Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bobby Weir is coming to see me!!!




Ratdog
Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City, Cleveland, OH
Mon, Jul 16, 2007 06:30 pm
ON SALE NOW
Additional Information:
THIS IS AN ALL AGES / ALL WEATHER EVENT KELLER WILLIAMS IS SPECIAL GUEST GENERAL ADMISSION = STANDING ROOM ONLY DOORS OPEN ONE HOUR BEFORE SHOW TIME PLEASE CALL 440-247-2722 FOR MORE INFORMATION

click below to watch him sing Sugar Magnolia!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHrdYTKI3ss

Rhythm Machine


this is a picture of Marko drumming at Omega.....He loves to drum or as he puts it......that "is where I found joy."



Life is about rhythm. We vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, we are a rhythm machine, that's what we are.
-Mickey Hart


If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life." --Abraham Maslow

Where there is love there is life. --Gandhi

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mattie Stepanek's Advice



"Poetry is a great way to express your feelings and life experiences so that others can understand and get through the same situation. We all have life storms. We need to celebrate that we get through them, instead of mourning and waiting for the next one to come along and wipe us out again."

"Remember to play after every storm. Celebrate life no matter how bad it seems. Life is a gift, and there's always something beautiful that you can find. We have to make the best of life and do what we're meant to do. Everyone has a special song inside their hearts. If you believe you can be happy, then you, too, will hear your song. "



Sorrowful Goodbye To Stepanek

June 29, 2004
(CBS/AP) Former President Jimmy Carter joined more than a thousand mourners Monday at a funeral for a beloved child poet, remembering little Mattie Stepanek as "the most extraordinary person I have ever known."

Stepanek, whose inspirational verse made him a best-selling writer and a prominent voice for muscular dystrophy, died last week of a rare form of muscular dystrophy that had plagued him throughout his 13 years. He was buried next to his three siblings - Jamie, Katie and Stevie - who died of the same disease, all at young ages.

Carter, who corresponded with Stepanek for three years, gave the eulogy.

"I have known kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers," Carter said. "But the most extraordinary person I have ever known in my life was Mattie Stepanek."

Four firefighters gingerly lifted a small wooden coffin covered with the United Nations flag from the back of a fire truck outside St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church.

On the casket was a bumper sticker: "Be a peacemaker."

Stepanek tried to convey that message in the words and drawings in his best-selling books and through his work as an advocate for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His five volumes of poetry sold more than a million copies.

Like many authors, Stepanek also communicated with his many readers and well-wishers through his web site, which his family has continued for the time being, adding only the announcement of his death.

Carter and Stepanek met in 2001 when it appeared Stepanek was near death. Carter made a surprise visit to his hospital room as a last wish for the boy.

Stepanek rallied and later sent Carter a series of letters in which he discussed becoming a peacemaker and proposed that he and Carter write a book together called "Just Peace."

Carter said he was impressed with Stepanek's knowledge of international affairs, recalling how the boy was moved to tears by the war in Iraq because he thought world leaders had not tried hard enough for peace.

Also speaking briefly at the funeral was Oprah Winfrey, who featured Stepanek many times on her talk show and at one point asked all viewers who believed in the power of prayer to pray for the boy she considered a special friend.

Many of the 1,300 people who filled the church had met Stepanek through his charity work.

In the church, men with ponytails and beards filled several pews, wearing leather vests with Harley Davidson logos. The motorcycle company and Harley owners groups work with the MDA. Firefighters who had also contributed to the charity filled the funeral procession, marching in dress uniforms.

Some mourners never knew Stepanek but came anyway.

Roseanne Mangarella, a preschool teacher in Philadelphia, was given a copy of one of Stepanek's books and later used it in class.

"My heart was telling me I had to help come celebrate this," she said as she stood in line to enter the church. "This is my way of meeting him."



©MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My cousin, Chad

Below is a picture of my cousin Chad and a part of a poem by him.
He is a very creative soul.....don't think he will ever carry a brief case and work a 9-5 job.
He is very alive and passionate about life.
here is my favorite line of the poem,
Woe unto you commoners
who sit upon plastic lawn furniture
allowing your souls to flicker and die away
like smoldering timber!



Chad's poem From “SoulCry Suffer,” by Chad William Lowther . . .

2.
I long to know those passion filled lunatics who paint colors of emotion
upon the blank canvass faces of commoners
who stand safely by the shores of their comfortable existences
as waves of life crash against the walls of detachment they've built around themselves, commoners who gaze with eyes of longing out onto a horizon
drawn by endless gray sky and blue storming seas
littered with the distant scattered specs of ships
navigated by the reincarnations of prophets and apostles,
ships that cut through foamy crests like manic prose
on journeys destined to be halted at the death of mortal flesh,
and picked up again by the flaming poets of future generations
on and on until the end of time.

These are the passion filled lunatics I long to know.
Their sails are full of the winds of progression,
their faces cooled by those same breezes,
faces made hot by blood of fire,
blood so hot one may think their hearts giant pumping furnaces,
blood boiled by souls that burn with all the sun's intensity.

From sea to shore their condemnation resounds:
Woe unto you commoners
who have allowed the cries of humanity
to be drowned out by your own wanton narcissism!

Woe unto you commoners
who sit upon plastic lawn furniture
allowing your souls to flicker and die away
like smoldering timber!

