Nature Will Always, ALWAYS Take Back What Is Hers

Have you ever noticed that when humans step away from things, Mother Nature is quick to say “Ok, I’ll take that back”. Sometimes she even takes it back before we might be ready to give it up. This thought has occurred to me several occasions over the last year or so. In the end, all that we think is ours, (including our bodies) will belong to Nature once again. IMG_1612

Have you seen where a store has closed and no-one has gone into the parking lot for awhile? It doesn’t take long before there is all kinds of green grass and weeds growing up through the blacktop. I tried to look up how long it would take for New York City to revert to nature if humans disappeared. The answer was not as easy as I thought it might be. Somethings would happen rather quickly like wildlife returning, vegetation growing up, and things starting to decompose. Within 10 years Nature would definitely have an eco-system functioning quite well within the city. Give it another 50 years, 100 years or 200 years  and it would be nothing more than ruins among the wilderness.

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Sometime the human race doesn’t even need to step back. Sometimes Mother Nature decides she wants something back and will force herself on a certain area until once again it is hers. Sometimes we can do something about this; like fill in a sink whole, rebuild after an earthquake, or divert water to another course. Other times there is nothing we do can to persuade the natural world to give us back what we “think” is ours. IMG_6458

When you really think about it, if Mother Earth decided that she was no longer going to tolerate us, and wanted to take back all that we think is ours, there is not a thing we can do to stop her. Have you been through a natural event? Hurricane, tornado, flood or earthquake? Have you ever truly seen the power of nature? Have you been there when she swoops in fierce and angry? There is nothing we can do to stop her when she is like this? DSC_0231

Even when she is not full of turmoil and destruction, even when we think we are living in harmony with her, she is slowly taking back what is hers. It is only through our constant maintenance, presence, and a pushing back, that we maintain a delicate hold on our corners of the world.

So the next time you see a crack in the sidewalk filled with “weeds”,  an IMG_2702abandon building that is over run by vines, or the pigeons sitting on the head of your favorite statue; realize that this is Mother Nature. Patiently waiting for her opportunity to take back what was once hers, alone. Remember to thank her and offer her blessings for allowing us to coexist with her. Respect her and try your best to take care of her and the creatures that are part of her. Keep in mind that she could wipe us from the face of the earth at a moments notice, if she so chose to. Nature will always win in the end. She will always take back what is hers.

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Thank you for reading my blog today. May you easily and happily coexist with Nature, as if by magic.

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The Roman Theater at Pula, Croatia

I have been fortunate enough to see the Coliseum in Rome. Coming from a country where all the architecture is brand new in comparison to Europe, I am always awed to walk in something built so long ago.  The trip to Rome was on our honeymoon. My husband and I were walking along the streets when suddenly, there it was. This huge ancient structure rising up out of the city. It seems so out-of-place with traffic lights blinking and delivery vans zooming by. But there it was, none the less. Giant and majestic and so old it boggles my mind.

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Colosseum  Rome, Italy

The Roman Theater at Pula, Croatia is small in comparison to the Roman one. It is still well worth a visit though and has some very interesting things to offer.

Doing some research on the Theater at Pula, I learned it is thought to be the most intact of Roman theaters. Another fascinating thing, about the one in Pula, is that it is still being used as a Theater today. Concerts and film festivals are held there routinely.  It is still fulfilling its original purpose of entertaining the people. Thankfully, we no longer watch Gladiators destroy one another, but people still flock through the entrance anticipating a great show.

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Roman Theater – Pula, Croatia

When we traveled to Croatia, there was one main purpose. This is the country that my husband’s family originated from on his Father’s side and our purpose in visiting was connected to that. We brought my stepson along, thinking what an excellent opportunity for him to see and experience his roots. I was reading a guidebook, my mother-in-law had loaned us for the trip. When I happened across the mention of this Roman Theater.  We adjusted our plans and added several hours of driving, in order to make the track to this part of Croatia, to see something history left behind for us.

It was well worth that drive. The setting sun painted the theater again and again, changing its appearance.

We sat where crowds of people sat and were entertained by events of days gone by.

IMG_6272We Walked where Gladiators had walked, pumped up for the battles they were about to fight.

We were surrounded by shadows of the past and hope for a bright future.

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Even having seen the Colosseum in Rome, which is bigger and more famous, the Roman Theater at Pula was well worth the drive. It was a visit that I will relive in my memories. and I am glad that my 14-year-old stepson was also able to experience something so old. Hopefully it will live on in him, inspiring creativity, dreams, and the promise of future adventures to come.

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Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find yourself on adventures and experience snapshots of history, as if by magic.

** Thank you to SydneysByDesign for doing photo editing to a couple of these photos. Your work is breathtaking!

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Common Ground, Can We Find It?

