Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Women Vitamins: Life's Transformative Journey

Shaman drum showing the world tree
Shaman's drum with the journey
A magnetic sign on my fridge reads:
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." 
It was given to me by a great friend and wise woman when I first started out on my shamanic path in Minnesota. My soon to be ex-husband was starting to show radical displays of bi-polar behavior, my job was in jeopardy of a RIF (reduction in force), my daughter was running wild, our newly built house's mortgage was beyond my suddenly single income.

I looked at that saying and thought, "My WHOLE LIFE is something I think I cannot do."


Of course, as the panic subsided, and my resiliant and practical Capricorn nature took over, I realized that I could do the things I thought I couldn't do.  And here I am today......


The transformative journey has not been easy, but it has been worthy and validating.  Along the way I have encountered some universal truths....


1) Have more positive than negative thoughts and actions.  The golden rule or positive ratio seems to be a minimum of 3:1.  any less and you are diminished.
2) Keep in touch with those who help you on your path.  Send a note, text or email of gratitude at least 3 times a week.  You do not know how much it means to the receiver, and how much joy you garnish from this simple task.  
3) Do something kind for some one else, that requires a little out of the way action.  I focus on strangers.
4) Connect with Mother Earth.  Start a garden.  Buy flowers for yourself.  Walk....around the block, park the farthest from the door or entry, find stairs, take off your shoes and contact the grass as you walk to the library, courthouse, post office, hospital...we need the exercise and we need the re-connect with our planet.
5) Embrace your job, make it part of your flow.  Love what you do, and it will change how you perceive what you do, and it will change how your co-workers perceive you.  Remember that career or job allows you to pay bills, to have a home, to have the things you need or desire.
6) Surround yourself with positive, thoughtful people.  We are influenced by those with whom we hang.  Happiness attracts happiness, complaining attracts complainers.
7) Tell people you love them, and tell them specific reasons why.....this is harder than you may think, but it gets easier with practice.  Start by acknowledging a reason as it occurs; do it in person if possible, by phone if not.  Your vocal tones are important.
8) Work hard.  Keep busy, try new things, volunteer....it keeps your brain, your heart, and your body active and young.
9) Meditate or pray daily, unceasingly...you can make your whole day flow on thoughts of gratitude and possibilities.  I hardly ever listen to the radio anymore, even on long trips. I focus on what I am seeing, hearing, smelling, thinking....and giving thanks for all.
10) Touch someone.  A friendly pat, a firm handshake, a hug...we are living in sensory deprived times.  Take a sufferer's hand, really offer your shoulder....it can make all the difference in someone's life; the acknowledgement of our universal human condition.
11) Live in constant awe of the beauty and complexity of Nature.  We are participants in this process, not merely observers of the process.  We are surrounded by gifts every moment.....like the cloud I saw a couple of days ago.  I had to stop my car, get out, and literally catch my breathe at the fleeting "art" of the day...which I luckily caught on my camera....and I now share with you.


Horse Head Cloud
Seabrook TX
I try to play as hard as I work.  I save, I share, and I spend.  I acknowledge the sunrises and the sunsets.  I meet with friends and go out of my way to speak to strangers.  My physical and emotional health are better than ever, and I  acknowledge that it is due to my choices as well as my genes.


I acknowledge the limits of my safety zones, and try to push into new territory.    I have surrendered my plans to the paths of the Universe, and I am continually grateful for the new and wondrous places that I have been led to by serendipitous events I once would have never chosen.


Be healthy, be safe, take your WomenVitamins, and be blessed, Kersten
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Vitamins for Women: The Transformative Journey

Shaman drum showing the world tree

A magnetic sign on my fridge reads:


 "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." 

It was given to me by a great friend and wise woman when I first started out on my shamanic path in Minnesota. My soon to be ex-husband was starting to show radical displays of bi-polar behavior, my job was in jeopardy of a RIF (reduction in force), my daughter was running wild, our newly built house's mortgage was beyond my suddenly single income.

I looked at that saying and thought, "My WHOLE LIFE is something I think I cannot do."


Of course, as the panic subsided, and my resiliant and practical Capricorn nature took over, I realized that I could do the things I thought I couldn't do.  And here I am today......


The transformative journey has not been easy, but it has been worthy and validating.  Along the way I have encountered some universal truths....


