Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Compassion, Change, and Singing

rabbit

 

California Votes for Cruelty Free Cosmetics

California just passed a law that will make it illegal to sell cosmetics or ingredients that have been tested on animals. The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act will go into effect in January of 2020. Read more below from The Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/california-has-just-approved-law-requiring-all-cosmetics-to-be-cruelty-free/#.W7JziKaNjSc.facebook

Rising Out of Hatred through Kindness

Derek Black, the son of a KKK Grand Wizard and godson of David Duke, broke free from the white nationalist movement. It was a gradual process that started when he went to college and his friend Matthew invited him to a Friday night Shabbat dinner. You can read more in this article or watch the video below. The discussion about change starts about four and a half minutes into the video.

 

Singing is Good for You!

It’s not hot off the presses, but here are some surprising ways singing can improve your mental and physical health:

http://vkool.com/benefits-of-singing/

Got good news? Share it!

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Waiting, Singing, Not so much Thinking.


SOC badge with butterfly

Waiting. That’s what I seem to be doing lately. At least in my head. I’m busy as ever. But my mind is focused on something that might happen in the future. Now that I think about it, there is more than one big thing I’m waiting for. Exciting things, energizing things, things that could make very big changes in my life. (I should have written: life changing things.) Oh, stream of consciousness. So tempting to edit. I’ve been a rule follower all of my life. I’m tired of it sometimes. But I still follow the rules, mostly, but not always. That scares me to write that. I’m going to get caught. Stop it!

Back to… what was it…..? Waiting. For things I can’t reveal right now. Things that may not happen for a few months, or several months even, but within a year.

So, what to do when I’m thinking too much in the future. I do think too much sometimes. When the thoughts are not helpful, like… am I getting a cold or is this just allergies? or other worse thoughts that I’m not going to write, because they are not happening and why give them any more thought? What I do sometimes that works really well, is SING!

I love to sing. I’ve loved singing since I was about 11 years old and listened to the sound track of the Sound of Music over and over and over again. That’s how I learned to sing.

But I rarely sang in front of people, outside my inner circle, my ring of comfort, for singing, was small, until I was in my 40s – when I started going to a church that had contemporary praise music, and they invited me to sing with them after I went to a rehearsal and they knew I could sing. I eventually learned more guitar chords and sang and played guitar on the little stage. It was not a huge congregation, but anyway, it got me more comfortable singing in front of people. Now, I still get nervous in front of a new group, and I have to work harder to keep my voice in shape since I’m almost 60 (!) another thing that will happen in just a few months, wait, it’s in just over two months! My, how time flies.

My point is, that it’s never too late to become what you might have been. I don’t like to watch those shows on TV where amateurs compete with their talent, because it makes me feel like I could have been a professional singer. But I needed to learn some things first. Plus I want to be an artist and a writer. Correction. I am an artist and a writer!

So, while I wait for those things that I anticipate with excitement, I can sing to keep myself in the present moment. I find singing to be soothing. Singing to myself, with the radio, or a video, especially.  When I’m worried about my health, which is really pretty good, all things considered, I sing these words to the tune of “I’m so Pretty,” from West Side Story. Oh, I just discovered it’s “I feel Pretty.” ! I’ve been singing it wrong….no, I’m not, because I’m making it up.  Here are the words I sing:

I’m so healthy, Oh so healthy

I’m so healthy and happy and free

I’m so healthy

Cause I’m finally learning to be me……

 

I’m so healthy, Oh so healthy

I’m so health and wealthy and wise

I’m so healthy,

Cause I’m seeing through clearer eyes.

 

Here’s Adam Sandler singing his version in Anger Management, accompanied by Jack Nicholson.

Are you feeling prettier, now?

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt was  that our first word has to end in “ing.”

If you’d like to jump into the stream, start here:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-1015/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Opposites Attract, But Similarities Sustain

socs-badge

Opposites do attract. We’re often drawn to partners or friends who have qualities we lack. This can be a good thing, up to a point. If there are too may opposites, there’s going to be trouble.

When we were dating (for the second time) my husband confessed, “I’m allergic to fun.” I thought he was kidding. He works hard and is hard on himself. I can understand this, but my desire for myself is to have more fun. We had lots of fun when we dated, getting to know each other again; the butterflies and excitement of falling in love tends to make us giddy and overlook things.

Fortunately, we also asked a lot of questions to find out if there were any deal breakers. To find out if there was  enough common ground.

But back to the opposites. He says he is not artistic. And he’s not when it comes to free flowing things, improvisation, dance, playful art. I am more artistic. He is more precise. I tend to be scattered. He is more focused. (I’ve come to believe that’s mostly a guy thing.) He is great with numbers, me not so much.

I love to sing. My husband stopped singing in his late teens after being ridiculed. When we found each other again, he didn’t sing at all. But he’s been working on this for a couple years, and now sings in our church choir with me. He knows how I love to sing and wants to be with me enough to overcome his fear of singing. He’s also overcoming his fear of swimming in deep water due to a close call a long time ago.  I love to swim. He was a fire fighter and pilot, so he’s not at all afraid of heights like I am. I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat. But when he gets a chance to fly a plane again, I’ll be there with him, right after I take my Dramamine.

I used to be addicted to TV and movies. My husband doesn’t watch TV and rarely goes to movies. But he did like Interstellar which we saw together. It’s a good thing I took my daughter with me to see Wild. And there’s no way he’ll want to go see Into the Woods. But that’s okay.

Even though opposites attract, similarities are necessary for a happy, long lasting relationship.

