Maui Dharma Center.



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Friday, January 26, 2007

 

Fire On The Mountain


The forest fire in Kula began several days ago, but as of last night, the fire was still burning! I couldn't sleep last night, and I finally got out of bed. When I looked out my window, I couldn't believe what I was seeing: all across the top of the mountain looked like one huge blaze. My digital photo doesn't begin to capture the extent of the blaze I watched at 2:30 am this morning.

The Maui News of January 25th ran this story yesterday: "Polipoli forest reserve blaze still burning". You can read more here. An estimated 30 acres of pine and native forest have been burned.

Today there is a lots of smoke in the air, and this is the photo taken this morning. I can't see any fires now in the daylight--just smoke. The fire is still blazing, and so far, no homes are in danger. However, if the Kona Winds start blowing, this situation could change in a heartbeat.



Polipoli was very special to me, and one I have written about in several articles. So I am extremely saddened and troubled about this fire.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

 

Thirteen Famous Hawaiian Characters

Art Courtesy of Love Peace Happiness


Many people living outside the Hawaiian Islands have heard about Pele, the famous Fire Goddess. The Hawaiian family is a large one, and outside of the Islands, many of the other well-known characters around which the myths and legends of Hawaii are woven are unknown-- so here's some for my Thursday Thirteen list beginning with the revered Madame Pele:

1. Pele came to the Islands from the South Seas and discovered the Hawaiian Islands as they presently are. After visiting all the islands, she settled in Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii (Halema'uma'u)where she still resides today. She is often reported to be seen in physical form wearing either white or red.

2. Hi'iaka is the beloved youngest sister of Pele and figures into many Hawaiian myths. One of the most famous of these myths is when Pele sent Hi'iaka on a journey to locate Lohi'au, the lover of Pele. A love affair began with Lohi'au and Hi'iaka.

3. Lohi'au pissed off Pele so much when she found him cheating on her with her sister that to get revenge she devoured him with fire, leaving nothing but a pillar of black magma. But...

4. Kanemilohai, the brother, took pity on the lovers and brought Lohi'au back to life. whereupon Lohi'au married Hi'iaka making a happy life on Kauai.

5. Poli'ahu is the beautiful Snow Goddess of Mauna Kea, one of the highest volcanic craters in the world and where people can sometimes ski in the Hawaiian Islands. After a famous battle with Pele, she retreated to her mountain top and rules the northern part of the Big Island while Pele rules the southern part.

6. Maui the Demi-God, trickster, and a fisherman who among other wonders snared the Sun so that it would move more slowly through the Heavens. This symbolic magical, supernatural barb or hook with which he snared and lassooed the Sun is sold in many jewelry stores fashioned from bone, gold or silver.

7. Hina, the Goddess of the Moon, is one of the famous ancestral goddesses of ancient Hawaii. Hina called out to her son, Maui, to rescue her in one myth and subdue a powerful dragon, Kuna. The warrior Maui eventually whipped Kuna's ass with a magic club he created. Hina and her friends were cheerleaders with magical chants and powerful incantations. Hina has four daughters, and she is connected with the island of Molokai'i.

8. Ai-laau is the ancient god of volanic fires who took off when he saw fierce Pele coming to the Islands, abandoning his home in a pit crater. No one has ever heard from him again.

9. Kamapua'ua had a torrid love affair with Pele. He often appears in the form of a pig or a pig-man. They had one child from their tempestuous relationship.

10. Lilinoe is the younger sister of Poliahu mentioned earlier. She lives in Haleakala on Maui and is known as the Goddess of Mists.

11. Papa is the divine ancestress and creator god of the Hawaiian people and gave birth to all of the Hawaiian Islands. Mother Earth!

12. Ka'ahupahau guards the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Born a human, she was transformed into a shark along with her brother.

13. Kane was born from Papa (number eleven above) and Wakea (the sky and light), and he came to Hawaii with his constant companion, the god Kanaloa. The list is long of all his many forms and attributes of which the whirlwind, the rainbow, the heavenly star, the wind, fresh water and yellow are a few.