We are all the same


Nkosi Johnson was born with the HIV virus (turning quickly into AIDS) in 1989 in rural South Africa. The disease was transmitted through his mother, who died when Nkosi was two. The boy was taken to a Johannesburg shelter for children and mothers with AIDS, founded by a white South African woman named Gail Johnson. Jim Wooten tells Nkosi's story in his book, We Are All The Same (from which these excerpts are taken). During his short life, Nkosi became a symbol and powerful advocate for mothers and children infected with HIV. He visited the United States twice for medical treatment, and, as Jim Wooten recounts, he touched people both with his smile and his remarkable insight, not just as a child, but as a human being. He was invited to speak at the AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, in July 2000. His fragile health deteriorating (he died a year later, weighing 20 pounds), he was determined to write his own speech and every word was his own. Here are the concluding words of that speech:

We are all the same.

We are not different from one another.

We all belong to one family.

We love and we laugh, we hurt and we cry, we live and we die.

Care for us and accept us. We are all human beings. We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk -- and we have needs like just like everyone else. Don't be afraid of us.

We are all the same.

***

Additional excerpts from We Are All The Same:

The highlight of his trip to the West Coast ... was an unforgettable lunch with the comic and actor Robin Williams.

"He is the funniest man, I think, in all the world," Nkosi recalled. "He made me laugh a lot. He made me laugh so much I spit out my water once. Maybe twice. I was laughing very much at Robin. I think he liked me. I think Robin is my friend."

We love and we laugh, we hurt and we cry, we live and we die.

Since Christmas was only a few days away, I inquired about his personal gift list.

"A Dodge Viper," he said. Once more the grin.

"I want a Porsche," I said. "Good luck to both of us."

He knew that I knew he was pulling my leg.

"I actually dream this Christmas of getting all the money we need for our big dream house," he said.

He was referring to the farm outside that Johannesburg that Gail had been eyeing for some time, a much larger version of Nkosi's Haven, with enough space for a hundred mothers and children -- and, until then, beyond her financial reach.

"We are full here," he continued." "This is a small house, and we hardly have room for anybody else -- and that is not fair to all the other all the other mothers and children who are HIV. They are dying, and they have no place to go. They have no place to bring their children and live."

A wonderful wish, I said. "But what do you want for yourself."
"I haven't thought about it," he said. "Right now I'm just thinking about all the other mothers out there."

We all belong to one family.

Gail was receiving hundreds of letters every day. One local woman wrote that Nkosi was in fact an angel dispatched from paradise to earth to teach human beings the lessons of love and courage. Gail, who had not lost her sense of humor despite the stress and pressure of those long and painful weeks, laughed when she read that particular note. "Clearly this woman has never met Nkosi," she said. "Anyone who has ever dealt with my darling boy would know for sure that he is definitely not an angel and never was."

Care for us and accept us. We are all human beings. We are normal.

***

Jim Wooten relates that at the end of one of his interviews, Nkosi reminded him: "Wait just a moment, Jim. You haven't asked me about death." Johnson then went on to say that while he didn't want to die, he was not afraid of dying. And then he gave Wooten his final message:
Do all you can with
what you have
in the time you have
in the place you are.
Links

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

a complaint free world


I just saw this really cool thing on Oprah.....a challenge to stop gossip and complaining.
You can order these bracelets for free on the below link. I just ordered one....I wonder if I can do this....I want to try. You wear the bracelet on one wrist if you catch yourself complaining or gossiping you have to switch it to the other arm.....and start over....the goal is to go 21 days without negative comments or gossip because it takes 21 days to change a habit. Have a great day!!! Michele
Link to order a bracelet and take the challenge:
http://acomplaintfreeworld.fobby.net/Complaint_Free_Bracelet_Order_Form.php

"How Does it Work?"

Scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. As Twain said, we must coax our old behavior down the stairs. The bracelet(s) you receive are a powerful tool(s) to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. Here are the suggested rules:

1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist

2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.

3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first!

4. Stay with it. It may take
many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving, more positive and more abundant.


***How do I know if I'm complaining? 

To "complain" is defined as "to express pain, grief, or discontent." Surely,
it makes sense to express pain, grief or discontent occasionally but most
people do so a lot. In so doing, they are talking and thinking about what they
do not want in their life and, thereby, attracting more pain, grief and
discontent. Instead, think and talk about what you are grateful for. Talk
about what you DO want and not what you DON'T want.




Here is an article about it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17362505/

Cherry trees and a dear friend

Cassie decided she wanted to get Macy a cherry tree for her birthday.
She ended up getting her two beautiful trees because they need cross pollination in order to grow fruit. Macy is very excited to have her own fruit trees. Someone from the city is coming today to show us the best place to plant them.
What a special present ehh???? Cassie continues to amaze me!!! See the pictures below of them between the birthday trees.



