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A November full of Thankfulness #2

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Yesterday on my drive to work I thought how thankful I was for dreams, dreams that we turn into realities by turning them into little goals and then keeping promises to ourselves.

Imagine my surprise when I got home after work and found my cousin's wife had used her "I am thankful for" to give thanks for dreams! So this morning, I posted that "I am thankful for a warm bed and a good night's sleep."

emoticon Good sleep and dreams are related. But there's another reason for this particular thankfulness... not everyone HAS a warm bed and uninterrupted time for sleep. This echoes my niece's recent "thankful" post for clean water, and another for a secure roof over her head.

Often, in the comfort of our lives, we forget or find it convenient to block off our awareness of pain and suffering of many. Beyond the storm victims in our own country, there is the rest of the world, many of whom live in poverty we cannot even imagine. This is in fact a form of self-preservation... too much wallowing can be bad for us, emotionally. But turning completely away can also be bad for us.

A part of me wails, "I cannot help them all." Or, "Giving up my lifestyle won't make a dent in the vastness of their need." This, too, is a form of self-preservation. To stop the potential of despair at the vastness of human need. But giving up a little, contributing to a cause helps us bear a part of the burden.

Yesterday, they canceled the New York marathon, that the generators and porta pots and food that had been gathered for the event could be distributed to those in need in that area. There has been much debate over this, but I believe it to be a right thing to do. It makes sense.

For today... I shall do at least one small thing to help others in need... so that they, too, may be able to be grateful for things like warm beds and a good night's sleep. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 11/7/2012 6:09AM

    To lose one's home and daily comforts is devastating.
It seems even worse considering the winter weather
that is coming. Do what you can to help others and
pray for all affected.

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SHARON10002 11/5/2012 10:24PM

    I agree - what's more important? A race or cleaning up after a hurricane to get everyone back to where they're safe and warm? I hope all of those who are out in the streets will be able to get back into the warmth of a warm bed and a hot shower.

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DALID414 11/4/2012 4:35PM

    I don't think the marathon debate should have been a debate! Help those in need first should always make sense!!

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DLDMIL 11/4/2012 12:20PM

    Well said and thanks for posting this blog to remind us all of the things we have to be thankful for. emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 11/4/2012 8:54AM

    I like your new pics on yer page Barb--I'm Thankful for you being here on Spark--Did I tell you that?-Lynda emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/4/2012 7:45AM

    Thanks, Barb. Reminding us that we can do something. Today I will, I promise. And I'll think of you. And be thankful in many ways that I know you!

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MOBYCARP 11/3/2012 8:45PM

    For the record: I'm also grateful that your niece had a solid roof over her head and good running water before the remnants of Sandy got here. There could have been an interesting story to be told if she'd still been in the old apartment, but I can live without ever hearing that story!

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KARIDIAN1 11/3/2012 8:16PM

    That was a good thing to do cancel the marathon and use the supplies for those in need.

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MNTWINSGAL 11/3/2012 6:56PM

    I think the right decision all along was to have cancelled the NYC Marathon.

BUT I think they totally dropped the ball in first announcing it would go on as scheduled, and then changing their minds. People come from far and wide for this event, and I'm sure many scrambled at the last minute when they were told the race was on, only to waste their time and resources, and then learn (in some cases too late) that it was off after all.

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_LINDA 11/3/2012 4:28PM

    That was so right to cancel the marathon. Honestly, what were they even thinking? So glad the supplies will help victims of the storm. Speaking of running, our local running store has bins set up for donating shoes we no longer need or use that are in decemt shape. They go to African children who have no shoes and have to go barefoot. As I have great difficulty with my constantly changing feet (thanks RA) I go through a lot of shoes and they find homes in these bins, some of them quite new. A pair that fits me well one year may rub on a bad spot the next. Very frustrating, but I am happy to do one tiny bit of good with them. But it is a flood tide. There is too much out there that needs help. But if everyone did just one little thing, that would make at least one person's life a little bit better.

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LINDAKAY228 11/3/2012 3:15PM

    I agree with the race cancellation. It was the right thing to do at this time. We do have so much to be grateful for and often don't see it.

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WATERMELLEN 11/3/2012 12:49PM

    Gratitude in action: yeah. Passing it on brings it home.

You may be interested in a couple links I added to my MMOB blog providing examples of "Canajun" style neutral media on the topic of the American election . . . in response to an inquiry from TIFFN108. I am grateful for the kind of news coverage we get here . . .

