Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Well, it’s the end of another year, and now is the time to reflect upon what has transpired over the previous months, and set a clear course for the months that lie in front of us.
For me, this year has been one of many professional and personal challenges. I don’t need to go into details, but suffice it to say the circumstances of my life are more difficult than they have ever been at any time in the past.
I could not have navigated the treacherous terrain of the year 2009 without the help of my family and friends. Along the same lines, I can assure you that Balanced Living would not be publishing today without the strong support of its core group of advertisers.
One of my college friends always said, “If we party together when the gettin’ is good, and have each other’s back when the goin’ gets tough, the world will be a better place.” Maybe not as profound as some inspirational statements, but you get the spirit of what he is saying.
It takes a village to survive these days. The holistic health and wellness/sustainable living community of Northeast Ohio is a village, and we all have to help each other survive and thrive in the year ahead.
Balanced Living will do its part to be a hub of activity for the local market. In the year ahead, you will see a new approach to the content of each issue, a new web site, a specialized web portal for consumers and in April, we will sponsor the Gift of Light Expo, a new live event.
There are many days when I wake up in wonder at the world, at the possibilities, opportunities and potential that exists for all of us. In our own way, we have the ability to change the world for the better at any moment, if we choose to do it.
In 2010, I ask you to look for your chance to make the world a better place. You can do it one thought and one action at a time. Have a great holiday season and an exciting start to the new year.
-- Mark S. Kuhar, publisher/editor
Thursday, December 24, 2009
"There is a great insight which our culture is deliberately designed to
suppress, distort, and ignore: that Nature is a minded entity; that Nature
is not simply the random flight of atoms through electro-magnetic fields;
that Nature is not the empty, despiritualized lumpen matter that we
inherit from modern physics. But it is instead a kind of intelligence, a kind
- Terence McKenna
Monday, December 14, 2009
I loved the wisdom below...and hope you do too.
My friend, Anna sent it to Mark today.
We got some very generous gifts today from "Santa."
Thank you soooooo sooooo much Santa.
I do believe in Santa Claus.
This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!!
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Ohio
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
parents will. Stay in touch..
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is
up to you and no one else
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26... Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
27. Always choose life..
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles..
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did
or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life.. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40.. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come....
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."
We are doing e-mail cards this year.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
This end of the year has been a very stressful time.
I have learned to trust the universe from our mysterious friends
that left us numerous gifts just at the time I was ready to give up.
Below is my favorite Christmas quote!!!!!
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This afternoon Mark, Mira, Macy, my mom and I went to see the documentary "The Art of the Possible" at the Medina Performing Arts Center.
It was a beautiful documentary following five families through a diagnosis of pediatric cancer. It features Logan Boyd, a Medina High School student who battled cancer over 3 years and recently passed March 09.
Life is a gift.....isn't it????? I need to appreciate it more and fear less :)
Logan was a guy that learned to live life "with reckless abandon" as his doctor put it. He said if he had his life to live over again, he would still not change his cancer diagnosis because of how it changed him. He talked about becoming closer with his parents and having a greater appreciation for them. Towards the end, he was having a hard time letting go and kept asking everyone in the hospital to please take care of his mom. His mom was able to tell him it was okay to go and she would be okay and she would take care of his father and his potbellied pig :)
click on the link below and also hope you like the quote!!
"This is a perfect moment to take everything less seriously and less personally and less literally." -*PRONOIA*
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Below are 10 Eclectic Wisdoms that Macy said I could share on here :)
Macy's Eclectic Wisdoms
1. Your younger sibling will always get his/her way.
2. Drama is never worth it.
3. When you have 100 reasons to cry, think of 1,000 reasons to smile.
4. Always make sure that there is a way out of a corn maze before entering!
5. It is not a good idea to honk your horn at a skunk.
6. If your friend turns his or her back on you then they weren't really your friend.
7. Enjoy being young while you can.
8. Make sure the iron is off before putting your hand on it.
9. Listen to your doctor or chiropractor.
10. Everything happens for a reason.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Above is a picture of us with Santa. We took that picture on vacation last summer. That is where Santa goes in the summer.
Today I have a smile on my face....and am realizing how good life is.
I was thinking about Saturday.
Mark took the kids to the mall on Saturday because our anonymous friends gave the kids gift cards to the mall.
They used them to buy gifts for their siblings and Mark. They were so excited to tell me what they bought each other in private.
Then, when I got home from work, we ate at Applebees because our friends left us Applebees gift certificates!!!
That is one of our favorite places to go as a family and we had not been out to eat since the first weekend in October related to finances.
We seemed to appreciate it all the more.