"Hey Mace- When your cherries grow on the trees, we could eat them and spit the seeds at each other."- Cassie

My friend Sarah reminded me to read this quote that was emailed to us today....read below:
"All that is required now is that you continue to till the soil of your
soul. Just as you would not neglect seeds that you planted with the hope
that they will bear vegetables and fruits and flowers, so you must attend
to and nourish the garden of your becoming."
~Jean Houston

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver


Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Beautiful Ohio


Mark and I saw "Beautiful Ohio" Sunday night at the Cleveland film festival.
It was a superb movie with lots of absurdity and dialouge...which is perfect for a double gemini like me.
It was set in the 70's and quite peculiar. It reminds me alot of "American Beauty."...and is a must see if it comes to theaters...or is out in dvd. I want to own it someday!!! Peace and love to you, Michele
see review below:



Origin Country: USA
Runtime: 91 MIN
Presentation Format: 35 MM

DIR Chad Lowe SCR Ethan Canin PROD Hilary Swank, Chad Lowe, Mark Burton DPStephen Kazmierski ED Amy E Duddleston CAST William Hurt, Rita Wilson, Julianna Margulies, Michelle Trachtenberg, David Call, Brett Davern

Short Note:
Directed by Chad Lowe and starring William Hurt, Rita Wilson and Julianna Margulies, set in the 1970s, a 15-year-old boy lives in the constant shadow of his older brother, a free-spirited and enigmatic mathematics genius. The family's coming of age culminates in an event that will affect both brothers and their family forever.

Long Note:
Chad Lowe makes his impressive directorial debut with BEAUTIFUL OHIO, a solid coming-of-age tale that centers on the complex family dynamics and changing social attitudes ofthe early seventies.

Simon and Judith Messerman (William Hurt and Rita Wilson) are enlightened, modern parents who have high hopes for their children's futures. Much of their attention is focused on their quirky and gifted son Clive (David Call), whom they expect to win an upcoming mathematics competition. Clive is an uneasy genius who frequently disconnects from the family by slipping into his own unique method of communication. Meanwhile, his teenage brother William (newcomer Brett Davern) struggles to make his own way while living inhis older brother's formidable shadow. Adding to the relationship complications is Clive's provocative and free-spirited girlfriend, Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg), who may behiding secrets of her own.

The impressive ensemble cast delivers strong, yet subtle performances, while Lowe's mature and even-handed direction infuses the film with authenticity.
-John Bernstein

Biography:
Chad Lowe has resisted becoming a standard issue teen idol, opting for a more unconventional career. In his body of work on stage, screen and TV, the green-blue eyed blond has conveyed an impressive seriousness and gravity that belies his pretty boy looks. As a frustrated 15-year-old, Lowe was encouraged to "pursue acting not only as a profession but as a way of life" by family friend Martin Sheen. He soon acquired an agent and landed his first acting job--a role in the TV-movie docudrama FLIGHT 90:DISASTER ON THE POTOMAC, just before his 16th birthday.

Lowe received his first major showcase as the star of the engaging teen sitcom SPENCER playing an eccentric, discontented and lusty 16-year-old high school student. Lowe subsequently focused on improving his craft with an acting coach and stage work. He returned to TV to play the estranged son of Elizabeth Taylor's emotionally fragile faded actress on the comeback trail in the TV-movie version of THERE MUST BE A PONY. Lowe later co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Urich in APRIL MORNING, a period coming-of-age drama set on the eve of the American Revolution.

Lowe gained a devoted following and considerable acclaim and notoriety as a series regular on the third and fourth seasons of the landmark family drama LIFE GOES ON as Jesse McKenna, the HIV-positive artist boyfriend of Becca. Lowe won a richly deserved 1992/93 Emmy for his portrayal.

Lowe received good notices in films including, APPRENTICE TO MURDER, NOBODYÕS PERFECT, HIGHWAY TO HELL and SIRINGO.

BEAUTIFUL OHIO is his directorial debut.

http://www.afi.com/onscreen/AFIFEST/2006/project2020/lowe.aspx

Monday, March 26, 2007

Letting yourself be loved



LETTING YOURSELF BE LOVED,
From “Lessons From the Heart, By Lew Epstein

No one has ever prepared us for this experience,
We think it’s the end – no,
It’s another beginning.
It’s knowing that you are loved,
It’s not easy, letting yourself be loved,
Because we’ve learned to judge ourselves,
We’re always judging ourselves.

But I’ve learned to listen that I was loved. I am loved!
But then I would forget that I was loved.
Those were the most painful times for me…
Forgetting that I was loved.

So you’ve let yourself be loved while you’ve been here.
And you judged yourself.
And you’ve forgotten that you were loved,
And you became alone…but you will always be here.

You are blessed, you are forgiven, you are an angel.
You have to listen that you are loved and you have to forgive all the time.
Thank you for letting me love you, thank you for letting yourself be loved.

God bless you.

listen to this poem read by the author by clicking on the link below:
http://www.wisdomoftheworld.com/mp3/Graceful_Passages_Epstein.mp3

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Darius Goes West: Behind the scenes

Hey guys...Darius goes west made Scene magazine...... great article!!!



If you haven’t already seen the stand-out documentary, “Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life” at the Cleveland International Film Festival, go now. Today. Immediately. (It’s playing at 4:15 p.m. at Tower City).

The movie tells the story of Darius Weems, a hilarious, sweet-faced, 15-year-old who was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the number one genetic killer of children in the world. The disorder destroys all the muscles in the body, and usually kills victims by the time they reach their late teens and early 20s. Darius already lost an older brother to the disorder, but he’s not ready to give up the fight.