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KNEWMETODAY 11/3/2012 12:43PM

    It almost goes without saying that we have much to be grateful for, much that we take for granted. Unfortunately, tragic events are sometimes the catalyst for making us realize where we are in relation to the rest of the world. It's about many doing a little--not one of us is in a position to fix it all.

Thank you for your's always a good thing to be reminded that we can all make a difference.


Comment edited on: 11/3/2012 12:44:13 PM

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LESLIELENORE 11/3/2012 11:19AM

    I think there is a line between wallowing and consciousness. There is a lot in this world I wish I could fix, but that just isn't going to happen, so I just do what I am able to do. Sometimes it doesn't seem like enough, but something is better than nothing.

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KANOE10 11/3/2012 9:38AM

    That was a thoughtful post and very true. I think it was the right thing to call of the marathon. Thanks for reminding us to reflect on others and to help them. Also we need to be thankful for our precious daily moments.

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MAGGIE101857 11/3/2012 9:32AM

    The right decision, but he should have made it earlier in the week. That said, hopefully some good will come out of it; it was good to see the running community coming together and offering to help wherever they could.

Let's give thanks for all that we have (instead of me yelling at Bob right now for having the heat cranked up to the point I can't breathe). I wish I could send the heat to others! It's best to remember that any offer of help, no matter how big or small, will help someone. I've been through disasters so I know first hand how the smallest act of kindness can make someone's day!!

God bless all! emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 11/3/2012 9:18AM

    Very nice blog! One of the reasons I love this time of year. Except for the elections, it tends to bring people together.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/3/2012 9:15AM

    I am so glad that the decision was made to help our own who are in need vs. hosting an event in the midst of such devastation and need. I am very glad that the resources are going to be put to better use.

I am very thankful to have nutritious food in my house, the medicine I need and a roof over my head.

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NEW-CAZ 11/3/2012 7:15AM

    I think it was the right decision too, the marathon can happen anytime, people need help NOW!

We are indeed fortunate to sleep in beds, have clean drinking water, food aplenty and sometimes we need to relect on that.
Great blog Barb, bless you hun emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 11/3/2012 6:57AM

    Oh Barb------helping SOMEONE--in need to-day--even speaking to an older person in line, somewhere-=-They are our invisable part of society--unnoticed------It will make their day!!!-----Great blog!!! We have a lot to be thankful for-Lynda emoticon

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A November full of Thankfulness #1

Friday, November 02, 2012

There is this little "game" on Facebook, that I started taking part in a few years back. During November, many folks put a simple status statement: "Today I am thankful for..." every day from whenever they start up to the US Thanksgiving Holiday. Some for the whole month. It sort of prepares the mind.

Some interesting entries show up there. For my November blogs, I'm intending to focus on gratitude, because it DOES prepare the mind for more than the holiday. It encourages positives in our lives in general. Being grateful for what we already have, rather than worrying about what we don't makes us fit and able to accept and recognize even more good.

That said, I'll share my FB "thankfuls" from yesterday and today, to get started. Some of these may seem trivial and shallow, some deeper, as the days roll by.

Yesterday I was thankful for tastebuds and good coffee. OK, the good coffee might be a little shallow, but tastebuds? Yeppers, the whole sense of savoring what nourishes us is wrapped up in tastebuds. I have found over the past years of dealing with being a compulsive eater... when I'm binging, I'm not even tasting, really... just shoveling volumes in... wanting but never getting.

As a recovering compulsive overeater, I'm eating less... but I find I am enjoying it more. I'm really grateful for those taste buds that enable that enjoyment!

Today, I add to the list that I am thankful for "off" buttons. They should be used whenever what you're hearing or seeing gets to be "too much". Political ads! Oh, yes, and the telephone has an "off" button too. Robo-calls! Today, I AM thankful for off buttons.

Life is indeed good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 11/7/2012 6:04AM

    Hurray for tastebuds and off buttons. Appetites
should have off buttons too LOL!

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SHARON10002 11/5/2012 10:15PM

    I'm with CBarb and am thankful for caller ID on my phone so I don't answer those calls. I'm with you on the coffee and tastebuds - nothing like a good hot cup of coffee as you like it on a chilly morning!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/4/2012 7:42AM

    Eating less and enjoying more --- yep, I can relate to that!! And off buttons are something to be thankful for, too. I'm looking forward to this new seasonal theme, Barb. Way to go.