I hope you like the quote below from a Mary Oliver poem!!!
Take care you don’t know anything in this world too quickly or easily. Everything is also a mystery,
and has its own secret aura in the moonlight,
its private song.
We had another beautiful gift show up on our doorstep on Thanksgiving night. It was a pair of tie dye socks....each containing tons of gift cards. One with notes to the kids and one with notes to Mark and I.
It is so weird because it came at an exact moment when I was filled with self-pity and had been over focusing on the past. (the past meaning: a recent mean note that my aunt Nola had written me stating that she did not know who the real Michele was and did not know how I could post spiritual things on my blog... blahh...blahhh...blahhhh.)
Well that gift shot me out of my self-pity and my focusing on the past and how what one person can say to you in all of 5 minutes can ruin so many things in your life if you choose to let it.
so here I just wanted to thank our anonymous friends and let you know that your gift has pulled me back in to present time and I have a heart of gratitude. My promise is to keep this flowing out in the universe!!!!!
and I promise to not let small things bother me anymore.
I have been so blessed with so much support and I need to start living it.
I hope you enjoy the quotes below from Caroline Myss....this situation has reminded me of all of her work.
Below are wonderful quotes from Myss!!!!
' Unplug from the BS and let go of the steering wheel.''Never go to bed with a grudge inside you or beside you.'
‘ Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.’Get bored with your past, it's over!
' Sacred Truth #1: All is one.'
' Sacred Truth #2: Honor one another.'
' Sacred Truth #3: Honor oneself.'
' Sacred Truth #4: Love is divine power.'
' Sacred Truth #5: Surrender personal will to divine will.'
' Sacred Truth #6: Seek only the truth.'
' Sacred Truth #7: Live in the present moment.'
' Release the need to know why things happen the way they do.'
' Change is constant. Learn to go with its flow, whether it's peaceful or difficult.'
' Never look to another person to make you happy--happiness is an internal, personal attitude and responsibility.'
' Life is essentially a learning experience. Every situation, challenge and relationship contains some message worth learning or teaching to others.'
' There are no coincidences.'
' Nothing empowers our ability to heal as much as our love and forgiveness.'
' The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.'
' Healing is a present-time experience. Don't look backwards or forward, focus only on the present.'
' Spiritual teachings encourage us to grow past and through painful experiences, each of which is a spiritual lesson.'
'I am forgiving not for you, but for me. I am forgiving because I want my power back.'
'Change can be terrifying, yet healing requires change.'
'Get over it.'‘To the extent that we forgive others, we are forgiven ourselves.’
My job is to let this world transform me.Law of the gods: get bitter or better.
A forgiving heart is an honest heart.Blame is a form of energetic cancer.
Most empowered position is to have my energy in present time.
If a job were a life purpose, people without jobs would have no life purpose.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We had such a nice time at the Conders on Saturday night.
We got out all kind of drums and other instruments...like Steve's wooden flutes and had a drum circle with the kids.
It was a nice retreat for me because I have been so stressed lately with all of the financial things going on........I am so thankful for the wonderful and unconditional friendships we have.......they give me hope to keep on growing.
Thank you Leslie and Steve!!!!
I hope you like the words below.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming
My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad
belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to
cooperate with the good, that it may prevail. I try to increase the power
God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make
that Best a part of my life . . . No pessimist ever discovered the secret of
the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the
Well, Macy's vision board worked. She is the one that wanted to do the vision boards and said she was going to put cats all over it....so she could manifest one. I told her to put as many cats on her board as she wanted, but she was not going to get one.
Then last Monday night, I was walking in the park (without my ipod) and I hear this "Meow." It turned out that it was a kitty stuck in a tree.....a very skinny and hungry kitty. I called Mark and Mira and they came down with a ladder. When I went to pick up Macy from dance, I told her what had happened and that the kitty was just staying with us until we found a home. She went tearing into the house and said " I can't wait to meet my new kitty."
Well, Jessie is still here and we are getting more and more attached to him....even Dusty seems to like him.
I hope you like the quote below.
"Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are. You've been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender."
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Almost two weeks ago, I was brought to tears at a nursing neurological conference that I went to for work. The keynote speakers brought down the house for me.
After their hour talk, I could think of nothing else.
They lost their daughter to an inopperable brain tumor...the details and links will follow. They are from Avon Ohio.
Their story was amazing.....this child was such an old soul that actually came to teach compassion and love. She never complained about her illness and was such a wise, and giving soul.
Even on her "make a wish cruise", she did not want any gifts...she only wanted to go to the gift shop to buy gifts for the princesses she was to meet each day.
