Quiet Beauty

My absolute favorite time of the day is sunrise. I’m not sure if its the quiet beauty, or just the realization of what a gift that each and every day is. In the morning nothing is set in stone, and we have the opportunity and potential to accomplish something.. even if that something is to find some quiet time and do nothing but rejuvenate the soul. So much potential staring right back at you in the early morning, and a quiet peace that isn’t found at any other point of time in the day. It gives you time to reflect, and to dream, and both I believe to be essential on being a balanced individual.

At our new house, we live very close to the boy’s school. Most of the time, we’ll put our dog Bailey on the leash, and as a family we will walk the boys to school in the mornings. We tend to go just a little early when it is quiet and there are very few people out and about yet. About 15 minutes before the world seems to walk out their front door.

I really adore these times. The quiet, and just being with my family are precious. Being the time of year it is, it has given us the opportunity to enjoy some pretty beautiful mornings. Off and on this month, I have taken the camera with us and captured a few shots during these walks.  The faster paced life gets, its these times of peace that get lost.

I think I have found my resolution this year. Its simple and hopefully attainable.  I want to make an effort to be awake and alive enough to soak in the small window of time in the morning where all is quiet, and I can actually hear myself think.. 🙂  Meditation, Prayer, and Reflection… perfect opportunity for all of those things to occur.  We cannot spread peace if we can’t make peace with ourselves. 🙂

Scattered through this post are a few of my favorite sunrise  pictures from 2010 so far. These are all taken at or within 2 blocks of my house. Beauty is all around us.. its up to us to take a few seconds to appreciate it.

Nice Weekend :)

It was ever so nice to see the sun this past Saturday, even if it was short lived.  Luckily we had done our grocery shopping on Friday night after I got off work, so it left us with much of Saturday to actually enjoy the weather.

We have two and a half, pretty huge evergreen trees in our back yard, so it is kept pretty shady back there, and the grass doesn’t grow so well. Honestly, this is perfectly fine to us as less grass means less mowing.. 🙂 We had kind of wanted to turn the back yard into more of an outside living space anyway.  Since there is a slight downgrade in slope from where the house is to the back of the lot, we had thought to do a subtle terracing with the terrain back there.  A few months ago, we  discovered that at the lowest point in the back of the lot, there is actually a patch of existing pavement found underneath.

Since that discovery, we have spent some time off and on uncovering it.. digging a few holes to see how far it actually reaches.  This weekend, Deon got the idea to take his pressure washer and sort of  “cut out” dirt squares to make it easier for us to remove the excess dirt and survey it a bit more.  The plan is to use the dirt to fill in some low spots elsewhere, and to put it in the garden area.  We haven’t found the end of the pavement yet, but so far it covers around a third (at least) of the length across the very back end.  The idea is to work it into the space back there and use it as a patio area of sorts.

After we cleared some dirt for awhile, Deon built me a frame for a slightly elevated herb patch. We are planning to grow things like cilantro, chives, and other herbs that we use alot of. May put some leaf lettuce in too.. 🙂

Saturday afternoon, Jodi’s Mom let Shelsea and I come over for a bit, and she sewed the edges of our Swedish weaving cloth for us so it wouldn’t fray so bad. Was nice to get to talk to her. Jodi’s parents have always been so kind to me and Deon and our kids. They are pretty wonderful people.

We went to Lowes for a bit, just to look around, and bought a couple  purple seed potatoes.  Between that and the red corn seeds we had bought awhile ago, we may have a fun colored garden. 🙂 It will be pretty  fun if they end up growing.. : )

Deon put in an application as well, so hopefully we’ll hear something on that. His shoulder still acts up, but we’ve come to the consensus that it will probably just always bother him. He is just going to have to be more aware of the kinds of work he does, and maybe have to ask for assistance sometimes with the bigger things instead of just doing it.

Sunday’s weather wasn’t as good, but we ended up playing Clue with the kids a few times. It truly is uncanny how often Ms. Scarlet turns out to be the killer.. hehe. 🙂  For those who didn’t know, Her first name is Charlotte according to Haiden. (He kept saying Ms. Charlotte).. lol..  Poppa and Tutu came by, and we had a nice time talking with them as well.

Overall, was a really nice weekend.. Calm, and just what I needed.  Had been feeling pretty drained in most areas as of late.  Thank God for small favors!