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_LINDA 11/3/2012 4:21PM

    I am still guilty of eating too fast as I always seem to be in a rush to go somewhere, get something done. It is so easy to overeat like that. I for sure need a 'slow' button for eating.
I am extremely grateful for an unlisted phone number. When I moved to this apartment, they would not let me take my old number with me, they were putting me on a new exchange, and I actually had the foresight so request an unlisted number, so my number has never been published anywhere and that cuts down a lot on nuisance calls especially the ones that address you by name like you are an old friend! I still get the robo calls that dial every phone number in sequential order, but they are thankfully not so common.
You sure can come up with great ideas for blogs!

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DALID414 11/3/2012 1:57AM

    Tasting food is how I stopped binging. I take a bite, close my eyes, smell the food still in hand, deep breath in, chew, chew, chew... SO much more fulfilling that shoveling it in.

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KARIDIAN1 11/2/2012 8:41PM

    I really like it when occasionally the phones at work are down at work. Peace and quiet and can actually get get things done. I don't miss them at all.

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    I like this idea! I think I will start posting something I'm thankful for everyday on my blog or status. Sounds like a great idea!

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PHEBESS 11/2/2012 5:32PM

    I think being thankful for coffee and tastebuds definitely belongs together - not shallow at all!

I'm thankful for that first sip of Earl Grey tea! Especially in the morning.

So go ahead and enjoy that coffee, savor the rich warming liquid as it fills your stomach for zero calories! And THAT is something to be thankful for!

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LESLIELENORE 11/2/2012 2:16PM

    I am thankful I don't own a TV! I miss watching a few shows, but I don't miss the commercials!

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LEANJEAN6 11/2/2012 2:12PM

    I am grateful to be able to stay home to-day!--I love it!!!
I am grateful for my good book--"'The Hobbit""---
I am grateful that I haven't eaten Halloween Candy to-day---
I am grateful for Spark friends such as yourself, who give their time, even when they are at goal, to keep people like myself, keeping on---
I am grateful that I am healthy---AND--old----
I am grateful that I do not live along a coastline, where storms hit---
I am grateful that I could zip up my jeans this morning---
I am grateful for my 2 Germans and my fat cat---
Oh Barb!!---You made me think here-----so much to be thankful for-----
The poor people in New York City--- emoticon

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DLDMIL 11/2/2012 12:11PM

    emoticon looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

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FALLNTENN 11/2/2012 11:09AM

    I'm thankful for coffee and taste buds, too. I never thought of OFF buttons before, but you are so right about that. There are many things I really enjoy turning OFF.

emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 11/2/2012 9:53AM

    Thankful the sun came out- makes such a difference to my mood emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 11/2/2012 9:19AM

    Thankful for caller i.d. ont he phone! I don't even answer those robo-calls! PHEW Enough is definitely enough with that.

Thankful today is Friday! Almost the weekend. DD has 1/2 day so we will do some power shopping! That translates to speed walking the mall, while window shopping, though I know we'll do some damage to the credit card as DD needs a few things. But we'll look for sales!


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DEBRITA01 11/2/2012 9:13AM

    I know what you mean about learning to stop and savor food instead of stuffing one's mouth. Food takes on a whole new flavor. And yes, please, to the OFF button for all the annoying things in life! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/2/2012 8:14AM

    Taste buds and off buttons: yeah, both of those!!

And thanks for your comments on my MMOB blog. It's amazing, from the perspective of an outsider, how shrill and uninformed and incessantly partisan the American political "debate" can appear to be . . . . yeah. That's verging too closely on NOT MMOB however.

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DEBRA0818 11/2/2012 8:10AM

    I'm with you 100% on the non-tasting aspect of the binge -- by shoveling volume into the mouth hoping for a certain taste (which never comes), I miss the actual taste of the thing I am consuming. Chasing the taste never works, only stopping to savor it does!


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WELLNESSME09 11/2/2012 7:45AM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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Now I know my ABC's - the recap of the motivation words

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A is for awe, as in wonder at the process.
B is for bond, the agreement with self.
C is for courage to take on the task.
D is for discernment, to see what's going on.
E is for elusive, the nature of the beast.
F is for freedom, what following the path gives us.
G is for grin, that it puts on my face.
H is for heroes, who give us the vision.
I is for independence, a goal for so many.
J is for juncture, the point of decisions.
K is for key to unlock our fire.
L is for legacy with which we honor our loved ones.
M is for mission, the purpose we have.
N is for necessary, for without motivation we cannot succeed.
O is for opportunity, we seek and find each day.
P is for personal... we each make our own motivation.
Q is for quality and quantity, how much and what kind we need.
R is for remember, when the going gets tough.
S is for sleep, to keep us from flagging.
T is for tend, what we do to support the continuing motivation.
U is for understand... those a-hah! moments.
V is for variety... if one form of motivation doesn't work, try something else.
W is for worth, something inherent in our humanity.
X is for Xerox, you can't copy my motivation, nor I yours.
Y is for yearning, the spark that drives us to start taking action.
Z is for zen, the illumination of our wholeness.