Raised in the housing projects in Athens, Georgia, Darius had never been out of his hometown. Two summers ago, his friend Logan Smalley decided that was unacceptable. So Smalley and 10 others raised thousands of dollars to transport Darius to California, in hopes that he could get his wheelchair blinged out on MTV’s Pimp My Ride. They documented every RV breakdown and bathroom joke along the way.

After the film’s showing last night, we ran into the crew members wandering through Tower City looking for beer and food. We led them to Flannery’s Pub downtown, and commenced to find out the real story behind the documentary.

Smalley, a boyish looking special-ed major, talked humbly about the project and his poverty. All proceeds from the movie go to Charley’s Fund, a non-profit trying to find a cure for the disorder. The crew relies on donations and corporate sponsors to get to film festivals.

Becoming instant movie stars hasn’t gone to their heads. They’re still the same old Georgia boys. “We nicknamed the RV ‘The Cherry Butt Hole’ because we were so fond of it,” says John Hadden, the only member who actually wants to make films for a living. – Lisa Rab and Rebecca Meiser

http://www.clevescene.com/blogs/?p=831

Good Morning

I guess this in some way proves the Andy Warhol's quote from the 1960's: "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes."-Michele




How about a muffin on this fine morning???
click on link below to see this!
http://tinyurl.com/2lk3g6

Friday, March 23, 2007

Being alive


"People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life.... I think what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive."
-Joseph Campbell

Kids....20 ways to show you care



20 Ways to Show You Care (excerpted from the Research Institute of Minneapolis)
1. Hide surprises for them to find.
2. Contribute to their collections.
3. Clip magazine pictures and articles that interest them.
4. Help them to become an expert in something.
5. Tell them about yourself.
6. Admit when you make a mistake.
7. Tell them stories in which they are the hero.
8. Notice when they grow.
9. Help them learn something new.
10. Be silly together.
11. Share a secret.
12. Help them take a stand and stand with them.
13. Look in their eyes when you talk with them.
14. Tell them their feelings are OK.
15. Forget your worries sometimes and concentrate only on them.
16. Notice when they are acting different.
17. Send them a letter, card or postcard.
18. Ask for their opinion.
19. Give them a special nickname.
20. Create a tradition with them, and keep it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What dreams are made of!!!



Below is a note from my dear friend Katie......or Kate as she goes by now.

Katie has been my friend since the 7th grade.

I would like to ask YOU to help her make her dream come true.

She is an excellent writer as you will see if you review her chapter online.

This is an amazing read!!!! The link to the chapter and the summary of the plot is below.

I just posted a comment and gave her a rating ....can you do that too???

You vote for her by clicking on a rating below her chapter!!!!!

Thanks for your help!!!!- Michele



Here is the letter from Katie:


I am trying out for American Idol!!!

Okay, if you’ve heard me sing you know this cannot be true. There is, however, an American Idol of sorts for writers, which as you know has been a dream of mine for years. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy. No, it’s not how Hemingway got started. But here I am. Check out http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976933506 and their First Chapters Contest. The name of my book is Days of May. Take a look at it and see what you think. If you like it, please give me a fair rating. Or even a comment.

Of course I can tell you a bit about it, so you know whether you might be interested in checking it out:

It’s about a woman so desperate to find her runaway daughter she might sacrifice all that is dear to her —just so she won’t lose control as she had in the past, when the man she thought she’d marry was killed at Kent State. It brings the past and the present together in a way that I hope is meaningful for all, especially as we face questions today about the similarities between Vietnam and the War in Iraq. More than that, though, it’s a story of the ties between mother and daughter, parent and child—how some struggle for a parent’s love, how others feel strangled by it. Hope it resonates for you. Let me know.

I know you are all very very busy so I truly appreciate you taking the time. It is posted only for 2 weeks so don’t procrastinate like I usually do;-)

Thanks, and wish me luck!

P.S. If you are so moved, please tell friends and colleagues who you think might like it, too.

Beautiful


My friend Sarah let me borrow this book on Tuesday with 2 beautiful cds in it and lots of beautiful words of wisdom. Sarah is a friend that just "appeared in my life"....thanks to Macy who was obsessed with me finding her a cello teacher and bugged me to call her constantly until I did. I should listen to Macy more often because Sarah is now a dear friend of mine. She is also Macy's cello teacher,and my harp teacher. She and I connect on such a spiritual level.

Anyway this book is called Graceful Passages....a companion for living and dying.
Listen to this beautiful poem written and read by Ram Dass by clicking on the link below.
http://www.wisdomoftheworld.com/mp3/Graceful_Passages_RamDass.mp3

below is the poem (part of),written by Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher.

Be here now.

Don’t anticipate, don’t yearn for things of the past.

Let the past go with forgiveness and let the future go with no anticipation.

Each of us contains a being that doesn't die and a being that does die.
Everything must change except the soul..............

There are realms other than the one we are meeting on.
Planes where we see the souls that we have known in the past
as just souls.
We won't meet them in their clothing of mother or
father, or uncle or aunt.

then......sensual planes, planes with color, music......

