Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photos from New York

I got to go to Ground Zero but there really isn't much to see anymore plus my camera was full and I had no where to unload it. I was in awe though and a feeling of such sadness grabbed me while there. There is one tiny memorial left, which I didn't get a picture of, where people still put mementos and flowers for their loved ones.

This is a wonderful basin I saw in a Chinese restaurant. I so want one like it!

Photos from the Garden City office and the training

The following pictures are from the Garden City Bookspan offices where my boss and I went last week for four days of Agile Process training.

I'm not going to label each picture but rather am posting so everyone that wants to can grab them. I might revisit this later and label but I'm short on time right now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dining Room and updated living room with rug

Okay now. He has completed painting the dining room but he has continued to add color and splash to the living room and kitchen.

He painted the kitchen table, except for the top, which he left the natural wood color.

In addition he added a rug to the living room.

Now for the dining room. Keep in mind we don't yet have the blinds up and he has a couple of side tables and carts to paint and add to the room.

Friday, February 13, 2009

IBC breast Cancer - Ladies please watch

Ladies, I didn't know this until a friend of mine at work alerted me to this video. Please, please, take the time to watch this video. This can happen at any age and isn't detectable through a mammogram.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's talk about Karma

If I always think as I have always thought, I will always do as I have always done, I will always get what I have always gotten.

I always thought that Karma meant that whatever goes around comes around in that if I was good in my dealings with other people, kept my morals high and fought fair the same would happen to me. I just couldn't understand why if I was faithful to my mate they would cheat on me or why if I was gentle in my thoughts about other people, striving to not be judgemental were they so inclined to be the opposite of me? How could anyone be mean and nasty toward me when I tried so hard to exude gentleness and kindness to them?

Recently I've been studying and have come to a whole new understanding of what Karma truly means. Yes I will still try to be as good of a person as I want others to be but there is a little more to it than what my actions bring about... I have to control my thought patterns as well.

Here is a wonderful article that explains it very simply. For those of you not wanting to click away from this page to read I've taken the literary liberty of posting the article in full below:

This word karma is becoming quite main stream of late. I remember 20 years ago, if you asked 10 people about reincarnation and the word karma, 2 or three would say they had heard about it 6-7 would say they didn’t believe in it, and 1-2 would be on the fence. These days I find 7-8 have heard about it, 1 or two say they categorically don’t believe in it and 2-4 would say they are sitting on the fence. That being said, very few understand the meaning and depth of this word.

In essence karma literally means action. It doesn’t necessarily mean that karma is bad, but there are three types of karma that the individual soul can perform: good, bad, and neutral. The idea is to stop performing negative karma, start performing positive karma with the ultimate aim of performing neutral karma, karma without expectation, emptiness, desire; karma that is filled with power, truth, joy, and peace, the innate qualities of the soul

The Law of Karma

The law of karma, a.k.a. cause and effect, as you sow, so shall you reap, essentially states that everything in our universe is in balance and that there are universal laws that endeavour to keep the universe in harmony, balance, and equilibrium. Of course another factor that needs to be considered, is that the universe is in a state of steady decline, (even though it appears to be expanding and from some perspectives (evolving). This principle is in accordance with the law of entropy. Entropy (a word bringing back traumatic memories of our high school chemistry days) states that everything starts out at its highest, most ordered, newest, most powerful state and then over time, gets older, weaker, dispersed, degrades to a point of chaos.

This very second, the body is aging. Everyone over 30 suspects this and everyone over 40 knows this to be true. Despite that new cells are being created over-all the body is sagging, less flexible, aging, in a sense dying a slow death. It takes more and more effort to keep the body in shape. Although the body is aging, it is the soul, the spirit that experiences this aging process through the body. The soul itself by definition is eternal and thus cannot age, but we experience aging, decline, entropy because of being in the body. The body is actually more correctly perceived to be a costume, a very sophisticated, interface, container or vehicle for the spiritual being to move around and experience the world through. The body is very much related to us, as we can’t experience ourselves without the sense organs to express our selves, but the body is not who we are. I am not a body with a spiritual dimension, I am a spiritual being, a soul, living in a physical context.

The law of karma basically states that everything we create: thoughts, words, actions, feelings, motives, and intentions goes out into the universe and causes a domino affect of reactions in our universe. Because we are the creators of our world, both our inner and outer worlds, everything we create, has our "email address" attached to it, as it emanated from us, i.e. it has our energy fingerprint stamped on it. This is why “karma”, the return of our choices and actions, knows where to find us.

Another analogy would be to see the world as a giant mirror reflecting the collective thoughts, words, actions of souls back to each one of us. In the same way that after an accident has occurred, onc can interview 10 witnesses and get 10 different accounts of what happened. Each one who sees the mirror, perceives the events differently. That difference of how one perceives the reflection lies in ones self-awareness. As is your perception of yourself, so will be your perception of your world, your reflection. This principle is why astrology is a powerful diagnostic tool for one’s karma as all astrology does is it enables the astrologer to understand, perceive and predict the timing of the return of one’s karma using the main planets to interpret the reflection of the past choices we sent out into our universe.

Who is in Control?