This is to be saved as a starting point... just in case I blog another alphabet in the future... and it makes a bookend to the recap of the prior two years, so I don't have to search too far back to find them!

I only have one alphabet in me each year... and NOW, it's November... and time to start a new theme. Bet you can guess what! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 11/4/2012 7:39AM

    Great recap. Well done!!!

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_LINDA 11/3/2012 3:30PM

    Great recap of your list, nice to have a summary right there for reference! It should be printed out and put on everyones's wall!

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KARIDIAN1 11/1/2012 8:27PM

    Great list. Whats up next?

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WATERMELLEN 11/1/2012 8:25PM

    What a gift this alphabet was for all of us: thanks for the recap!!

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DLDMIL 11/1/2012 4:09PM

    Great blog and a lot of work. Thanks for being so inspiring. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 11/1/2012 12:28PM

    Wonderful!!!!! HUGS

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WORLDSERIES11 11/1/2012 12:13PM

    I have really enjoyed the Motivational ABC's!!! Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to what November has to offer!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 11/1/2012 12:02PM

    I havent been able to read all of the blogs, but your recap makes me go back and read them! Fantastic. Well done. Sure to strike the spark in all of us.

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LESLIELENORE 11/1/2012 11:56AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed your October blogs. Looking forward to November's.

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LAURIE5658 11/1/2012 11:20AM

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your October blogs and look forward to November!

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DEBRITA01 11/1/2012 9:40AM

    Thanks for sharing your ABC's of motivation...something I lack some days. Reading what motivates others is often a springboard to get me back on track. I have no idea what your next theme will be...but looking forward to it, all the same. emoticon

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KANOE10 11/1/2012 8:50AM

    Those are great motivational ABCS. Great points to live by!


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NEW-CAZ 11/1/2012 8:47AM

    all were wonderful in their own right Barb! thank you for some motivating and inspiring words emoticon

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DEBRA0818 11/1/2012 7:57AM

    They were all great, Barb. Very clever and creative and most of all, helpful. I am thankful for your presence on the boards every day! And I think I'm going to do the 30 days blog you did last month...

Spark on!

emoticon emoticon

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RIDLEYRIDER 11/1/2012 7:33AM

  Great! A great motivational tool. Thanks!! emoticon

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Bonus blog: Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just gotta share the iPumpkin. One of the teams at work has placed this entry in the pumpkin decorating contest. It's too cute not to share.

Of course we also have more classic entries.

I was NOT going to even buy the candy this year. But ended up caving last night. It's tucked away in a tub and what doesn't get handed out at the door tonight? Is intended for a box to Afghanistan!

Remember how your mom would make you eat a "real" supper before she let you out the door to trick or treat? That's the deal with the treats... give your body what it needs first! Then you're not as tempted by the goodies!

Life is good. Spook... uh... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 11/5/2012 10:18PM

    An ipumpkin - who da thunk it? Did they win? I did not to buy candy this year as we're joining friends for dinner tonight.

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KANOE10 11/1/2012 8:51AM

    Cute pictures. I hope you enjoyed Halloween!

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_LINDA 10/31/2012 10:38PM

    Cute! I had a great time seeing some nicely decorated yards and tons of great costumes, both at the mall and among the 89 children that came to my Mom's house. Took care of most of our treats to be sure. Not sure how the photos I took will turn out or when I will ever get the time to upload them :P All my internet time is spent catching up with all my buddies.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love your background!

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KARIDIAN1 10/31/2012 8:30PM

    Fun contest for work. I had today off, but stopped in at work. Many were wearing costumes. Was a fun day for all.

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MNTWINSGAL 10/31/2012 6:39PM

    Happy Halloween! I always used to take my leftovers to work...with nowhere to send it this year, maybe the Troops would be a good option. Except it's soda and chocolate. Neither would probably travel well....