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Darius Goes West


My friend Sue has me addicted to the Cleveland Film Festival.
so much that I stayed for a second show today and am going back for more. It felt like coming home there.
This documentary that I saw called DARIUS GOES WEST was absolutely beautiful.
I couldn't even do it justice so just watch the trailer below and thanks so much Sue.....you are a hero of mine..the way you embrace life and want to always live "bigger" and make it so contagious....could that be some kind of hidden gift of cancer.....You are a teacher!!!!
The producers of this movie were sitting talking with us. They were so authentic and are so awake and alive to what is important in life......To Live and to connect....to take risks.
The producer, Logan, is a college student majoring in education for special needs kids.
Trailer below:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DFt3_s1WnS4

Here is the website:
http://www.dariusgoeswest.com/

One more thing...it has had an extra showing added ....Sunday March 25 at 7:15pm....I would like to recommend it to everyone....check it out at http://clevelandfilm.org/




All we are saying is give peace a chance.





Below is the poem that Mark wrote and read last night at the candle light vigil.
It was great to see so many people show up in the cold and rain to honor our troops, but to say enough is enough. Buzz read a long list of all the Ohio soldiers killed in Iraq. Very sad.-Michele



how do you support the troops?

Support our troops,
but what does that mean?
Does it mean that
speaking out against an unjust war
Is an act of treason?

There are those who think so.

Does it mean that
when you question the motives
That brought a nation to war,
you embolden the enemy?

There are those who think so.

In this country there exists
A blind patriotism
that demeans democracy,
there exists a red, white and blue bias
that refuses truth.

How do you tell a mother that her son died for a lie?
How do you tell a son his father died for politics?
How do you tell a daughter her mother will be gone for
the rest of her life, and for no reason you can find?

Tonight across the country
there are candles burning
In memory of lives wasted,
of families destroyed

And there is nothing else to do but honor that memory.

But tonight, we also start anew,
for the state of the union is strong,
and because we are strong,
we must be the change
We wish to see in the world.

We move forward with love from here.

(by markk, recited in front of New Court House, Medina, Ohio 3/19/07)

Monday, March 19, 2007

M5

The family.
We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

All this beauty in the world



... it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst ...

And then I remember ... to relax, and not try to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. Don't worry ... you will someday.

-Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) from American Beauty

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Macy!!!

Happy Happy Birthday to our Macer!!!








My Teacher

Marko and Me


A child can always teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.

-Paulo Coelho Quote

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Autistic basketball player Jason McElwain has the game of his life...this is so inspiring...click below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fw1CcxCUgg

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. – Anais Nin

CHANGE by Paulo Coelho

Change.

But start slowly, because direction is more important than speed.

Sit in another chair, on the other side of the table.

Later on, change tables.

When you go out, try to walk on the other side of the street. Then

change your route, walk calmly down other streets, observing closely the

places you pass by.

Take other buses. Change your wardrobe for a while; give away your old

shoes and try to walk barefoot for a few days - even if only at home.

Take off a whole afternoon to stroll about freely, listening to the

birds or the noise of the cars.

Open and shut the drawers and doors with your left hand.

Sleep on the other side of the bed. Then try sleeping in other beds.

Watch other TV programs, read other books, live other romances - even of

only in your imagination.

Sleep until later. Go to bed earlier.

Learn a new word a day.

Eat a little less, eat a little more, eat differently; choose new

seasonings, new colors, things you have never dared to experiment.

Lunch in other places, go to other restaurants, order another kind of

drink and buy bread at another bakery.

Lunch earlier, have dinner later, or vice-versa.

Try something new every day: a new side, a new method, a new flavor, a

new way, a new pleasure, a new position.

Pick another market, another make of soap, another toothpaste.

Take a bath at different times of the day.

Use pens with different colors.

Go and visit other places.

Love more and more and in different ways. Even when you think that the

other will be frightened, suggest what you have always dreamed about doing

when you make love.

Change your bag, your wallet, your suitcases, buy new glasses, write

other poems.

Open an account in another bank, go to other cinemas, other

hairdressers, other theaters, visit new museums.

Change. And think seriously of finding another job, another activity,

work that is more like what you expect from life, more dignified, more

human.

If you cannot find reasons to be free, invent them: be creative.

And grab the chance to take a long, enjoyable trip - preferably without
any destination.

Try new things. Change again. Make another change. Experiment something
else.

You will certainly know better things and worse things than those you

already know, but that does not matter. What matters most is change,

movement, dynamism, energy.

Only what is dead does not change -
and you are alive.


Friday, March 16, 2007

I didn't see that hole


AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS
Portia Nelson


1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost...
I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

The meaning of life

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of being.
- Carl Jung



What Is The Meaning Of Life?