Haven

There is a small inviting cave near a coast line somewhere. While it is not fancy, this cave has provisions like no other. The caves opening faces the ocean allowing the sounds of the sea to echo sweetly and ever so slightly off the walls, surrounding you in their song.  It is intimate and quiet and provides a much needed sanctuary where the worldly problems disintegrate in the tide as it serenely rolls in and out.  Honest peace and clarity are found here.

I want to vacation there.

This was an exercise for a creative writing class long ago. The purpose was to describe an imagined personal haven, and this was mine.

There are times when I could really use a time share at this location..  to allow the some sanity to creep back into my life.  Current situations seem to have  initiated a drawn-in type of lifestyle  that is unhealthy I think.  I feel quite trapped at times, and its further exasperated by my desire to NOT hurt those around me.  I get frustrated at times because I feel that pretty consistently,  what should be my real life haven, where I should be able to go to be vulnerable, take a breath, and find some peace, is many times more vulnerable than I am. When I express frustrations, all it does is chip away at an already rickety foundation and force a role change causing me to  take on the role of the supporter.  I have no qualms being in that role.. I just also need to breathe sometimes too… I need to work on a better way of processing things for myself.  Better, healthier coping strategies and better inspiration to encourage better and healthier coping strategies in those around me.

There is a frequent gap between what people say they want, and what they actually are willing to deal with, how far they are willing to be there for others. Its sad.  Its a wonder sometimes how we as a people can be so painfully aware of our own faults, yet not take any initiative to make ourselves better. Dealing with these kinds of attitudes in others and ourselves is frustrating to no end.  The fact is that no one can do these kinds of repairs for you.  Such changes have to be made from the inside out.  Its purely our own responsibility.  Regardless of what is going on around us, regardless of our assets or debits,  its still always our personal responsibility to in act healthy decisions for ourselves.  No one can take away what provisions you set up inside of yourself. No one can steal faith, hope, and peace unless we let them. We are solely responsible for our own reactions.

so..

I will purposely  take some time to work on and fortify an inward personal haven this weekend.  Will also work on getting myself out of the house on my own for a bit, maybe visit with friends and family. I will do it because its long over do.

Loss of potential

The question I pose today is… Do you think that potential fizzles out? Or does it just get displaced by our every day lives?

If we ever had potential, does it go away? Is it something innately ours, something about our specific person? Or is it merely situational? A product of luck and being at the right place at the right time? Or is it a personally tangible trait, that is just untapped, hibernating until activated by an unknown catalyst? Is it limited to only the opportunities we’ve accepted? Or is it out there waiting for us to aspire to find it, even if we missed it’s original call? I just wonder.. Does our potential expire like that of old milk?

Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I feel tired and expired. I feel like I’ve failed a younger form of myself. I feel robbed a little by my Multiple Sclerosis. I shouldn’t complain  because its been pretty quiet lately, and I have no right. There are tons… TONS! of people worse off than me. As long as I play by the rules, I seem to be able to handle its presence. As long as I avoid my trigger foods (wheat, dairy, red meat, excess sugar), take my vitamins, sleep enough, and try not to stress out,  then I’m in decent shape. The minute I step out of line though, it makes its presence known and firmly reminds me, taking me down a peg.

To the delight of some family members, I’ve made an appointment to start seeing a different semi-local Neurologist. In thinking about it, I decided that if something more serious ever came up, it would be better to have a doctor that I can hopefully see more eye-to-eye with. Its not that I think the one I had was bad, he just wasn’t good for me. Not seeming to care enough about what is covered and whats not, and getting slightly bent out of shape because I wouldn’t take a non-essential, “It would be interesting to know” type test, when I found my insurance would NOT cover it, was kind of a breaking point for me. I’m still paying on the whole spinal tap fiasco.. was totally misrepresented in that deal, but its past, and towards the end of this year, I should finally have it paid off.. just taken a year and a half to do so.. ><

The thing is I’m not even content to blame the MS.   Today I think I feel drained because I’ve allowed myself to get here attitude-wise.  I’m left questioning myself, wondering what should be next, wondering if my most productive time, where I could have really contributed the most, has already passed me by. Feeling a little helpless at times when I should know better. Now that I have to actually put some real  and extra effort into staying healthy and feeling subnormal. I’m feeling a bit discouraged..