To get the Thursday Thirteen code, go here.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

Maui: Photos of the Wet and Dry


Monday, January 22, 2007

 

Going Digital & Flowing With Change


For many a year--ever since I began taking digital photos--I have procrastinated about moving my old photos to digital. However, with the push from this most recent Capricorn New Moon, I have begun a huge undertaking: scanning thousands of photos into my computer, categorizing them, and getting organized by subject, theme, and time period.

I knew this task would be time-consuming, but I had no idea how much satisfaction I would feel in getting organized. And am I ever feeling buzzed about this project! My initial plan was to pace myself and only scan in 100 photos a day, but I'm getting such a charge on this that I am now exceeding that limit!

In the past I've used Flickr and Picture Trail. Picasa drove me absolutely up the wall with its complexity, so I let that program go. My latest love affair is with Slide.

Slide is so easy to use, and they give you many options of how you can arrange your photos as for style, themes, skins, and size. They give you the code to download your photos to Bebo, MySpace, LiveJournal, Facebook, Friendster, Blogger, Xanga, Yahoo!360, and others. You can also email the album you've created to others.

Thus far, I've done two slides with lots of photos on each one and am working on my third slide show now. Going through these old photos is making my heart wrench a bit as I remember "the way we were" and places, lifestyle and people that have come and gone out of my life.

How Maui has changed in the sixteen years I've lived here. I began documenting Maui on two other photo blogs this year--my whimsical Maui Skies and my daily photo blog titled WaileaDailyPhoto. I've been taking even more photos than normal since I now carry two digital cameras with me wherever I go. The other day I told my partner I wanted to go take some photos from this restaurant along the ocean. We drove there, and nothing was there but empty land for sale! This whole beach-side shopping center was missing. We were both in a state of saddened shock.

Yes, Maui is changing! Now four miles of the four-lane Mokulele Highway is completed, and the next four miles from Kihei to Kahului will be completed shortly. Imagine! We will soon have a freeway on Maui. I find this a bit unnerving, yet I know it's necessary because of the growth of Maui.

The photo above is from my archives and recently scanned in. Maui always looks exceedingly holy, serene, and mystical from boats looking ashore.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

 

Kris Kristofferson In Concert At the MACC



We attended the Kris Kristofferson Benefit Concert to Support Hana High School Athletics this evening at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Apparently there was going to be a cut-back on the monies available for the athletics, so Kris who lives in Hana performed to raise monies for the Hana High School Athletic Program. Additional donations can be sent to:

Hana High School Athletics
P.O. Box 128
Hana, HI 96713

Kris played most of his golden-oldies which the more mature audience ate up, especially my partner, who is a huge fan. He first met Kris when Kris performed at a hole-in-the-wall-club called The Poison Apple in Detroit, Michigan way back when. That was when Kris was with Rita Coolidge, according to my partner who is a huge repository of trivia and facts about Kris. Naturally, he has all of Kris's old albums (yes, those ancient 'things'!) signed by Kris too!

One lady behind me slept through most of the concert. The older lady on my right shouted out for a song--as did my partner because Kris hadn't yet sung his favorite song, "Jesus was a Capricorn". However, Kris did respond to the call for this song saying that indeed Jesus was a Capricorn!

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

 

Thursday Thirteen Things of Beauty I Saw This Week



One of the great blessings in life is to be able to appreciate beauty, and beauty comes in many forms, shapes, sizes,sounds, feels,and colors. I'd like to share thirteen beautiful sites/things/objects/people I saw this week. Maybe you will find them beautiful as well.

1. What is it? A leaf-filled drain cover!

2. Two trees--one windswept, and one straight and tall.

3. Our cat Anela takes her morning sunbath.

4. A yellow rose bloomed.

5. The window garden planter at Tommy Bahama's store is loaded with beautiful orchids.

6. The tablecloth and chair at the Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurant at the Shops of Wailea has a certain flair.