She started to be drawn to rainbows in the end and would say she did not just like pink anymore, but she liked all the colors.
Her mom was so beautiful and shared her regrets about not just being in the moment.....talked about at the end when she was on Hospice, Sophie could not talk or move and could just sit on the sofa and how she would come in frequently and talk to Sophie and check on her but regrets not just sitting and holding her the whole day instead she was finishing the laundry and doing household tasks and trying to care for her other child.
Her dad talked about how Sophie was ultimately a teacher for a group of teens. He carried her onto the beach (Lake Erie) in the end and wanted her to enjoy the lake ......and while he was walking by this group of teens, one teen said "isn't that sweet? I am going to be a dad like that some day." then the other teen said "Yeah.....if you want a retarded kid." Sophie's dad asked an elderly couple to watch Sophie while he ran back and gave the kids a "smiles for Sophie bracelet" and told them to look up her website on line. One of the teens did look up the website and emailed Sophie's father and said he was sorry and said what he learned from the incident. She was a teacher for those teens and helped them learn compassion.
also,read about the rainbow that appeared on the way to the funeral home before Sophie's first viewing here: http://smilesforsophie.blogspot.com/2007/10/somewhere-over-rainbow.html
also her site is linked below: http://www.smilesforsophieforever.org/
Thanks Emily and Marc for sharing with us at the conference. Your family has not left my mind since and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and for making the world a better place for us all.
Please watch the video below!!!!!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
My friend Roberta told me that if a million dollars solves all of your problems, then you don't have any real problems....so true...so true.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Marko's vision board
my vision board
We watched the secret last week as a family.....it had been a long time since we watched it.
Macy wanted to make vision boards(putting what you want to bring into your life on a board) after watching it
again......so, we made some vision boards on Sunday.....Marko wants to put his on his ceiling so he can see it first thing in the morning.
Hope you like the quote below.
Life is a vast and intricate conspiracy designed to keep you well-supplied with blessings. What kind of blessings? Ten million dollars, a gorgeous physique, a perfect marriage, a luxurious home, and high status? Maybe.
But just as likely: interesting surprises, dizzying adventures, gifts you hardly know what to do with, and conundrums that dare you to get smarter and wilder and kinder and trickier.
- quote from *PRONOIA* by Rob Brezsny
Last summer...like late August (I think), an old school friend of mine named Brian Carpenter posted on his facebook status that he and his wife, Sharon, were sitting on their porch listening to the 6 o'clock bells ring @ St. Francis Church and then to the bells ring @ the old courthouse uptown. Other people replied to the post like Chris Simpson and stated how much they missed hearing those bells and how long it had been since they had heard those bells....for Chris, it was over 20 some years....I think.
Well, that post really made me think about how I am totally mindLESS about things in my life.
It really made me aware of how "unconscious" I am in my normal daily life.
At that moment, It occurred to me that I could not remember one single moment when I last heard those bells in the past 11 years that I have been living here......it made me realize that I need more silence in my life.
Ever since that post, I have been taking more and more walks without my ipod....I still listen to it some but have tried to just be present to what is now on my walks. I found that I enjoy my walks now because "I am here now" and I notice more in nature.
(like yesterday, I spotted a chipmunk munching on a nut or the other day I enjoyed the sound of leaves crunching under my feet like I used to do when I was a child.......and 2 weeks ago, I enjoyed the cheers from a distant soccer game while enthusiastic fans cheered on their team.) For some reason, the smells of fall that I remember as a child have been more apparent during my walks too. During those times, I feel very connected to nature.
For some of that time, my world slows down....as I am struggling to make sense of all this mess that I am in, the "being here now" seems to calm my fears...and I find that I can deal with what is just here at this moment.....and I can realize that my other darting fears ...are just thoughts and aren't really going to happen...they are just taking up my precious time.
and what I am most proud to say is ......I now too hear those bells from the courthouse and from St. Francis church when they sound.......and they are a gift for me to enjoy.
I hope you like the quote below.
- Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.
- -Eckhart Tolle
Monday, November 9, 2009
I have a special request....please leave Kory and his family a note of encouragement on his Caring Bridge website. He is a senior at Highland (Medina) who has a spinal cord injury after being injured playing a football game on 11/4.
His dad writes the most beautiful entries on the journal part of the website.
Hi!! My name is Michele Benjamin and my husband is a Highland graduate (Mark Kuhar, class of 76.) I have been following your dad’s postings on Caring Bridge ever since Jim Kelly (also class of 76) posted a link to the site on his facebook. There is also a big sign posted outside my daughters’ dance studio, Art In Motion, on Ridge Road. It makes me smile whenever I see the sign.
