Thursday, June 28, 2007

8 Random Facts

Since my blogging kindred spirit, Mixter, decided to tag me with a meme I have posted it here for everyone's reading pleasure!!

Here you are, eight randon facts about Dharma:

1. I was originally a musical theatre major. That is how I ended up as a singing waitress. In Fort Worth & Dallas there was a restaurant where I worked that hired lots of different theatre people. I did much dinner theatre and local theatre in those towns. Got tired of starving and became a teacher, even though in alternative education that is not far from either theatre or starving!!

2. I am very un-coordinated. I have never been able to even do a foreward roll. No tumbling acts. In school gym I was always the most unable to do stuff.

3. I am a very fast reader. If I sat down, and had the time, I could read an average book in a day or two.

4. I can also type one hell of a paper in the same amount of time. I used to put off all my papers, for school, and then bust out an awesome paper on a deadline.

5. I really like my feet. Out of lots of people I know and see I think that I have the best size and shaped feet. I always notice because I hate ugly feet. I have great looking nails and they are not too big. I have friends who have pinky toes that have no nails or they have huge spaces between their roes and look like tree frogs..

6. I sometimes cry at TV commercials.

7. Like Esteban, I also love to try new things on menus.

8. I have seen classic rock bands; Queen & David Bowie live.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Courage & Reality

The people who say you are not facing reality actually mean that you are not facing their idea of reality.

Margaret Halsey

"The most courageous thing that a person can do is to live an authentic life. What is an authentic life life? It is a life lived from your heart, speaking YOUR truth, standing in YOUR truth, living in YOUR truth". Terri Amos in an article entitled "Authenticity = Freedom." A person can only live what they believe to be their own truth and can not be faulted for that. It is fine to be able to have discussion and even dissent about topics of the day, but if you truly believe something, and that is fine, it still does not make it your position or duty to convince others that yours is the right path or way.

This is the way that I feel and look at "organized religion". They have many limiting beliefs. They tell you that you are bad and must be saved. They tell you that you are not worthy of the kingdom of Heaven and must work harder. You are not good enough to get in and must do more. Why is that? I used to ascribe to these beliefs myself, for many years, and then I finally realized that Yes, I am good enough. I am a good person and have not committed any major badness in my life. so why should I constantly be working to get into this kingdom? Once I had this epiphany I felt much more at ease in my life.

I don't need someone else to tell me that I need to work harder and do more. I do many good works every day and yet I do not ask anyone to pat me on the back for them. I volunteer my time and ask for nothing in return and I even do spontaneously without fanfare. I will share my thought pattern, if asked, and yet I do not try and convert anyone to my way of thinking. Although I do love to have rousing discussion with many philosophy majors that I work with at the coffee mega giant.

I do not take any more limiting beliefs in to my life, or I try not to, and I do not intend to alienate those who belong to churches and groups. That is their choice, but as for me I choose to be a free spirit and direct the flow of my own life. I ask myself, "Is this the truth for me?" and if it doesn't feel right, then it is not a good fit. It is up to the individual to know their own truth. Society plays a huge part in telling people what to believe and what to do, I choose not to play along.

"Limiting beliefs are like a cage locked tight with no opening in sight. But when you realize that you are the one who holds the key in releasing these beliefs, only then can you find freedom." Terri Amos

I found my key.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My Contibution...Hmmm, What Will it Be?

What will I give to the world today? A very perplexing question. Deep. The beginning paragraph to the article, by Tom Walsh who writes a column entitled, "Eyes Wide Open".

Do we often, if ever, hop out of bed in the morning and begin our day by asking ourselves this question? I can honestly say that I do not. We are often so absorbed with our own appointments, and errands, and jobs and everything else that the world throws at us, not to mention all the other people that are either in our lives or that we are responsible for.

What will I add to the experiences of the people with whom I have contact on this day? Usually, I will also admit, that I am most often thinking only of how to get through my day and what I have to get done after work. I am even looking at my patients more as work, rather than someone whose life I may make a difference in that day. So, as the article goes, I am going to try and begin to be more conscious of making contributions to the world in the following ways.

I want to contribute pleasantness whenever I meet someone, whether I know them or not. Now, I must say that I do this on a regular basis when I am working at the coffee mega giant. I also try to do it wherever I might be, but it is also very easy for me to stop whenever I think others are rude and discourteous. I do need to avoid sarcasm and judgement. I will admit that I often make snap judgements. I'd like to try harder to contribute praise and avoid criticism. I don't need to share my opinions as often as I might. Maybe only when asked directly. I want to contribute positive energy and much less negative. There is so much negativity in the world that I do not want to be an active part of its promotion!!