7. And so does its bar!

8. The bird eyes our food.

9.
The fountain in the center of the Shops of Wailea shopping center dances.

10. I watched a happy child frolic at the seashore.

11. I drove past billowing sugar cane plants in fields.

12.
I watched lots of planes arriving on Maui.

13. I admired a stately tree at Baldwin Beach Park.


To Get the Thursday Thirteen Code, click here.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

 

Those Who Touch Our Lives

Photo: Charles Pfeil


I've recently tackled and completed tasks about which I've procrastinated for a long, long time. The biggest JOB was re-working and organizing our large storage closet, a feng-shui nightmare if there ever was one. This is the closet where everything gets tossed and where eventually everything ends up jumbled together. I'm sure everyone might possibly have one of these in their home at one point or the other. Total chaos ruled this closet. No more! Now I can actually walk into it, and I know where everything is even if the closet bulges a bit.

The second transformation was my 'art-space'. Said art-space was totally clogged with papers, junk, doo-dads, odd-and-ends, and what-not's which didn't belong in this space. Somehow they had found a home there, and this space had become another one of my feng-shui nightmares. Organizing, sifting-through, and deleting the not-art-stuff was a major challenge, and one I'm still working on.

I have to be in a certain mood for these tedious tasks. Therefore, I play melancholy music, light a few aromatherapy candles, and put myself into the mindset of what is really important by contemplating the news of the day. This is what works for me.

This week a great man passed on. I contemplated the life of the man best known as Secret Santa who gave away a total of $1.3 million while he was alive. His real name was Larry Stewart, an unassuming Kansas City millionaire. You can read an article about him here and on the web at Secret Santa.

Inspired by the life of a great man, the small stuff like household disorder and tedious tasks are seen for what they are: Small Potatoes. Molehills.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

 

Best Hair at the 2007 Golden Globes

Art courtesy of Josephine Wall

I'm one of those people who notices hair--both my own and others. So it's only natural that I would scope out the hair of what are considered the most fashionable, chic women who show up for the Golden Globe Awards every year.

Here is my run-down of who I thought looked great and who didn't in 2007 at the Globes:

The list of the hairstyles on the actors I liked is much longer than the ones I didn't. Some of my favorites were: Evangeline Lilly, Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Drew Barrymore, Ali Larter, Scarlett Johansen, and Angelina Jolie. Salma Hayek looked divine with her dark hair and white, sexy dress. She stole the show which wasn't easy to do.

The hairstyles I didn't like were: Sharon Stone--way too matronly! Sienna Miller--what was she thinking with that thick alpine braid going across the top of her head with the messy back part?! Cameron Diaz--I liked her better as a blond, and her lipstick was WAY too red. I might have liked her hair better if her lipstick wasn't shouting at me. She has a gorgeous, megawatt smile, and it doesn't require bright red lips. She smolders with paler lip color. Vanessa Williams who always looks so sleek and glamorous had hair which looked as if it had hit a monster making machine. Scary! Elizabeth Perkins is too young to wear that 'do'! Fire her hairdresser or stylist or whomever!

Most of the guys looked great too, even Sasha Cohen, who would look more handsome if he shortened those long sideburns. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, Patrick Dempsey all looked their regular fabulous selves. Nothing ever seems to change with these guys at the awards shows--same hair, same chic clothes. They've got their act together.

As for my OWN hair these days, I'm in a never-ending battle with my bangs. They're either too thick, too long, too clumped, or too not right. I try not to obsess about them for there are more important issues in this world than 'my bangs'. The only person who can make them look fabulous is my hairdresser whom I would like to live with me and fix them every day just right as she is so skilled in this area. However, since this scenario is out of the realm of possibility, I shall have to push them this way and that way or ignore them. Hair! It's one of life's most peculiar things. How did it happen that hair became such an object of hate and fascination?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

 

Tsunami Excitement In the Hawaiian Islands

Photo: Terragalleria

Friday night was fairly exciting as we waited to hear if a tsunami were going to reach our shores. There had been a large earthquake off the coast of Japan, and thus the public here in Hawaii had been put on alert through television, radio and then the phone calls--what we call the coconut telegraph hotline. The news was of what is called a "tsunami watch" with a possible evacuation for those who live in low-lying areas or near the shore. (We don't.) However, my concern for others and the 'aina' was strong, so I waited up for the warning to be either upgraded (which would have meant evacuation for many) OR for the word from the NWS that there was nothing to be concerned about. This news happened before midnight. Good news. Now go to bed. Yeh!