The purpose of life is that which you give it. Its meaning is different for each and every one of us.
My definition of the meaning of life is very likely not the same as yours. You may agree with some parts of what I consider to be the intent of life, however it is unlikely you will agree with everything I propose concerning this matter. Some will define it as simply getting through each day with as little fuss as possible. Others define it as a process of acquiring as many possessions as possible before they die. Yet others are on a spiritual path leading where their hearts take them. There are those who think the main purpose of life is to help as many others as possible during their lifetime. There are as many possible definitions as there are people on the face of this earth.
What is your definition? That is the only one that will have any true meaning for you. There is no wrong answer. Neither I, nor anyone else, can give your life direction. We can tell you what has worked for us and you, and you alone, will decide if it is fitting for you. We are predisposed by our prior conditioning and beliefs to accept only that which basically agrees with us. In other words, you are more likely to accept those things which are in alignment with your own beliefs.
There are many ways to seek and find your definition of the purpose of life. Some of these are to follow your heart, find those things you really love doing, search within yourself, follow a certain occupation or spiritual path, and/or seek to do only those things at which you excel. The greatest teachers of all time are those who lead you to seek and find for yourself. They do not give you pat answers, they set up conditions and circumstances encouraging you to advance on your own merits. They influence you to think and act. There are certain basic elements taught by all the great teachers and masters.
Some of these are as follows: You must have faith (belief) in what you are trying to achieve. You must not be focused on what you desire. The Kingdom of Heaven, God, Cosmic Intelligence, Supreme Being, whatever name you have for it, is within each and every one of us. The universe is a friendly place. There are certain immutable laws controlling life and the universe. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Know thyself. There are other elements threaded throughout the teachings of the masters, however these are the basics. Apply them to your life as best you can and observe the way they work for you.

Copyright 2001 by Robert Taylor

In Their Own Words

Poet, Mark S. Kuhar, shows the number of people who've read his book.

In Their Own Words
Poets give props toTremont -- now in iambic pentameter!
By Cris Glaser

Visible Voice Books marks its first-month anniversary tonight with the start of a new poetry-reading series, The Lights Are On Upstairs, but It’s Nobody’s Poem. Local poets Mark S. Kuhar, Josh Gage, and Joanne Cornelius will recite cool pieces, while owner David Ferrante pours hot java. He hopes to make it a weekly gathering, if all goes well at tonight’s outing, which spotlights writers who’ll read up to five works apiece about living in the Tremont neighborhood. “This area is massively creative,” says Ferrante. “I knew there were a lot of artists in the area, but it seems like everyone here is working on something artsy -- whether it be writing or painting.”

The two-story Visible Voice opened on Valentine’s Day, a couple months after Ferrante shuttered the popular 84 Charing Cross store and relocated its rare- and old-book inventory. He’s since added poetry compilations by local writers to the shelves, and many of them are inspired by our city. Plus, adding readings to the store’s calendar makes sense, says Ferrante. “They have an edgy, urban, contemporary influence to go along with the store’s feel,” he says. “Only people in Cleveland would write like this.”


Date/Time: Every week Thursday, 7:30pm

Event Location
1023 Kenilworth Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-961-0084

Ha Ha Ha, Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha, Ha


This is the sweetest thing.....cracks me up!!!!!!!!....click below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ARBWKpfA4

40 Ways to Determine Your Level of Inner Freedom

I guess I have some ways to go.......I need to work on a lot of these esp. #21!!!-Michele




40 Ways to Determine Your Level of Inner Freedom

Want to know how free you really are? Good! You're about to be presented with a unique opportunity to learn all about your individual level of inner liberty.
As you review each of the inner liberties on the list, just note mentally whether or not that particular freedom belongs to you. Our intention is simply to learn what's true about ourselves, not to prove anything about ourselves. Allow these forty freedoms to awaken and stir that secret part of you that knows living in any kind of bondage is a lie. Then follow your own natural sensing all the way to the free life.

You're Well Along Freedom's Path When:
1. You have no desire to change places in life with anyone else.
2. You step over setbacks without stopping or looking back.
3. You accept and appreciate praise, but never take it to heart.
4. You don't overeat or feel driven to diet.
5. You don't think about your sex life.
6. You meet and do what's true without fear of the consequences.
7. You really don't want anything from anyone.
8. You stop thinking about how much money you may or may not have.
9. You don't carry any upset from the last moment into the present one.
10. You have no interest in old resentments.
11. You start spending more time alone and enjoying it more.
12. You stop dreaming of the perfect vacation.
13. You're neither frightened nor shocked by the evening news.
14. You stop making deals with yourself.
15. You dress for comfort, not for compliments.
16. You lose all interest in trying to win mental arguments.
17. You don't blame anyone else for the way you feel.
18. You forget what it was you didn't like about someone.
19. You're awake to and spontaneously considerate of the needs of others.
20. You see beauty in life where you never could see it before.
21. Your life gets progressively simpler.
22. You see where you're wrong sooner than later, and stop defending yourself faster.
23. You do what you need to do (but don't want to do) and you do it with a lighter spirit.
24. You're not afraid of having nothing to say or do, if that's your true condition.
25. You can take criticism without cringing away from the truth it may hold.
26. You have no concern for what others may think of you.
27. You stop trying to make others see life in your way.
28. You enjoy the sound of silence as much or more than the sound of your own voice.
29. You see the same unpleasant traits within yourself that have made you shun others.
30. You say what you want, and not what you think others may want to hear you say.
31. You actually enjoy hearing about the good fortune of someone else.
32. You see more and more just how unfree you and others really are.
33. You're moods are fewer, lighter, and move on much quicker.
34. You see that society is destroying itself and that the only solution is self change.
35. You can listen to others without the need to tell them what you know.
36. You don't find a thrill in any kind of fear.
37. You know that forgiveness of others is the kindest thing you can do for yourself.
38. You realize that the world is the way it is because you are the way you are.
39. You'd rather not think about yourself.
40. You can't come up with one good reason why you should ever be anxious or frightened.