As I was scanning through Facebook this morning, I saw several people who felt the need to voice their opinion, on other people’s posts. Have you ever felt so angry or strongly disagreed with something a friend posted on FB, that you just had to reply? I bet we all have. But have you ever replied with a snarky comment in response to someone else’s post? This is what I witnessed this morning and have many times before. Someone feels so strongly, that they not only need to respond, but respond with a fairly negative comment. I have been told these people are called trolls.

I do not believe this is a healthy practice. First of all, many people rallied to support the person this “troll” was attacking. They were not kind to the “troll” thus becoming trolls themselves. (I do not like name calling and I think calling these people trolls probably hurts real troll’s feelings. They don’t want that kind of reputation- even if they did try to eat the 3 Billy Goats Gruff… it’s the circle of life after all!) I think expressing our opinions can be a positive thing, when it is done in the spirit of working to understand one another and find a middle ground. Then it is a beautiful and mature way to deal with our differences in opinions.

I really believe we need to allow others to have their own opinions. In this human experience, we are all having, we are all in the place we are perfectly meant to be. No one is better than someone else. From a spiritual stance there are probably some flaws in all of our opinions. Instead of trying to berate or change the opinions of others, what would happen if we just accepted others “as is”? Imagine if we all looked for our similarities, worked together, and just agreed to disagree on certain issues. I believe there is a way. Through loving our fellow voyagers in this human journey, we can work together. We do it all the time in our ordinary lives. I have co-workers who have a whole array of various opinions and beliefs. Some align with mine and some do not. Yet we still all manage to work together and are a wonderful team that, not only supports each other, but is very productive as well. My parents each have beliefs and opinions that are different than mine but I still love them like crazy and respect for them as they are.

I believe it is important that we allow others to have their own opinions and beliefs as a practice in love and acceptance. I also believe that doing so will bring us more peace. We can’t change others and when we are constantly trying to, it messes with our sense of peace and security. I am not suggesting we tolerate comments that are hurtful to ourselves or others. I only want to suggest we deal with them in such a way that we do not also become hurtful to others as well. Accept that this person is in a different place on their journey than you are. Kindly provide them with education if you can. Perhaps right now, some issues are so big, we can’t get to a middle ground. On the smaller issues, keep trying. On the bigger ones; try by looking for the good, the Divine, the Human behind the opinion.

Yes, I understand this is my usual happy Pollyanna attitude about life, but if we don’t start changing our approach to others, we’ll never get beyond the superficial. I feel we are so much more than our beliefs and opinions. I encourage you to let others have their opinions and look for the common ground. It is there! Sometimes it just takes more digging to find it in others. When you do I bet you find we have more in common than what makes us different.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you have a life of feeling loved and accepted, as if by magic! I love you!

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12 Holistic Treatments for Sciatica and Back Pain

People who are experiencing back pain (or sciatica pain) often feel the enjoyment of their life is dimmed by this chronic pain they live with, on a day to day basis. Here are somethings that can be tried to combat this type of pain and help restore the joy to your life. Some of these can provide lasting relief and others can help with momentary relief of especially severe pain.  The goal of all of these is comfort and being able to live the life of your dreams. 