The thought of being stagnant, or wasting away scares me.  I don’t want to progressively get less and less valuable. There are certain aspects where I feel like others have decided my placement for me. Places where I feel I’ve hit my allowed ceiling and all that is left is to slowly drift downwards a little at a time. Its not ok with me, but how can I argue with them when it takes so much of me just to maintain where I’m at now? What does that mean? Does it mean my desire to contribute more is just a shiny illusion? Potential that I’ve lost? Or does it mean that I need to re-evaluate where it is that I have been contributing?

What if…

Just a thought.. but imagine with me if you will..

What if..

What if our system was constructed in such a way, that there was an alternative to using money as the only means to take care of our very basic necessities. Mostly just thinking in regards to food & shelter.

What if..
what if there was something in place to where if you lost your regular job, you could get “assignments” for working/volunteering in certain aspects in the local community that would grant some kind of “credit” that would still allow you to feed your family, and keep a roof over your head.

Instead of having people out of work, with nothing to do while the job market recovered… what if the system gave them the opportunity of something they could do in the meantime, that would actively support and build our communities during the time they were out of work? They could earn “credits” from their assignments that would be restricted to helping cover the cost of their home, or food. No frills could be “purchased” with these “credits”

People might even be effectively learning new, or honing existing skills during their jobless periods. At least there could be more productivity. This kind of “Welfare” Services would be encouraging our people to stay active rather than let their skills dwindle during down time.

It was just a thought..

I just often think that we have boxed ourselves into the mindset that money is the only way to assign value. If people were encouraged to continue to be productive, and be “of value” in other ways it seems it would seem maybe others would take far less issue to helping out their neighbors. People would feel less distraught, and less hopeless if they were kept busy.

We might even find ourselves in a position where our communities were strengthened, and we wouldn’t always be hearing about vast need of social services that only churches are willing to take on. Helping us to help our neighbors if you will.. No shortages on assistants for teachers, extra mentor help available to our children. Local parks and other area cleaned up and maintained, there are really a lot of simple things that could become down-time “assignments.” Could have more active community hosted gardens..

Just a flitting thought…

Hidden Blessings

Have you ever had a moment when something just hits you, and you realize that something that you may have deemed to be a bad thing, really ends up having some positive results? Results that you wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed had things gone according to your previously perceived plan?

I think there are many things that we get all worked up about, that we curse and complain, get dragged through, kicking and screaming the whole way, but that in the end are just vessels that inch us closer to something better.

Any adjustment causes movement and periods of discomfort. Creatures of habit, we like routine and can get temperamental and scared at the thought of change. In many aspects of our life, we are sometimes overly ambitious in our endeavor to settle for what we already “know and understand”. Objecting to different approaches. Things we deem “The End of the World”, are often really just “The Beginning” of something different. Different doesn’t have to be “bad”. Our world is a constant work in progress. Luckily things aren’t set in stone.

Progress cannot be made in stagnation. In all truth, we don’t “know” or “understand” but a fraction of what is possible, and really we should take comfort from that. Take pleasure knowing that possibilities are endless, and really aren’t limited by our understanding. Be inspired to grow, learn, and adapt. Humans are skilled at adaptation when they want to be.

So Breathe, open your mind and heart. Learn to appreciate the possibility of new opportunities. Understand and accept the presence of hidden blessings. Take solace in the knowledge that pearls are a product of irritation. Things do have a way of working out.

~ Serina

Beware of what you are not aware of…

It is one thing to be hypocritical before God, because really its not like you are fooling him for one minute. The tragedy comes when we attempt to justify our hypocrisy rather than remedy it in ourselves. God, to my knowledge has never called us to love each other only conditionally.

We need to be aware of the faults in ourselves that lead to us onto further pain. I have this image in my mind, that to begin with, everyone is given a small dagger as a tool. It is not exceptional, just standard issue. It was given as a gift to help us break through some of the restraints that hold us back. Given to assist us in removing bindings that keep us from connecting with those around us. We are meant to use this small tool to help in the furthering of ourselves AND those around us to survive and thrive. Like many tools, it is sometimes used in a matter not befitting of the spirit it was intended. There are those who are so centered inwards, who envision their role as victim or martyr in some capacity, and for that reason has decided to guard their very souls. Issuing quick stabs at those who come too close, occasionally twisting the dagger to fluctuate the pain they inflict. Using their actions and words to passive-aggressively justify their view of themselves over all others.