Last evening as I watched the news on television, I saw where Human Error had crept into this tsunami watch announcement, and I'm sure the famous "Murphy" had a good, hearty laugh. The National Weather Service which issues these alerts has a program on its computers, and apparently (they didn't say EXACTLTY who) someone on the staff had ACCIDENTALLY AT SOME POINT pushed the WRONG button which then moved the warning level UP from merely a watch to the more serious evacuate level. This warning then generated lots of phone calls from panicked people, and I'm sure lots of unneccessary work on the part of the service 'splaining themselves. I wonder what they said to the citizens. Did they tell them the truth about this announcement being an accident as they later confessed to the news media? Sometimes I would like to be a fly on the wall and listen in...wouldn't you?!

In any event, Hawaii has a system set up so that sirens would go off if a serious tsunami is approaching. However, my partner and I have looked at the roadways on Maui, and we have surmised everyone would most likely be trapped in their cars in a traffic jam in South Maui trying to get to Upcountry (to higher ground) as there is only ONE road system to get there, and this road would be clogged in such an emergency. There IS another route going through ranch land which begins in Makena and ends somewhere in Kanaio, but this gate is locked, and only a few land barons and wealthy people hold the keys to this gate I've been told. Of course, there are always fence-cutters and four-wheel-drive vehicles if the need to get to higher-ground is an absolute life and death necessity. Since we possess neither of these two items, we shall have to pray that tsunamis never reach our shores.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

 

Hookipa Windsurfers


Today I spent some time at Hookipa (on the North Shore of Maui outside of Paia)watching the windsurfers. These photos I took below don't really do justice to the beauty of this gorgeous place or the high energy. I needed a telephoto lens on my camera! There was a bright yellow helicoptor hovering over the windsurfers--I bet whomever was filming the windsurfers from this vantage point really got some extraordinary shots.






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Thursday, January 11, 2007

 

Thirteen Stories...some may be interesting!



If you're like me, unusual stories catch your eye and attention. Here are some of the stories in the news which have amazed me this past week plus some of my OWN updates and stories:

1. "Paul Kinsella lost his wallet 100 times on the dot, all in the pursuit of knowledge. Call his study an exercise in vigilante research," so reported Shane Graber in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 74 of the 100 wallets were returned, and you can read the whole story online at Kinsella's website Wallettest.

2. Happiness 101 from the New York Times

3. The link I had listed here didn't work when I went back to check it, so I'm adding something else here: As reported in the Maui News of January 9th: our Hawaii State Senator Daniel Inouye says, "It's too soon for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to run for president in 2008".

4. "No cellphone? No BlackBerry? No email? No way? (It's true.) from USAToday.com

5. "A Procession of Penguins Arrives on Madison Ave." from the New York Times

6. My dream life has been particularly vivid and pronounced. I feel as if I'm attending school at night as the dreams are being repeated over and over so much so I'm weary by the time I awake. Last night I was being instructed on making a film.

7. Downtime and relaxation has been my focus as of late, and I'm enjoying spending time away from my computer and phone and spending more time in Nature. I went to the beach late yesterday afternoon, and the ocean water was so rejuvenating and healing.

8. I'm zero happy to hear the news of more troops being sent to Iraq.

9. I've assembled all the ingredients to make my FIRST panini on my new panini maker: eggplant, tomatoes, sourdough bread rounds, garlic, onions, provolone cheese, and a Sicilian Bruschetta spread. Yum!

10. My daughter recently won an award on Maui for her work with children at a special luncheon with the new Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares in attendance and received a commemorative plaque.

11. We purchased our tickets for the upcoming Kris Kristofferson concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. My partner is a huge fan of KK who resides in Hana, Maui.

12. I haven't seen as many humpback whales thus far this year. Others report the same thing to me. This troubles me. Maybe the whales are visiting the other islands?

13. I received an email from one of my sidebar links (Dave Freeman) that his son's television show "Maui Fever" will launch on Wednesday, January 17th on MTV. Apparently, Dave got a role in episode 2 on Jan. 24, his tv debut.