  1. Guided imagery – This can be done via watching a YouTube video or though use of facilitators/hypnotherapist who do a lovely job specific to your needs. I have used this technique, in the past, with my hospice patients and it provided a break from chronic pain for them. 
  2. Progressive relaxation – As a yoga instructor; I have used this technique with my classes, as well as with hospice and even stressed staff members at work. It is a way of starting, at a spot in the body, then progressively relaxing the muscles until they are all relaxed. Tight muscles increase pain so deep relaxation can provide relief, if even for a little while. This too can be accomplished either via a live facilitator or a YouTube video. 
  3. Yoga – Many years of practice and research have shown that yoga is a very effective method of relieving back pain. It provides some nice stretching as well as strengthening. All of this and we have not even talked about the centering quality of yoga. I personally love Kundalini Yoga, but there are many different types. There are even chair yoga classes and again (you guessed it) YouTube videos. If getting onto the floor or standing is not an option for you. 
  4. Turmeric – This amazing root provides us with a natural anti-inflammatory effect that is very beneficial when dealing with these types of pain. I, because of my medical history, cannot take medications such as  Ibuprofen and Aspirin. So Turmeric is my goto for inflammation relief. 
  5. Frankincense Essential Oil – This essential oil is like magic! I think it can and does truly work miracles. If you follow my blog, you probably notice I recommend it for a wide variety of discomforts. Rubbing it on the bottom of the feet can totally resolve Sciatica and back pain. It is worth a shot, even if you think it seems a little to alternative for you. Plus you get the added bonus that you will smell great! 
  6. Acupuncture – You have probably heard me speak of the benefits of acupuncture in the past. Amazing! I wrote an earlier blog called Acupuncture; Have You Tried It?, Here’s the link if you’d like to read and learn more. It is what I lovingly refer to as the “Big Guns”. It helps the energetic flow in your body return to a healthy state as well as increasing the blood circulation to injured areas. 
  7. Arnica – This is a homeopathic remedy. It is deleted to the point where no actual molecules remain and works via the energetic properties of the plant. Arnica is great for pain and comes in tablets (that dissolve under the tongue), gels, or lotions. 
  8. Tai Chi – You have seen the people in the parks practicing their slow, in-synch movements. This is another way to have the energy of your own body doing the healing. It unlocks ancient secrets to allow the energy to better align within your yourself effecting relief.
  9. Cold Packs – I find that ice packs can be a bit much for me. So I have a cherry pit pack that lives in my freezer at all times. It is a nice gentle cold pack and the cherry pits easily mold to fit my body.  Want to make your own? The easiest way is to take a sock and fill it with dry beans, rice, dry corn, or cherry pits (if you happen to have some of those dried and laying around) then sew it shut and throw it in the freezer. 
  10. Cherries – I read, somewhere recently, that cherries have a pain relief property to them. I have not tried this or known anyone who has, but thought I would mention it anyway. 
  11. Louis L Hay’s Affirmations – Louis wrote a book called Heal your body A-Z. She believed that all “disease” in the body was created from negative emotions and belief patterns. So she created positive affirmations or new thought patterns to replace the ones causing us trouble. The one for Sciatica is, “I move into my greater good, my good is everywhere and I am secure and safe”. There are others for back pain depending on where in the back it is located. I have used and recommended Louis’s affirmations many times over the years. They really work. You can put them on sticky notes, where you will run into them during the day and say them out loud or to yourself.
  12. CBD – This last suggestion has been shown to provide amazing benefits. I myself have had it used on me and found my pain relieved. It comes from the Cannibis plant or Hemp. This has caused some controversy around its use. It does not contain THC, the substance that makes people high. For more information follow this link. I have found that it is being more widely used by massage therapist, acupuncturist, and other healers recently. 

Well there you go! There are a dozen ideas to try for your or your loved one’s back or sciatica pain. I would encourage you to try several of them so you can find the ones that are the right fit for you. Also, if it doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up. Be willing to give it another try. You may find it works on you after all.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of comfort, as if by magic.

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Have You Heard of the Buy Nothing Movement?

I first time I heard of this amazing idea was when my friend Dawn mentioned it to me. At that time, there was not a group in my neighborhood, so I moved on from the idea. Later, when I relocated to a different neighborhood, I thought for sure there would be a group. Nope! How could this be? It is such an wonderful idea. So I decided to look into it further. What is Buy Nothing and what could I do about the lack of a group in my area?

The Buy Nothing Project is the idea, that instead of sending no longer needed stuff to the landfill, you can give it to your neighbors that need it for free. It is run as a private group on Facebook. Each group has defined neighborhoods with their streets set as boundaries. You can only belong to one group and only the group for the area you live within. There is a reason for this. The groups are intended to not only prevent usable items from heading to the landfills but also to help build community. It is encouraged, that when you pick up an item, you arrange a time when you and the gift-giver can meet. There by helping to build a community and helping neighbors get to know neighbors. This is such an amazing idea, right!?!

It is also possible for neighbors to borrow items from other neighbors or put up posts asking for something (maybe something someone no longer has need of). Gifts of service can also be given as well on the buy nothing site. Maybe someone needs help with lawn work or a ride somewhere. It truly is a community (and Site) of people just giving and helping one another.

So how could neither of my neighborhoods have this amazing group? I went to the website to see what could be done about this and I found my solution quickly. There was no one willing to be a administrator of the site in those areas. So I could volunteer to be the administrator of my local group if I wanted to start one there. I am pretty busy but I felt that this would be worth it.  I reached out through the website and volunteered. In no time at all I was starting my own neighborhood group. I worried if I would be able to grow the group large enough that it would become self-sustaining, healthy and active. I knew a few people in the group and had recently joined the My Neighborhood App. That was all it took! The group grew quickly and gifts began being shared freely and it took on a life of it’s own.  I am proud to say that my neighborhood Buy Nothing group currently has 270 members and counting.

Some groups are more interactive. Some run contests, which are fun. Like can you gift something everyday for some many days, would be one example. I read about another group where a whole wedding was planned and all items provided by the Buy Nothing Group! Wow! That is really great some random acts of kindness. It is also encouraged that the first to respond should not always get the item automatically, but rather people should comment why they were hoping for the item,  then a selection made for the person with the biggest need or the most interesting reason to get it.  Additionally those posting items are encouraged to tell a story about the item they are offering to their neighbors. Gratitude is always encouraged amongst the group. Freely expressing thanks for items received; is a beautiful way to keep the neighborhood vibration high and intentions pure. All of this is meant to continue to build strong a community and spread love.

