"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Anything for Chester

morning buffet
Ronnie often said that if he could reincarnate as an animal, he wanted to come back as one of my birds.

He often told people that if the house smelled like I was baking, don't get excited, it's for the birds -- and usually that was true.

When Chester first came to us, he was suffering from malnutrition from being on a diet of sunflower seeds.

I immediately started feeding him fresh foods.  Pictured is a buffet for Chester, Tiel and Fancy.  It consists of "bird bread" made of cornbread, with frozen mixed vegetables, eggs, plus the shells for calcium, milk and mashed up green beans, sweet peas, carrots or sweet potatoes.  I heat the bread then top it with fresh celery, shredded colby-jack cheese, matchstick carrots and pecans.  There are two seed cups in the cage, one for Chester and one filled with the seeds that cockatiels prefer, but all three of them head for the buffet as soon as I put it on top of the cage every morning.

Every day when I clean the cage, I gather the leftovers and throw them out to the pigeons and chickens so nothing goes to waste.

During the day, Chester gets some of everything I eat, from pizza, to cookies, to salad or hamburger.  If I don't hand him some, he'll remind me with an ear piercing screech. The tiels won't take things from my hand like Chester but they usually manage to nibble on whatever I have handed to him.  He doesn't seem to mind sharing.

Deidre teases me constantly. "If you didn't feed them so good, they wouldn't live so long." I agree, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do what I know is best for them.

During the time I was sick recently, I confiscated Deidre's tv that has a dvd player and put it on the desk in the dining room with the birds.  I bought a video, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill." All three of the birds seem to pay attention to the Cherryhead Conures  in the video.  They seem much more content than when all they had to watch was whatever was going on out in the back yard.  I also bought a download from iTunes -- "Music for Birds"  This is classical music with wild bird and parrot sounds integrated into the music.  It seems to help quiet them, too.  So technically speaking, my birds now are the proud owners of a 32 inch flat screen tv with a built in dvd player and an iPad 2.

And I can see Ronnie just shaking his head. "Anything for Chester."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Practicing What I Preach

Abraham refers to all that stuff we don't like, don't want, don't agree with,  as "contrast".  To me, it's a rather insignificant sounding word when it refers to major upheaval in my life.  For instance, when I walked into my house and discovered that the (not so) "handyman" had let paint settle all over my black and white floor, and couldn't get it off, it felt like a much bigger event than the word "contrast" covers. The fact that I felt like wringing his scrawny little neck felt bigger than the word "contrast" would cover. When I figured out that he had not used the underlayment I had bought for the flooring in my bedroom, it felt like a much bigger deal than the word "contrast" covers. You get the picture.

But one of the common threads in the Abraham-Hicks teachings is that we over-react to "contrast".  We have a tendency to be spurred in the wrong direction by the fact that we feel we are justified in being upset.  But going in the opposite direction of where we want to be puts us further from our destination, at which point we have two options, keep going in the wrong direction, or turn around and go back.We think we'd be better off if nothing bad ever happened to us, but the truth is, (give yourself a few minutes to think about this)  if we never experienced "contrast" we could not identify what it is we really like, what we really want.

I LOVED my black and white floor.  I thought it was beautiful.  I'd been tending to it and worrying about it for twenty five years by the time the not-so-handyman ruined it. And I confess, when the not-so-handyman tore out the tile floor, spread float with his hands, then tried to smooth it by sanding it, leaving an inch of dust all over everything in my house, I DID NOT REMEMBER TO PRACTICE ANY RELAXATION TECHNIQUES.

I did not even want to relax!  I wanted to kill him but the best I could do along those lines was to fire him and refuse to pay him the balance of what he said I owed him.  I  RAN down the road of self-pity, blame and fury for several months before I finally realized, "this is not how I want to feel.  This is not doing me any good."

Learning how to not over-react to "contrast" is one of the big challenges for me, because I grew up with, "Stand up for yourself!",  "Don't let people run over you!", "Don't be a doormat!"

Finding peace somewhere between "over-reacting" and letting someone "run over" me, sometimes is very difficult.  Remembering to "take a long slow deep breath -- and relax," helps, but sometimes I'm into the middle of "over-reacting" before I remember to apply relaxing techniques.

I've been reading Abraham's books, listening to their cd's for many years.  I even went to one of their seminars in Dallas, but before, during and after the "not-so-handyman" experience, I dove deeper and deeper into the negative feelings that bombarded me. I hated this little bastard.  I highly resented that he came into my house, smiling while he lied through his teeth, purposely misrepresenting what he was qualified to do, then proceeding to tear up more than he fixed and to steal from me.

I managed at some point to put my brakes on and make a u-turn.  I could say I have forgiven him, but that doesn't feel like the truth.  More importantly, I have forgiven myself for putting that whole situation in motion.  I knew I shouldn't embark on home repairs while I was still making my way through the grieving process after Ronnie passed on.

By reminding myself daily that it is good to feel good, I have managed over the course of this past few months to get into a much happier frame of mind, and now, I have a beautiful new floor, and everything is working out for me.

Abraham says, "Nothing is more important than that you feel good. Because when you feel good, you've got control of your vibration, and when you've got control of your vibration, you ARE the "deliberate creator" of your own experience."

I try to "go with the flow", "take the path of least resistance", and "let it be", but sometimes, still, -- knowing all that I know, I get down, negative, and have a hard time getting back up.  My daughter reminds me, "This isn't like you.  You aren't practicing what you preach," which usually pisses me off which doesn't help matters, but she's right.  And when I get back up; when I'm able again to count my blessings, to notice the people, circumstances, and things all around me every single day, that I love and appreciate, my spirits rise and I get back to normal.

I'm figuring out that everything is about the way I feel, and the better I feel, the better I feel.