To get the Thursday Thirteen code, click here.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

 

Taking Time Out For Review

Art courtesy of Love Peace Happiness

On Christmas Day my partner wrote a long blog on Blogger for his football blog, but when it came time to review it after publishing it, the published article was missing except for a half a paragraph. He went berserk. The same thing just happened to me! I don't know what's going on, but it's enough to drive some bloggers crazy, angry and ready to pull out all their hair.

Me? No biggie. I've been taking a blogging holiday anyway, and I've been re-assessing how much I want to blog in 2007 anyway! So I'm just posting again. Of course, I'm writing something different this time because part of me is superstitious and feels maybe I wasn't supposed to write what I wrote! Maybe my angels were saving me!?

Here's a clue to what I was writing about: the Mayan Calendar. I'll make this posting a lot shorter because I don't want to loose TWO posts in a row. The link I was referencing is here.

This article suggests that the End Time date of 2012 is actually Oct. 28, 2011. Others think it's in 2007. We shall see as we live the Great Mystery!

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

 

Thirteen Books I Plan To Read In 2007


Today I'm accomplishing two things in ONE post. I am listing Thirteen Books To Be Read (TBR) in 2007 and participating in this book challenge with many others. If you want to get in on this challenge (there are prizes!), here's the link at Cafe-Books. The cut-off date to get involved is January 31st, so let them know at Cafe-Books and then join their Yahoo Group.

Since I'm a book-aholic and a speed-reader, this challenge should be easy for me! I say that not in a bragging way, but with candor. I've always loved to read, and during the summers in my small town, there was a contest at our local library which focused on how many books you could read during the summer when school was out. In the middle of the library, there was a little fake tree with reader's names hanging from the branches on colored paper. The top of the tree paper was the reader who had read the most, after having given a synopsis out-loud to the librarian. I always aspired to be at the top of that tree, and quite often I was! The hard part for me was voicing my book report to the stern librarian(s) who scared me with their scrutiny which made me feel shy and mumble my speech.

By the way, this challenge ONLY requires 12 books, but because today is Thursday and I'm doing the Thursday Thirteen meme, I am combining them and adding ONE extra book. Many of these books have been sitting around waiting to be read, and since this challenge arose, now I can no longer procrastinate!

Here are my list of The Books To Be Read For The Challenge:

1. Provence A-Z by Peter Mayle

2. The Ark of Millions of Years by E.J. Clark and B. Alexander Agnew

3. Ageless by Suzanne Somers

4. Make Your Creative Dreams Real by Sark

5. Goldie by Goldie Hawn

6. The American Indian Secrets of Crystal Healing by Luc Bourgault

7. The Sacred Power of Huna by Rima Morell

8. Little Money Street by Fernanda Eberstadt

9. Practicing The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

10. The Glance…Songs of Soul-Meeting by Rumi

11. Something More…Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach

12. The Art of Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

And Ta-Da!

13. Bali Chic by Susi Johnston and Don Bosco

This last book I bought at an airport in Taiwan this past year in order to spend the last of my Taiwanese money before hopping on a plane home. I drool every time I pick it up because it makes me want to get on the next plane to Bali! Thus, I have always put it back down because the urge to fly to Bali is not timely nor practical, and my heart aches because I want to go there so badly. I will find the courage to lust in an unrequited way this year in 2007. I can do it!

To get the Thursday Thirteen Code, click here.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

 

New Year's Intentions

Photo: Charles Pfeil

Somehow the word 'resolutions' doesn't work for me when it comes to making so-called New Year's Resolutions. I prefer the word 'intentions' as it feels more active where 'resolutions' feels more passive. But that's just me. I'm a huge believer in writing things down for clarity. Thus, some of my New Year's Intentions this year are:

1. To re-engage my daily communion with Nature and not get so entrapped by my computer, blogs and writing!

2. To stretch my skills and learn new things such as downloading my videos to YouTube. I know I can do it...it's just a matter of a learning curve. I learned more about blogging this past year when I took my blogging to new heights which some days really tested my nerves and stressed me out. Now I feel comfortable with much of the in's and out's of blogging....although I'm not ALL The Way there yet!

3. To get back into my exercise routines.

4. To deepen my compassion.

What are yours?

Here's a great movie called the Secret which is very inspirational!

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