Do you belong to a Buy Nothing Group? If not, it’s is worth looking into. If there is not one in your neighborhood, do what I did, volunteer to be the Administrator! There are resources and support people to help you and offer suggestions. I have found that being a Buy Nothing Administrator takes very little of my time and is very worth while.

Thank you for reading my Blog today. I wish you a lifetime filled with random acts of kindness, as if by magic.

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The Most Beautiful Place I Have Ever Been; Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

When we were planning our trip to Croatia, I was very excited to be able to visit this park full of waterfalls. I was sure it was nice but I had no idea how breathtakingly beautiful this visit would be. I have loved waterfalls since I saw my first one in Ireland. I now try an see them every chance I can get. I have heard that there is healing energy that is released by the cascading water. If you have ever stood near a large waterfall, I’m sure you have felt the energy it releases.

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I feel my words cannot adequately share with you the beauty of this park. Please enjoy my pictures with the hope that they might give you at least a little glimpse of the amazing glory of this place on earth. If you get the chance to visit, go! I suggest trying an early morning visit as this park is very popular and very large.

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The color of the water is breathtaking. From some quick internet research it seems limestone deposits are to credit for the stunning color of the water.

The water is also crystal clear too. My stepson’s quick eyes noticed this boat sunk under the clear water, pushed up against edge by the flow of the water, trapping it there for us to discover.

Of course, the beauty of this natural world is not without it’s dangers. This park is full of cliffs with drops-offs and some caves that offer fun climbs for the brave.

This park is dazzling because nature made it so. The park is also full of thoughtful walkways made to blend in gracefully with the lovely natural surroundings.

Veliki Slap or Big Waterfall brought me to tears when I saw it and I am not a person easily moved to tears. The magnificence of this fall did, what few things have done before.

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I have traveled a lot and I have been to many amazing places both natural and manmade. It will take a lot for this place to be dethroned as the most beautiful place I have been.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life offer you adventures to beautiful places, that take your breath away, as if by magic.

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OMG! Read This Book! It will take you places you didn’t know you need to go. (An update on my Complaint Free Adventure)

A recent post from a FaceBook Friend set me off on a journey I didn’t know I needed to go on. My other blog, Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?, explains the journey and how I found myself on it. Until I started this adventure, I had no idea how much I complained. Until I read the book, I did not correlate how complaining and focusing on what I did not want to happen, was stealing from me the opportunity to live my dreams.

I am about 2 weeks into my “Complaint Free World” Adventure. I’ve been using my cute little happy turtle bracelet to switch back and forth on my wrist every time I complain. The articles suggested this action as a way of bringing my complaining to my attention. I thought I could easily whip through the 21 days and be off to my next adventure. Nope. After 2 weeks I am still on day 1. Because I am struggling so much with this challenge, I decided to buy Will Bowen’s book, A Complaint Free World; How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.

This book has taught me so much.

1 I am not alone in the fact that I complain “way” more than I realized.

2 I modeled this for my children and taught them to complain, as they grew up, without ever realizing it.

3 It is robbing me from living my dreams.

4 Complaining is contagious.

5 It does make for easy conversation starters.

6 I have a lot of work to do to become the best me I can be.

These are just a few of the lessons I have learned from reading the Will’s book. I felt it was necessary for me to read the book because I was wondering what was wrong with me that I could not make it “one day” without complaining. It was a comfort to me that even the author of the book, as well as most other people who go on this journey, find getting through one whole day complaint free, a struggle.

I continue to push on towards living a complaint free existence. I will continue switching my bracelet back and forth until the day I notice it has rested, undisturbed, on the same wrist for a whole day. I will then work towards going another and another day until I break this habit of complaining.

I am currently at the stage where I am starting to become aware of my complaints. Hopefully, soon, I will enter the stage where I stop them before they even cross my lips. Luckily, no switch of the bracket is required for unspoken complaints. I will strive to live my great grandmothers advice. “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all”, she would tell us.  Ura McGurran was so wise.  I am human; a work in progress that is striving towards practicing what I preach and in search of living my dreams.

I did decide to go to Will’s website and purchase the purple bracelets he sells for this challenge. I have been using my cute little turtle bracelet but, after hearing how many people broke brackets switching them back and forth, I decided a purple silicone bracelet would be a great idea. I really like my little turtle bracelet.

Will you join me on this adventure? Will you walk this journey towards a Complaint Free World with me? I hope so but make sure you bring a lot of bracelets if you do.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find yourself moving easily in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic.

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