My husband and I both love dogs. We  like to grow things in dirt and eat healthy. While we both partied plenty in our younger days, we’re now conservative in our lifestyles, though not our beliefs. We are responsible, frugal and conscientious. We believe in giving back to the community. We search for meaning in spirituality. We’re both Christians, but we’re open minded enough to respect the beliefs of others. We respect each others differences. We listen to each other. We both like garlic.

These are important similarities. Without them, it wouldn’t work.

And it’s working quite well.

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post was the word: “opposite.” If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-january-1015/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!


13 Comments

Moving from Leftovers to the Joy of Being Alive

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word: consume.

 

I will not be consumed by guilt about the extra calories I’ve consumed over the holidays.

The beguiling sugar monster flirts with me, again. What harm can come of this seemingly innocent pleasure? A piece of pumpkin pie, a cookie slipped from the plate in the frig…..

I know the seductive nature of sweet things, and of spicy leftover lasagna calling me from the the refrigerator, on the shelf above the apple pie which sits temptingly on top of the kale salad that’s getting old.

My mantra was to only consume things that were healthy and good for me, mindfully, one bite at a time, only what I need….

I will not feel guilty for not being perfect.

 

I want to be consumed by the urge to stretch and hike the wooded trails breathing crisp air.

I want to be consumed by the love of painting and writing and singing.

I want to be consumed by my lover’s scent, by his love for me.

I want to be consumed by the hope of the new year!

Consumed by the joy of being alive!

If you’d like to join the fun of Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness prompt and post, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/12/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-december-2714/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!


11 Comments

Being Present with Music, Lights, and Jesus

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Our Stream of Consciousness prompt for today is: present. Or maybe it was Present. It doesn’t matter.

I’m really going to not think about this much which will make it real stream-of-consciousnessy. It’s hard to not plan ahead at all what I’m going to write. I’ve been painting in the bathroom and have not gotten to work on my memoir on my day off, so I’m really not very present at all. Yet I do enjoy the SoCS thing very much. So let me focus. Deep breath.

Present!  Being in the present moment is a goal. Buying presents during the holiday season makes that even more challenging. Will they like this? Should I spend that much? I don’t want this holy day to be about material presents.

I was talking with my husband about not getting each other material presents, but then I’d wonder if he was going to get me a present anyway, and end up getting him one…….silly stuff. I am going to buy my 21 year old daughter a camera, because she’s got talent, and I’m going to give my son financial help to get here for Christmas Eve, which is really a gift to myself. I’m going to sing in the choir, that’s a present to myself as well as others, I hope……..I just realized I’m not very present right now. I’m thinking about the future. That seems to be what the holiday season is about, as far as time spent thinking about things. There’s a big build up, a frenzy even, to the big day and then a crash or sorts. I don’t like that.

One thing that helps me stay in the present is the gift of music. Singing helps me be present. And looking at Christmas lights!  I love Christmas lights! Now I’m getting excited, like a child about Christmas lights!

Oh, and there’s Jesus.  I’m remembering you, Jesus. For me, that’s what it’s really about anyway. And Christmas lights! sparkly twinkly colorful lights.

What’s the connection between Christmas lights and Jesus?

“A star, a star dancing in the night…………………….

………….He will bring us goodness and light!”

Good presents!

If you squint your eyes and tilt your head from side to side, Christmas lights look like dancing stars.

Here’s the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad7KU9bCTAM

 

If you would like to join in the fun of Saturday Stream of Consciousness, check it out here:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/12/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-december-614/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!


3 Comments

Confesssions of an Imperfect Vegetarian

chicken on the farm

Ever since 1970, when I heard Melanie Safka sing, “I don’t eat animals, cause I love em you see. I don’t eat animals, and they don’t eat me,” I’ve wanted to be a vegetarian.

I got good at it  when I was in college, after reading an article by a hunter challenging people who are against hunting to stop eating meat. I did better after reading quotes by Isaac Bashevis Singer comparing factory farms to Nazi concentration camps, a realistic comparison considering the severity of misery inflicted. Watching videos of baby chicks being de-beaked or ground up alive, always works for a while. I’ve actually gotten better over the years at not eating chicken.

For almost 30 years, I’ve had no problem abstaining from mammal flesh, feeling a kinship with animals who feed their babies with milk from their bodies, like I did. But I’ve struggled with fish and chicken. Most of the time, I’ve been imperfect in my quest.

Except for Lent. During Lent,  the 40 days that start with Ash Wednesday and finish up with Easter, I am stronger.  For 40 days, I  know I can do what my spirit tells me is right for me. I can be an honest vegetarian-no chicken and no fish. During Lent, I have the strength to stretch myself, with God’s help, to have more days of being vegan-no animal products at all.  With so many alternatives available these days, it’s not too much of a sacrifice considering what Jesus did for us. So, I approach Lent with a sense of confidence that grows stronger each year.

Lent

Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up. It can be about adding something good to your life. Like singing more.

Image

At the Church of the Good Shepherd, we are working on a song for lent called: “You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord.” It’s about God saying, “I will raise you up on eagle’s wings,bear you on the breath of dawn, make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of my hand.”  It gives my soul goose bumps.  This is what I joined  choir for: that feeling of accomplishment when you start to “get” a song you love- when it starts to come together with the voices of friends.  It’s a natural high, a power that comes from divine love.

So this year, I will add daily singing to my Lenten practice. It’s good for the soul. I’ll sing for God and for Jesus and for the animals. Cause I love ’em you see.