I also want to contribute more courtesy. I try to have good manners on a regular basis, be a good driver, open doors etc. You name it, but it is very disheartening when you see so many rude people. I also want to participate less in unnecessary gossip. It really serves no point. It is only for the entertainment of those sharing it. The person, or people that it is about get nothing from it. It is hard when you work with so many women to do that, but I think , with enough practice that it is doable!!

There are many days ahead of us and I imagine if we put our best effort in to trying we might just be able to make a small contribution and if we are all making small contributions they will all add up into bigger ones and the positive energy will be outstanding.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blogging About Thinking, Thinking About Blogging

I wanted to do this when I could devote my full attention & time to being precise and making sure that I am able to hit all the finer points of the blogs that I am mentioning. This all started because Mixter nominated me, in her post, as one of 5 blogs that makes her think or that she believes is a good thinking blog. I went to the link that Mixter had on her site because I wanted to make sure that I hit all the details, so with no further adieu I give you my list of thinking bloggers.

Part of the criteria was listed as, " ...blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all, blogs that really get you thinking."

1. Mixter's Mix: I list Mixter, not because she nominated me, but because I was reading her blog long before I ever took the plunge into blogging myself. I don't even remember how I came upon it, but it has always been one of the most thought provoking blogs that I ever read. There are times when Mixter waxes poetic about family & kin, but when she hits a political nerve she is always dead on!! She knows more and reads more than I ever do. She reads much more than I do and I always find out many more things about what is going on with the world when I read Mixter.

2. Indigo Luna: Another blog that I was reading long before I began my little page in cyber-space. Rachel always makes me think very deeply about the person that I am and the person that I want to be. She shares and discusses such deep, personal parts of her life. There are times that I will read a post on her site and realize that it was the very things that was missing or that needed work in my life. She is also an artist and shares some of the most beautiful works of art whether it is photography, or fabric, or something drawn. I am always drawn to her site and this is why I nominate her.

3. Veni Vidi Vici: Esteban's blog is one that, months ago, I never would have thought that I would have chosen, let alone been reading!! I had originally thought that he was way too conservative when I would read his comments on Mixter's blog. Then I began to go his blog and found that he had volumes of very intelligent and thought provoking things to say. As a matter of fact he is often more middle of the road than a scary ultra-conservative type. he is reasonable. He is also a great writer and I think that he should even dabble in writing for some publications. Like Mixter, Esteban knows a great deal about what is happening in the world and in our own government. I can not keep up with Esteban any more than I can Mixter. On the fun side he has also published a few recipes and other fun stuff. I am actually always looking forward to what he might have blogged. if nothing else you can usually expect that it will be thought provoking.

Now, I know that the idea was 5 blogs , but of all the blogs that I read I felt that these 3 really fit within the defintion of the "thinking blogs". So, there you have it, and if you have not ever checked these folks out you might want to stop by their little slice of the cyber world some time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thinking Blogs

Thanks for the kind words Mixter. I have been tagged and listed by Mixter as a "thinking blog" and I have been tagged to list 5 blogs that make me think. Well, I am going to have to give this some serious thought and blog about that in a day or two when I have time to give it the attention that it deserves.

Thanks again Mixter, I am honored.

Daily Meditations

One of the things that I really enjoy from the web site, Living Life Fully, are the daily meditations that I receive. I print them and use them as inspirations for my journaling. They usually have an interesting thought for the day and at the end they pose several thought provoking questions.

There have been two, in the past several days, that I think have been especially good. I am going to copy & paste them here in their entirety for your reading and pondering enjoyment.

Well, I could not copy them, so I am going to link them for you & hope that you might take the time to read them and apply the thoughts to your daily life.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Issues, We Got Issues

One of the first things that I ever learned from a professor was, "Figures lie and liars figure". We all know that information can be manipulated and that everyone does it. I have never turned a blind eye to that fact, but we try and discern who's information seems to be the most logical and from what sources. In this day and age it is the best that we can do. Which brings us to the discussion of two VERY hot topics. The death penalty & health care.

I think that we will begin with the death penalty. It was my first major when I started back to college and this has left me with many text books. My thoughts were to do juvenile probation, but I ended up in the education of "at risk" kids, so usually they were involved with the court system and after seeing how the system really works I am thankful that I did not continue to pursue that avenue.

My thoughts came today after reading an article by Associated Press writer Robert Tanner. His article claimed that the death penalty does indeed deter murder. I am not sure that I am wanting to agree with this vein of thought. Myself, along with others, are questioning the validity of the analyses.

As many of us already know there are several states that have called a temporary moratorium on the death penalty. We all have read and heard of the many cases where innocent people have been exonerated after DNA evidence has taken them off of death row. The sad thing is how many have died that were never given the chance to prove their case.