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DEBRITA01 10/31/2012 6:19PM

    Love the pumpkins! Trick-or-Treat has been postponed in my area, so I've got a few more days to forget the candy is in the house :( So far, keeping the bags sealed has kept my hands out...hope I can stay strong! emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 10/31/2012 5:16PM

    I am taking my 7 year old niece trick or treating tonight. Of course it is raining, so hopefully she won't want to stay out very long. I am also dressing up my dog in a costume. He hates it, but I am just mean enough to force him to wear it.

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WATERMELLEN 10/31/2012 4:53PM

    I'm thinking that Afghanistan MIGHT be far enough to remove it from temptation for me . . . . dunno though!!

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WORLDSERIES11 10/31/2012 12:06PM

    Cute ideas!! Happy Halloween!
emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 10/31/2012 10:47AM

    Very cute pumpkinse! Good reminder about eat the good things first. I'll make the grandkid's snack extra healthy this afternoon. Mom and Dad will have them for supper. Both are getting off a little early for Halloween!!We're just going to have so much fun. Natalie is Belle and Gwen is a bee. Fun! Fun! Fun!!

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LAURIE5658 10/31/2012 9:52AM

    I love it!!!!

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CONCHA77 10/31/2012 9:15AM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon Happy Halloween.

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NEW-CAZ 10/31/2012 8:02AM

    Great pics, happy Halloween Barb emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/31/2012 7:37AM

    Very creative people! Don't get carried away tonight,
literally. Happy Halloween and leave the candy for
the kids! HUGS!

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RIDLEYRIDER 10/31/2012 7:36AM

  Great pics! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 10/31/2012 7:32AM

    Oh, I'm with you re the iPumpkin - that's brilliant!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The ABC's of motivation: Zen

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

While I often use the term "zen" in a colloquial way to reflect a sense of peace, here's what my dictionary tells me about the real word.

Zen: "1 a variety of Buddhism, now practiced esp. in Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, seeking to attain and intuitive illumination of mind and spirit through meditation, esp. on paradoxes 2 the teachings and discipline of this kind of Buddhism"

OK, so that intuitive illumination of mind and spirit comes through motion, often, for me. That sense of well-being for me, comes from solo activity, where my mind medidates while my body moves. And this fuels my motivation to care for the body in other ways, including a healthy diet and sufficient sleep.

Whatever it is that brings you to a state of intuitive wholeness... contentment... in a healthy way... hey, it can't help but motivate a person, right?

So, here's to your "zen" and mine.

With a little Spark thrown in! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 10/31/2012 8:32PM

    Was a very educational month reading your blogs. Zen is a good way to wrap it up.

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LESLIELENORE 10/31/2012 5:18PM

    I have really enjoyed your blogs this month. I find my zen when I get into a groove with physical activity, whether walking, running, kayaking, or working out at the gym.

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WATERMELLEN 10/31/2012 4:52PM

    Zen: that kind of meditative trance induced by expert motion, like a chef chopping vegetables rapidly and precisely with a huge sharp knife for a fantastic stir fry!!

I'd like to get to a point where my healthy eating and exercise have become zen. Something to aspire to . . .

And zen-like too, your marvellous A-Z October mediation on motivation. Thanks, Barb!! Lots to think about, lots to inspire all of us.

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_LINDA 10/31/2012 1:33PM

    Thank you for this fantastic series of blogs on what motivates you! Provided enlightment to many of us I am sure! Never hurts to get ideas from someone else. You articulate them so beautifully.
There is nothing more peaceful then walking on a quiet nature trail with the sounds of the birds chirping and critters scuttling about in the bush. For sure have to be healthy and fit to enjoy sometime vigorous activities and tough trails.
May everyone find that inner peace, so important to your mind as exercise is to your body.

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1CRAZYDOG 10/31/2012 11:20AM

    I have been waiting to see what you'd come up with for the letter Z and Zen was on my list. Great blog!

I too feel that my best times for gettig in touch with ME are when I'm moving . . . not connected to anything electronic. Just me and nature (when I'm walking outdoors) and alone with my thoughts.

AWESOME series, Barb, just awesome.


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NEW-CAZ 10/31/2012 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/31/2012 7:39AM

    A toast to zen! emoticon Happy Halloween!

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DEBRA0818 10/31/2012 7:25AM

    One could bring oneself to a great deal of zen by meditating on the paradox that we should be mindful of our feelings but not driven by them.


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SLENDERELLA61 10/31/2012 7:16AM

    Another great blog, Barb! Way to end the alphabet with walking or moving meditation! Here's to intuitive illumination!The alphabet was great structure for your significant thoughts about living healthy. Can't wait to see what you are going to tackle next.

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