keep your peepers open!

keep your peepers open!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

be nice

Navigating the world these days is no easy task for children; it is beyond tragic that a child of any age can no longer get an education without the potential threat of various forms of harm hovering on their path. Violent reactions for the smallest things, over what seemingly is nothing are exponentially more pervasive than when I attended grammar, middle, high and undergraduate school years ago. So many children today lack adequate social skills due to overuse of TV time, computers and cell phones not to mention the prevalence of negative behavioral messages received from the same sources. Gone are the days when parents only need warn us to be nice and we got the message.

Someone close to me is dealing with roommate issues, a very unpleasant something I experienced when I was at university. At first, I struggled to find nurturing words of understanding, encouragement and support to share with her. I knew the root of what I wanted to say…wrote, read, deleted, paused, started again, stopped a bit frustrated because in moments like this, we want to choose our words carefully and then as clear as a crystal ball came "we win when our wisdom prevails no matter the circumstance" to drive home this point -- pick your battles. There is nothing cowardly about deciding to walk away from a negative situation before it escalates head held high; the opportunity to stand your ground will come around again, the time and situation perfect to do so.

Coexistence, tolerance, patience, respect, peace…easy words with principles that too many find too hard to practice. Brings to mind a combination of phrases and questions of my generation -- we must teach our children well so we can all just get along and play nice in the sandbox.

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 26, 2014

beyond the gate

Yesterday I woke to gray skies wondering if, due to a looming storm, I should stay put or if I ventured out, would I find myself stuck miles from DC? I started out anyway, driving into and out of a blizzard of snow more than once; with trepidation I kept the car pointed towards the Karme Healing Center in Maryland. I had to get there, something in my head kept whispering, steering me safely to my destination. I hadn't been to the center since last spring and as I passed through its gate, leaving footprints in the snow on the short path to the door, I was at peace at this place of personal and spiritual growth, this house of knowledge and gifts. More would come as the hours beyond the threshold ticked by.

I first set foot on the grounds of Karme when I participated in Healing Pathways, a beautiful eight-session workshop during which I was attuned in Usui Reiki, levels 1 and 2. My time last year took me to places within and outside of myself and while I found answers to questions I didn’t know I had, I was also left in wonder about many others.

Originally, I was to receive level three attunement this past August; I was in bed with a nasty summer flu feeling blue and sad wanting so much to be with fellow spring classmates to attune together with them once again. Though I knew not one person in the room yesterday other than the facilitators, I felt warm, accepted, embraced as I settled into my seat and as the day unfolded, I received clarity and understanding about those unanswered things from last year, which brought me joy and great satisfaction. Infused into my soul, a new energy began its work, swirling itself into knowledge and wisdom gained on other paths, from other moments on my life journey. Without question, I was to be right there at Karme on that day, this month, those seconds, need I even say -- divine order was at work.

The sun beamed as I stepped outdoors into the afternoon air, summoned to share my newly bestowed gifts with others as well as with myself. I walked mindfully…smelling the time, drinking the cool, hearing the crunch of white beneath black boots…feeling elevated, elated, energized and so excited about what was beyond the gate.

keep your peepers open!®

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

peaceful combination

During my last visit to the hair salon, they offered tea and when I asked for green, was served something new to my taste buds that, after the first sip, told me I would have to have a second cup.

A morning cup of genmaicha, a Japanese green tea combined with roasted brown rice, pairs well with Moments of Mindfulness, Daily Inspirations…

... a book by Thich Nhat Hanh discovered in a magazine I was catching up on during my last visit to the hair salon.

One never knows when and where peaceful little treasures are to be found so…

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 19, 2014

girl overboard

At some time in your life, rather than being thrown a curve ball, you will be thrown completely overboard as others look on helplessly or with indifference. Down you fall in shock from the suddenness of it all, mind attempting to comprehend what is happening before you hit the water. Down into the deep you go, breath held and as you begin to rise to the surface, you wonder if a lifeline will be waiting. When it is not, a decision to sink, swim or tread water, all the while still perplexed by the events unfolding, must be made.

Thank goodness for waterproof cell phones!!! Upon receipt of your distress call, the love boat comes to the rescue as friends throw a life preserver or drop you a lifeboat. Take hold, climb aboard and float using this time to assess the situation and plan. You may not be able to re-board the ship from which you were tossed or if you decide to do so for whatever reason, the deck on which you ride will not be the same.

As you dry off, look around -- the view from your new position may actually be clearer than ever so...

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

garden of delight

Hope you aren't expecting an assortment of floral pictures because today's garden is about a CD that is hypnotic, lush, relaxing and so exotically gorgeous that I get lost strolling through its sounds. Each time I play Garden of Delight by Paul Avgerinos the songs blossom all over again more beautifully than the last, carrying me to entirely new places.