It is for those I have such great sorrow. Especially ones that build such holy walls around themselves, that their outlook of acceptance is perfection or nothing. Far too good for those around them, and consistently concerned primarily of how any action, albeit tiny, will affect them individually, especially when it comes to reputation, credit or monetary means. Guarding themselves from the joy and grace of giving of oneself. Never fully understanding that the premise they’ve created, the perception is, in the end – void of all true value. It does nothing but darken your soul and handicap those around you. This is where so many religious types fail. You do not inspire a seed to grow by giving it frozen dirt in which to sprout. This is not a point that can be argued. You may have a million and one reasons, or justifications, but there is not one that can truly be tied to God, even though many use him as an excuse.

I really wish people would not use God as an excuse for their selfish nature towards others. It was never God’s purpose to segregate, or hold more value over one group than another. These are all man-made distinctions, they are not of God, and as long as we continue to apply to God, these human faults, we are inhibiting our own growth.

Sadly I think its commonly not understood that true joy and happiness cannot be felt by those who center themselves so close to their own core. If you allow yourself to stay in that position, shielded from the world, you rob yourself of great possibilities. You also rob the world of the positive impact you were put on this earth to make. You become a thief of hope.

When we are ready, we will pass up these childish behaviors, and that is the point in which we can start really making this world a better place.. Allow your “big picture” to be expanded! Encourage, Inspire, Assist!

~ Serina Clason

Dreams and Goals

In the silence, when you are only left with your thoughts… what dreams still twinkle for you in the nights sky? Is their distance daunting, or are you up for the challenge?

New Years seems to always be a time of reflection. Its a time of analyzing what accomplishments we’ve made, and owning up to those things that we promised ourselves that we didn’t end up making happen. Its a time when the rational mind plans out the next goal, attempting to locate the next year’s focus.

There are so many things we dream about, and its vital that we continue to dream. When you no longer have a goal, or a dream, it puts you at a prevalent disadvantage. We need the passion and hope that is inspired by our dreams. We need them to feel alive, and to feel as though we’ve accomplished anything, and in some cases to prove to ourselves that we are here for more than just the sake of having been born.  Everyone is always searching for the meaning of their lives, always waiting, always analyzing.  Why do we wait so long?  I’m convinced that the answer is much clearer than we choose to see.  Life is an adventure, and its not until we finally venture out, that we will find what we are looking for.

Many times we allow fear to get in our way.  Change is a scary thing, there are so many who are far more comfortable to settle, than to redesign what they are used to.  They may not even like what they are living with, but if it means having to change, its too scary. It is this fear of change, and of living outside of the current routine that halts us. Inhibits many of our dreams and goals from being realized. It cripples our potential to live in a better world.

I challenge you all to take the time this year, bravely make small changes in many aspects of your life, and allow yourself to grow closer to your full potential! If not now.. then when?

Happy New Years!

Regardless of hope…

this was a reply to a comment made on a friends facebook comment..   sums up alot of my thoughts so figured I’d post it here.

Basically it was regarding the healthcare reform..  and some  individual’s complaint on people’s belief in  “hope and change crap”

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Regardless of hope, change is inevitable. When things are bad, we can either remain doing the same as always, or we can try something else.  What was passed is just the beginning and will end up being massaged over time to become something that hopefully doesn’t necessarily  end up being as dark spirited as you foresee.  Nothing is going to be perfect from the start, it will take time.  I’m not going to pretend to know the outcome, only time will tell.

Lets ignore the bill totally and go on a hypothetical. Pretend it doesn’t exist.

As things stand right now, as you said, there are already companies having to make these serious decisions, and its truly a small matter of time before many more people are without health care. I work full time, I am thankful to my employer because I know they really try. When it comes to the point that they can no longer afford to offer it, I’m not sure what we could do.

I know that currently I can’t really afford to pay the full premium amount, and because I have MS, It may prove interesting to find another company willing to cover me and my family for less.  We could do what many would end up doing, and just go without health care, but who does that help in the long run? When emergencies come up and non-insured people end up in the hospital, and the hospital doesn’t get paid, the hospital/clinics have to increase the cost of their services across the board to shoulder their losses, which then effects everyone. The next year premiums go up yet again, and the businesses are hurt again by the added costs. Then more businesses are forced to stop providing it for their employees.. and the cycle snowballs…  We could just die and decrease the surplus population I suppose.

It may hinder my implied intelligence level, but I am hopeful and pretty confident that God can inspire something good out of all of this.