There's one more important point to bring to our attention: never be discouraged over your present location!
Discouragement is a negative emotion with more than one trick up its dark sleeve. It tricks you into mentally or emotionally dwelling in the very place you want to leave. Drop all such sorrow permanently by daring to see through this deception of the unconscious mind.
Who you really are, your True Nature, is no more tied to the kind of person you've been than the wind is tied to the skies through which it moves. Your past is just that, the past, a place within your psyche with no more reality to it that the picture of a castle on a postcard is made from stone. You have a destination far beyond where you find yourself standing today. It may not seem so at first, but your new findings are a great start. Now keep going.
Use this list and your new discoveries to help you ignite your wish to be free. Then step back and welcome the spiritual firestorm. Watch as it burns away the ties that bind. This is what it means to let the Light fight for you.

From 'Freedom From the Ties That Bind' by Guy Finley ? 1999 Llewellyn Publications For information on books, tapes, and helpful on-going study groups call (541) 476-1200, write to the Life of Learning Foundation, P.O. Box 10, Merlin, OR 97532, or log onto www.guyfinley.com.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

peace


Hi guys,

my cousin Krissy is working hard on this. (see letter she sent me below)

I would like to let you know about this.

Please support this if feel it is right for you.

thanks a bunch!!

Michele


Hi there -

Hey guys, It seems to me that there are a lot of people who support the troops but are also disgusted by this tragic war. Unfortunately, I don't think that our feelings about the situation are being voiced loud enough. It's time that we take this beyond our living rooms and kitchens. Let's use that freedom that we hear so much about and let Congress know that we want them to end this war and allow our troops to come home! Tell your friends and family about the March 19 nationwide vigil. Remember, our political opinions don't mean much if we don't express them beyond the dinner table!

I just signed up for an Iraq War Anniversary Vigil.

Americans across the country are more concerned than ever about our direction in Iraq. Now is the time for Congress to force a change.

On March 19th, thousands of us from organizations across the movement will gather together to observe the fourth anniversary of the war through candlelight vigils. We’ll solemnly honor the sacrifice made by more than 3,000 soldiers and contemplate the path ahead of us. We cannot send tens of thousands under-equipped and unprepared soldiers into the middle of an un-winnable civil war.

Join us at a candlelight vigil on Monday, March 19th. Honor the sacrifice. Stop the escalation. Bring the troops home.

The event details are:

Iraq War Anniversary Vigil Medina City Square 93 Public Square Medina, OH 44256 Monday, 19 Mar 2007, 8:30 PM

To sign up for this event, click here: http://political.moveon.org/event/iraq4/35238

My Many Selves

Being a double Gemini (gemini with gemini rising sign), I find this very fitting.
have a great day!!!! Peace and love, Michele

Finding the Good


This is one of my favorite articles and it mentions one of my favorite movies....sometimes I feel like I live the groundhog's day movie...over and over until I get it right and can move on. Hope you like this article too!!!-Michele


FINDING THE GOOD - YOUR CHALLENGE TO ATTAIN JOY

by Takara


I watched Groundhog Day with Bill Murray the other day. What a truly delightful film. And what a wonderful message. Our lives are no different than the man who keeps repeating the same day - Groundhog Day - over and over. That is all we are doing day in and day out - life in and life out. We are repeating situations, making choices, deciding what feels good and what feels bad. Making new choices and evolving.


The story begins with Bill's character hating it. All he wants to do is get out of the situation. Much like many of you feel about being here on this planet. Yes? Dealing with the people you have to deal with. Having numerous issues that keep you from your joy. Just as he did, you have to learn to move beyond this stage.


But while you are there, life can be a bit depressing.


From the moment you were born, your life has been filled with critics. You have food critics, movie critics, and book critics. You discover early that you are constantly being criticized. "Don't ___. That isn't right. No. No. No." Your parents are often quick to point out when they are displeased and that you aren't perfect.


You are graded for our performance at school and at work. And that quickly ties to money. If you don't do well in school then you can't get into the college of your choice. If you don't get a good education with a great grade point average then you won't get a good job at a high pay. And once you get a job, you are constantly being criticized - by your boss, your co-workers, and those you supervise.


Even those closest to you - your spouse, your kids, and your siblings - can be horribly critical.
Despite all these outside critics, by far the very worst critic you have to deal with is yourself. No one can make you feel as unhappy and inadequate as you can.


You end up with a million shoulds. You feel guilty about how you should act, who you should be, and what you should have done. Of course you have those same thoughts about the people around you. You have been trained well to criticize yourself and others.


ENOUGH ALREADY.


I'll give you a big tip. There is nothing wrong with you. In God's eyes, you are perfect. In fact, you are delightful.


God doesn't care what you did 10 years ago or even yesterday.


Really.


God is an energy - like electricity. You can be in alignment with the flow of that loving, all powerful energy. Or you can shut yourself off from it by feeling separate, unworthy, guilty, or unlovable. But God has no opinion about right and wrong. Only people do.


Sin is nothing more than wrong thinking. Thinking you are separete. Thinking you are unworthy. Thinking you are an aweful person. Thinking you should have done more. Judging others and yourself.


Stop agonizing about what should have been or what could have been. Or how aweful something was or how bad someone mistreated you.


It is the past. So, let it go.


It is time to see yourself through God's eyes. What a delightful set of dramas you have created for yourself. What an interesting world you live in. What diverse people you have surrounded yourself with. Notice that I did not use any words that denote good or bad, right or wrong.