I found this CD when I went in search of music that, upon hearing it, would evoke the sound equivalent of the word "peace" in my mind. From the moment I heard the first note, I was sure; I am entranced and continue to be by the petals dropped on Garden of Delight. So get it, put it on, take off your shoes, (or run a bath, light a candle and get in), stretch out and for once don't...

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 12, 2014

sage & time

There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you.

When I looked up who said this, all I found was “unknown” so thank you whoever you are for putting these thoughts forth, they triggered something in me. To give up on another means that they no longer hold your power in their hands, no longer are able to keep you stuck. We tend to hang on too long to people whose reason or season has passed for us, which brings to mind something else I recently read about fate bringing people into our lives. It said that we decide who stays, who we can’t do without and who goes; giving up and letting go of those who no longer serve us is a good thing. To give up on self is not a good thing. Speaking or thinking the words “I give up” is so very defeating, even as I write them this moment, I feel my head dropping. In the face of a challenge, it may be hard to remain optimistic but the next time you arrive at the place of giving up, go ahead and throw your hands up in the air then stop and breathe. Envision what it is you were trying to accomplish as you allow that which is troubling to come clearly into focus. Really see both then hand them over to faith to take on (or in certain instances seek proper counsel for help) while you hold within that all will be well, that a right outcome will unfold.

I know you’ve read or heard all of this before at some time or another as this is not some new advice. However, it will never get old because it is sage wisdom and to me worth hearing every now and again, n'est-ce pas?

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

pina colada for breakfast

This is not a commercial for Silk, however I love their various milk products and there are a couple of new selections in the grocer’s fridge! Over the holiday break, I decided to make more fruit-based smoothies and needed a lactose free liquid. I came across Silk Pure Coconut Milk Unsweetened while shopping for my favorite, Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk and thought I’d give it a try; didn’t like it with berries, pears, and peaches because the coconut flavor overpowered everything else. What it does pair well with is bananas and pineapple with a touch of nutmeg and some rum flavoring for a scrumptious breakfast variation on a pina colada (freeze the bananas and make sure to have equal parts of each fruit; I used canned crushed pineapple with 100% fruit juice; put in blender, cover fruit with milk and blend).

Top with a strawberry or some pineapple for color, maybe a paper umbrella along with a straw and (during this week of frigid below zero temperatures across the land) pretend you’re on a faraway island somewhere sitting under a warm sun. When you get back, share with your little ones if you have children because this breakfast or anytime virgin colada is a creamy and not overly sweet healthy, delicious treat! I actually found these crunchy coconut chips at the grocers that I sprinkled on top and when I was about to finish my drink, ate them like cereal…yum! That said, this brand is a bit pricy though they are extremely flavorful all on their own as just a sweet crunchy snack.

As for my berries, I went back to the store, bought and blended Pure Almond Milk Light, a second new Silk product, with frozen black cherries, straw-, black-, blue-, and rasp-berries. This one needed a touch of sweetness, a little honey helped me create another silky smooth treat that is easy to make since there is no prep work involved. So as you shop, remember that there are many wonderful products to not only inspire but also expedite the creative process in the kitchen, so…

keep your peepers open!®

Sunday, January 5, 2014

fifty two

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at making and keeping New Year’s resolutions, never really have been though I do know that nothing beats a failure but a try. I looked up some statistics on this very subject and found the following on

News Year’s Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions

Much like the lottery, we indeed must “be in it to win it”, meaning if you don’t make resolutions, there will be nothing to achieve. Rather than drafting a list that, should it see the light of day soon fades, how about a gentle alternative. This year try making small changes each week and to help you set a path, check out 52 Small Changes, a book with suggestions to get you started. Another idea that could actually net a holiday gift item takes a page from one minute mindfulness practice -- write down one thing you are grateful for at the beginning of the week and reflect on that one thing each day of the week (this is a start; anytime you’re ready, expand to more than one thing a day or week). At the end of the year, you’ll have 52 beautiful thoughts that you could turn into a book (, a true gift from the heart.

So happy journey and as you make your way…

keep your peepers open!®

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

twenty fourteen ©

Woo-hoo, it's now two zero one four,
let's twist and shout it shan't be a bore!
Get off that couch, a potato you are not
beyond your threshold is a life to be got.
Reflect a moment on where you've been
on this Wednesday the start of twenty fourteen,
think of what you'd like to do, close your eyes,
see a vision, it can unfold for you!
Prepare then set your plan in motion,
over time, with patience and devotion,
you'll see the fruits of what you labor
sooner or later in twenty one four.
But along with work there must be pleasure,
don't struggle to balance, simply make it d'jour,
to run, jump, play no matter what age you are,
‘cause it’s up to you to set the bar,
to stay on point with what you decide
living life to the fullest with gusto and pride.
In sum, this message is to say,
seize each moment you're given each day
mindful of the little things,
we take for granted as human beings
for there’s much to see, do and adore
awaiting us in two thousand one four.

Happy New Year and…

keep your peepers open!®