One might say “but wait a minute… I didn’t create that mess…” but ask yourself, given that you are the one witnessing, observing, experiencing your world, there would have to be some rational explanation about why things particularly happen to specific people at specific times, rather than just filing everything away as a bunch of unrelated, random events. What karma says is that everything is very specific, because the creation (ones choices) returns home to their creator. This is why we say: the only one who has witnessed all of the events in your life, the common denominator has only been you. Your mom, kids, spouses, friends, employers/employees have witnessed many of them, but you are the only one who has seen and experienced them all! Thus you are the creator or your own life experience and no one else is. It is not possible for the world to be so violent because it is filled with non-violent people. We live and experience the violence of the world, because we create and sustain violence and destroy with violence. If you have no violence on your "hard drive", if you totally are ignorant of violence, it won’t know where to find you. Even when people intend you sorrow, they can only offer it to you, they can’t force you to accept it. So you still have to be complicit in every poor decision to act and experience negativity.

This is a very powerful realization because then you have to conclude that the events in your life are only the return, ripple effect, of your past actions coming back to you in your present. The key to using karma in a positive way is to put an end to allowing your negative past to influence you in your present and for you to use will power to choose positively, despite the negative karma returning in the form of negative circumstances in your present. This allows you to disassociate the negative past from the present allowing you to make a positive change in your future. The “will power” to make good and positive, benevolent and unselfish decisions is derived from being in connection with your higher self and values. The method to do this is meditation, a non-invasive way of going within and stabilizing in your positive, spiritual essence. When you emerge from meditation, your perspective, attitude is empowered and even negative situations don’t appear negative but you see them as opportunities to learn from, and correct your mistakes of the past so that your old karmic "visa bill" gets paid off. When one’s debts are paid it is possible to experience true freedom and happiness instead of the illusion of temporary happiness and freedom.

You are the Master

This is why we have the expression: every cloud has a silver lining. The clouds are our past karmic creation revisiting us to see if we are ready to change. In order to change I would have to first recognize that negative circumstances are positive opportunities to empower yourself in disguise. The deeper you go within yourself, you will connect with your inner truth and values (re-empower yourself) and this will enable you to step outside the box of self imposed limitations and weaknesses and discover very creative solutions to your problems, i.e. to solve the problem, you have to be aware of the problem and then forget about, stop being influenced by, and detach from the problem so that you can resolve it. Because negative past karmas (mistakes) are created under the influence of fear and emptiness, guilt, greed, ego, etc., then the return always comes in the form of fear, pain, sorrow, guilt, loss, and disempowerment. What goes in must come out, as the seed, so the fruit of the tree. The key is to realize your ego creates and attracts these situations to distract you and disempower you, and your effort is to remain stable and uninfluenced so that you can master your inner fear and thus master the external circumstances.

This is why they say: our greatest fear is not our unworthiness, weaknesses, and guilt but our greatest fear is to realize what amazingly powerful beings we are. However, ego doesn’t want us to realize our power, because then we would have no need for ego and have to change and take responsibility and face our negative past choices. So ego says to us: "don’t worry, you just leave this all to me. I’ll protect you". Then ego proceeds to separate you from all your goodness, strength, sense, and positivity, by convincing us we are weak and others are the cause of our problems: “you hurt me… you made me angry…” This language continues to weaken the soul because they represent the giving away of one’s power to others, circumstances, the environment. But ask yourself: Whose feelings are they? Whose thoughts are they?

Thus, the silver-lining can be realized in any negative situation when you stabilize yourself in your truth, power, positive and virtuous nature and become aware of another fundamental truth: that despite the appearance of negativity in situations, the situation is actually beneficial, but our ego-based fear, causes us to see the negative reflection of our disempowered state (the degree or our emptiness or disconnection from truth), and we become afraid. In a state of fear, our judgment and discernment becomes impaired and we end up making mistakes or harmful choices that hurt ourselves and others, i.e. “If I always think as I have always thought, I will always do as I have always done, I will always get what I have always gotten”. This is why there is no point running away from one’s problems. But each fear has to be faced from a state of detachment otherwise, wherever you go, your karma follows you.

Problems Vanish

In an imbalanced ego-based stage we do one of two things when we encounter negativity: flight or fight. Neither of these is correct as they both involve the ego states of inferiority or superiority. The correct method is to become detached and turn inwards and discover the seed of the negative karma within yourself that attracted you and the circumstances to one another, and transform it within yourself and then you will see the entire situation resolve and the negative circumstances triggering your fear (False Emotions Appearing Real) disappear as if it was a mirage.

Your Mind Does Matter.

It was difficult for me to admit that so many of the things that were bad that happened to me were my own fault. My fear of them and the amount of time I allowed my thoughts to dwell on my fears caused all of the bad expeiences to invade my "universe". It's much easier to just call yourself a victim and accuse the "bad guys" for their wrong doings than it is to allow yourself to acknowledge that you allowed and actually invited the bad results in the first place.

I refuse to be a victim of myself any longer. At least I have adorned myself with the armor to ward off attacks from the "meanies" by no longer allowing my thoughts to dwell on my fears but rather by changing my thought patterns to that which is pleasing to me, attracting the things I want to me. I actually have caught myself saying "stop it. you can't think like this so stop and think about something you DO want in your life". When you see a mud puddle in the road and you're wearing your new white sneakers what do you do? You walk around it of course! That's what I'm doing when a negative thought, a painful memory from the past, or a fear of something pops into my little pea brained head...I'm stopping, checking for a dry spot and walking around the mud. I'll just 'Keep on Truckin'

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Transformation of the living room and bedroom

We aren't completely done yet as we still have the mini blinds to hang and there are various accessories we want to start picking up, as soon as the yard sales start but how do you like it so far?