1) Have more positive than negative thoughts and actions.  The golden rule or positive ratio seems to be a minimum of 3:1.  any less and you are diminished.
2) Keep in touch with those who help you on your path.  Send a note, text or email of gratitude at least 3 times a week.  You do not know how much it means to the receiver, and how much joy you garnish from this simple task.  
3) Do something kind for some one else, that requires a little out of the way action.  I focus on strangers.
4) Walk....around the block, park the farthest from the door or entry, find stairs, take off your shoes and contact the grass as you walk to the library, courthouse, post office, hospital...we need the exercise and we need the contact with Mother Earth.
5) Embrace your job, make it part of your flow.  Love what you do, and it will change how you perceive what you do, and it will change how your co-workers perceive you.  Remember that career or job allows you to pay bills, to have a home, to have the things you need or desire.
6) Surround yourself with positive, thoughtful people.  We are influenced by those with whom we hang.  Happiness attracts happiness, complaining attracts complainers.
7) Tell people you love them, and tell them specific reasons why.....this is harder than you may think, but it gets easier with practice.  Start by acknowledging a reason as it occurs; do it in person if possible, by phone if not.  Your vocal tones are important.
8) Work hard.  Keep busy, try new things, volunteer....it keeps your brain, your heart, and your body active and young.
9) Meditate or pray daily, unceasingly...you can make your whole day flow on thoughts of gratitude and possibilities.  I hardly ever listen to the radio anymore, even on long trips. I focus on what I am seeing, hearing, smelling, thinking....and giving thanks for all.
10) Touch someone.  A friendly pat, a firm handshake, a hug...we are living in sensory deprived times.  Take a sufferer's hand, really offer your shoulder....it can make all the difference in someone's life; the acknowledgement of our universal human condition.
11) Live in constant awe of the beauty and complexity of Nature.  We are participants in this process, not merely observers of the process.  We are surrounded by gifts every moment.....like the cloud I saw a couple of days ago.  I had to stop my car, get out, and literally catch my breathe at the fleeting "art" of the day...which I luckily caught on my camera....and I now share with you.


Horse Head Cloud
Seabrook TX
I try to play as hard as I work.  I save, I share, and I spend.  I acknowledge the sunrises and the sunsets.  I meet with friends and go out of my way to speak to strangers.  My physical and emotional health are better than ever, and I  acknowledge that it is due to my choices as well as my genes.


I acknowledge the limits of my safety zones, and try to push into new territory.    I have surrendered my plans to the paths of the Universe, and I am continually grateful for the new and wondrous places that I have been led to by serendipitous events I once would have never chosen.


Be healthy, be safe, take your WomenVitamins, and be blessed, Kersten



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Monday, June 7, 2010

Women Vitamins: Is It All In the Details?

The headwaters of the Arkansas River near Lead...Image via Wikipedia
I am in Colorado for a week of vacation: staying in Breckenridge, smelling the fresh air, enjoying the mountain scenery, driving around, taking pictures like mad.  The snow still lingers on the high peaks. The days are crystal clear, the nights are crisp and cool. At 10,000 feet, I am almost 2 miles above my home, south of Houston, Texas.  

Everything looks so green and beautiful. It's so darn beautiful. The water cascades down the mountains in bridal veil falls.  The rivers and creeks are running over 4 times normal volume.  I have booked a white water rafting experience for tomorrow morning on the Arkansas River about 2 hours south of here.  I am excited.  I have returned home and my heart is gladdened.

And yet, when I really take a close look, I see something disturbing: millions of dead pine trees.  Lodge pole pines ravaged by the pine beetle....mountainsides covered in dead brown skeletal remains of once stately evergreens....and my heart breaks.

I read in a local paper, that the snow fall this last season was average to below average, and the run-off waters are so much more because the pines are dead....every pine consumed 10 gallons of water, that now flows down, unused, and unimpeded.  I don't really understand how the pine beetle infestation became so overwhelming...why nothing was done to prevent this, or to stop it, or to minimize it. 

It's sort of like the oil tragedy occurring in the Gulf....miles of our fragile eco-systems under assault...by overwhelming forces that we can't seem to alter or affect.  Forces that will affect all the inhabitants, the effect of which will impact all our lives for years to come.  

Who should have noticed the first few beetles killing the first few pines?  Or paid closer attention to the details of running and overseeing a drilling platform?  Maybe we all need to start paying attention to our hearts and our minds, our mouths and our bodies.....watching for the first signs of our own potential disasters.  Unkind words that wound unnecessarily, stress and issues that age and debilitate us, friends in need we ignore, exercising that we avoid, the junk foods we continue to eat, the consequences we trivialize.

I took this week off to center and  to heal myself from a stressful year.  I realize that I forgot to attend to my needs and attended the needs of others instead.  I am breathing in the pine scented air.  Thank God, all of the pines are not dead....the valiant still stand tall among their fallen brothers.  I am breathing in health and courage for my own spirit, and I will take that back with me when I return home. 


Note to self: Do not over look small details that signal problems; deal with them before they become unsolvable disasters.

Be safe, be healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

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