I am an RN that works with Adolescent patients at the Cleveland Clinic downtown. I am absolutely convinced that the patients that I have cared for in my past and currently are my teachers. I started out in my nursing career as a very shallow person that really was given an easy life. I was very much a person that lived on the “outside.” And by the outside, I mean shopping at the mall was one of my major entertainme
It was a very huge awakening for me and the most beautiful thing that I learned from all of this was LOVE.
I guess my major point of this note is to tell you how much I learned and grew from people like you. It sounds like the doctors and nurses who are given the gift to serve you are learning from you too. I know the world that surrounds you is praying for a miracle…and I am a part of those prayers….an
Please continue to breath in that love and exhale your fears. It is by far the biggest and most beautiful gift you have been given and it will carry you through your journey here in this life.
Besides, it is the only thing that is real.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
My Aunt Nola's Halloween Costume
My dad's Halloween Costume
I hope you enjoy the various Halloween costumes on here.
They were taken last night at trick-or-treat.
I have somehow got myself in a place of fear
and depression over the past month.
I am not at liberty to talk about all of the causes
but some of it has to deal with Mark being laid off from his job
and our financial situation.
I just have not been in a very good place.
Last night, my hardness cracked
and I feel some light coming in....I have been given hope.
An anonymous friend(s) stopped by and left a very,
overly generous gift on our porch.
I am hoping that this note of gratitude
will get out to the people involved.
I cry every time I think about it and
I am having a hard time accepting it.
All I can do is vow to put it back out there
in the universe when I am able.
Here is the note the gift came with:
To The Kuhar Family
The World that you love.
Loves you too.
Keep the Faith.
The note was not signed.
So, Whoever you are, Thank you from the deepest place in my heart.
Please know that the quote below is referring to you!!
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
A smile, a kind word, a listening ear,
An honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
All of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We got to see our friend Charlotte riding at her first horse show today.
She did a great job and she is sooooooo cute.
I hope you enjoy the quote below.
It's not only children who grow.
Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children
do with their lives, they are watching
to see what we do with ours.
I can't tell my children to reach for the sun.
All I can do is reach for it, myself.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Pictures by Logan Robertson
Well Mira and her friends survived sleeping in their cardboard boxes last night in 34 degree rainy weather. Mira did say she really appreciates having a warm bed. The kids raised over $4,000.00 to be donated to the Salvation Army. Marko even donated $6.00 of his own allowance to Mira....he says he would do that anytime to get rid of his sister for a night. Anyway, I am very proud of these kids.....more things like this should be in the media. I hope you enjoy the quote below.
Load the ship and set out. No one knows for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor.
Cautious people say, "I'll do nothing until I can be sure".
Merchants know better. If you do nothing, you lose.
Don't be one of those merchants who wont risk the ocean.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Mira and her friends Katie and Hailey are sleeping in cardboard boxes tonight at the soccer stadium. It is a school project for anyone who wanted to volunteer to help bring awareness to homelessness. It is cold and raining out...and they have to go to school in the morning......I am sure they will never forget this project!!!! I hope you enjoy the quote below from the movie "The Soloist."
"There are people who tell me I've helped him. Mental health experts who say that the simple act of being someone's friend can change his brain chemistry, improve his functioning in the world. I can't speak for Mr. Ayers in that regard. Maybe our friendship has helped him, but maybe not. I can, however, speak for myself. I can tell you that by witnessing Mr. Ayers's courage, his humility, his faith in the power of his art, I've learned the dignity of being loyal to something you believe in. Of holding onto it, above all else. Of believing, without question, that it will carry you home."
- From The Soloist
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tonight, Mira went to homecoming......a beautiful night for pictures. I hope you enjoy the pictures above and the quote below.
"My own definition of Dada: an insane lyrical impulse to remain light and carefree, always looking for something to wonder or marvel at, or love, or laugh at, but always remaining illogical and joyous in a world gone mad with too much logic, seriousness, science, newspapers, war, and destruction."
- Irving Stettner
Friday, October 9, 2009
Above are pictures from going out for my mom's birthday last weekend and then pictures of my mom at my cousin, Olivia's wedding. Tomorrow is 10/10/09 and it is my mom's 70th birthday!!! Happy 70th Birthday mom!!! I don't know what I would do without you!!!
You help us out so much!!!
ps...hope you enjoy the words below.
May you go on life’s journey with open mind, heart and spirit.
May you find the blessings of the “Now Point of Time.”
May you make time to Be with those you love and
May you always honor and cherish one another
-While you can.
-Mary Muir, M.Ed.