Notice I did not say what a horrible, aweful, nasty, scary world or what aweful people. I said interesting. Aweful is an opinion about right and wrong. People choose to make it right or wrong. People are in duality. God, the Universe, is not.


Everything in your world is a mirror. If you judge something. It is something about yourself - buried very deep - that you are actually judging. Everything is about self. It's time to deal with it. It is time to heal. Avoidance isn't really an option any more.


Back to our story. Soon the Bill Murray character begins seeing how much he can get away with since every day is a repetition and there are no consequences to his actions. Because by tomorrow what he did today has no effect whatsoever. It is as if it never happened. He can be mean. He can run from the police. He can have meaningless sexual encounters. And tomorrow it makes no difference. The people don't remember. Only he does. (Oh, if you could just let go of your past as easily as that! How much happier you would be.) There is nothing to forgive. Your dramas seem just a bit longer than a day, and you give them so much more importance. But in the grand scheme of things, after reincarnating a bazillion times, each life is just a tiny blip on the Universal clock.


Hopefully you have already evolved out of hating it here. And hopefully you are beyond trying to manipulate and control others.


Soon our character gets bored with being mean and seeing what he can get away with. He begins turning within and growing personally. He studies piano and literature and ice sculpting. He begins creating beauty and enjoys cultivating skills that he is good at.


Expressing creativity is expressing divine gifts. It sends life force or Chi through you and into your life. It is critical that you do this. Follow his lead. Put time, energy, and passion into cultivating your gifts. Never stop learning. You will find great joy in it. Don't do it to impress others. Do it to bring joy to self.


Finally the guy in our story shifted his focus again. I wonder how very many days (lifetimes) had to pass before he finally arrived at this new level? He began being interested in those around him. He began helping others. He stopped being so self centered and he started bringing people coffee. He began doing those "acts of kindness" that are done for the shear pleasure of giving. He took the time to really listen and get to know those around him. And he began to really like each of them.


Remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have then do unto you. If you are tired of people being mean to you, then begin being nice to others. If you are tired of being criticized and judged, then you have to stop criticizing and judging yourself and others. That is the only way it will change.


So my challenge to you is this . . .


Find the Good.


In everything. In this moment. In this person. In this circumstance. In yourself.


When you hear yourself thinking or saying out loud something critical - STOP. And find the good. Find one good thing about the person, the situation, something. It will be there. It may require a bit of thinking. But that is good. It will get you out of criticism and into the positive. It is all about changing your focus.


Throughout the movie, the Bill Murray character liked a particular woman. He tried endlessly to gain her attention and approval. Well, that wasn't possible while he was hating being there, hating the situation and his life. It also wasn't possible while he was taking advantage of others and seeing what he could get away with. When he began cultivating his gifts and enjoying his creative expression, she began to be intrigued. She never came around to "loving" him until he had learned to be who he was, enjoying every moment - literally - of every day, and caring a great deal about others. You see she was a kind and caring person. He could not manifest someone like her being part of his world until he became that himself. It is no different for you, or me, or anyone else. You must first find joy within before your life will have the outward signs of what you truly desire.


In the end there is love. Love of self. Love of others. Love of life. Love of God. And you will finally experience love in return. There is no greater blessing.


These are chaotic times. Positivity, a sense of hope, and being centered are required in order to flow through each situation with ease and grace. If you feel your mission was to came here to make a positive difference, help other people, and usher this planet into a more evolved and loving place, how on earth are you going to truly be of service if you don't master this?


I challenge you to find the good - every day in every thing. You can't fulfill the rest of your mission if you don't master this part.


These are glorious times. This is why you have come here. But you have to get beyond your own illusions in order to thrive in the new energy.


Everyone in this world, including you, is doing the best they can. They are making the decisions they are making based on how they view life, their hopes, their fears, their distortions, their truths, and in their own personal level of evolution.


To radiate love, to walk in beauty and truth, to make a loving uplifting difference in the lives of others, you must first love yourself absolutely and unconditionally - just as God loves you.


Begin within.


Find your beauty.


Cultivate your gifts.



Forgive yourself for whatever you think you have done. God already has. You are the only one who is not forgiving self.


Once you can truly love and honor who you are, then you will be able to truly love and accept others. And then, finally, they will be able to truly love and accept you. It happens in that order.


The world changes one person at a time. You are the one who must change.


People often write or call wanting my book Manifesting Your Beloved. They hope that finding the love of their life will solve all their problems. Even if they read the book and follow the guidelines, if they don't learn to love self, of they have not evolved like the Bill Murray character evolved, they will never find another to love them the way they desire. It must begin within. You can not be happy if you do not love and honor you. Please forgive yourself. Please accept yourself for who you are with all your seeming imperfections. It is what makes you unique. It is what makes you human. It is what makes you interesting.


Every person on this planet is learning and becoming. No one has arrived. No one has mastered it all. Well I hear there are a few masters walking around, but they aren't typically the people you deal with every day.


When you go to the grocery store, take a look around, and realize that every person there is doing the best they can.


You are doing the best you can. Let that be enough.


Stop agonizing over the things from your past. You did the best you could with what you had to make decisions with at the time. It is over. It is done. You can only change your now.

http://tinyurl.com/2j2ldf