There has been a good deal of discussion on the topic especially after several lethal injection attempts have caused lengthy and protracted deaths. The state of Illinois has already called a moratorium on executions. More than half a dozen states are in the midst of debates and in New jersey they have had an outright abolition. One of the arguments that I have came to me from the text "The American System of Criminal Justice" Gregory F. Cole University of Connecticut 6th Edition.

"An estimated 250 offenders on the nation's death rows are classified as retarded. It is argued that retarded people have difficulty defending themselves in court since they have problems remembering details, including locating witnesses, and testifying credibility in their own behalf. It is also asserted that executing the retarded serves no deterrent purpose, is only minimally retributivist, and is disproportionate to the crime. In 1989 the Supreme Court upheld the Texas death penalty statute and said that the Eighth Amendment does not prohibit execution of the mentally retarded. The case involved Johnny Paul Penry, a convicted killer with an IQ of about 70 and the mental capacity of a seven-year-old."

"The philosophical and legal arguments over capital punishment continue. Of the 4 goals of criminal sanction, deterrence has had the greatest appeal. Although research has tended to support both sides of the issue, recent studies have engendered great controversy. If deterrence cannot be shown to result from use of the death penalty, what then is the justification? Ernest van den Hagg, a leading supporter of the penalty, has argued that retribution justifies the sanction. He and others argue that there are some people whose crimes are so heinous that they deserve to be executed. Yet others point to the discriminatory aspects of the penalty, noting that of the 20,00 murders per year in the United States, only 250 offenders receive a death sentence and upward of about 25 are executed yearly. Two-thirds of those on death row are in the South, with the greatest number in Florida, Georgia and Texas." I wonder how many of them have completed high school or how many are lower level learners? It seems to me that there is something askew when a particular area holds a higher number of deviant people.

These are just a small portion of the facts and figures that make me question the validity of keeping this practice alive, no pun intended, and that this is an area that should be discussed seriously and possible alternatives brought forth. I know that the prisons are already overcrowded, but how can we continue to kill when we may be in the wrong?

Then we have the health care situation. Now, I do not claim to be able to argue this topic thoroughly, but I do know that we need something better! Especially after I have seen what can happen to a family when the h"health care rug" is pulled out from under you. It is a very necessary evil, but also one that is quite devastating when you no longer have it. The cost of meds alone can leave people without food or gas etc.

In last Fridays edition of our local paper they carried about the best article I have read on the health care issue. It was written by David Leonhardt a New York Times business columnist. It was one of the best articles that I have read on the subject and most clear. he does not take a side either way, but rather discusses simply that there are tough choices to be made. If you have the chance to find it it would be excellent reading since I do not have the ability to link it here and I also do not want to re-write the entire article. He does close by saying, " ...Reforming the system will require a fight- not just over the meaning of the word "universal", but also over finding tough, sensible ways to save money...." "The simple truth is that medical spending can't continue to rise at its current rate. Somehow, we need to make choices."

Two very important areas where very important decisions need to be made.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Time Out & Cartoon Hands

Sometimes it amazes me that Mixter will be talking about a topic that I am currently reading an article about. This time has been no exception. She is talking about taking a break from working etc. and I just happened to be reading an article about the importance of taking a "time out". The article comes from the web site that I frequent, Living Life Fully, and I often use them as journal topics. The article that I was reading was called," Call Time Out and Adjust Your Course" by Jeff Keller. The question that he posed was, How often in your life do you call a time out to review what is working for you and to put an end to what isn't? Probably not often enough. Unfortunately, we tend to become entrenched in habits which are not moving us in the direction of our goals. Something that I had been doing until recently.

I had thought, for much of my life, that I had to be successful and wanted to have much wealth. I thought that once I had my degree that it would all fall in to place. Well, here we are 8 years later and it has taken me some time to realize exactly what it is that I do and don't want. Real big wealth is one of the things that I don't want. Time has much more meaning to me these days. I have decided that playing the game is not all that it is cracked up to be. I would much rather just go along and be happy. Happiness means much more to me. I also have no desire to prove anything to anyone. I am only going to do those things that bring happiness to me and my family. I do not have to put on a show for anyone. Like Mixter, I have decided to play the game for fun. I am going to enjoy the rest of my life.

Today I finally called a new doctor to get in and get refills on my asthma meds, I have been using over the counter crap, because my doctor died a few years ago and that fact, coupled with the lack of insurance for years I have not had a doctor. I am finally going because of some weird thing that has been going on and causing me lack of sleep. I can sympathize with you on that too Mixter!!

I wake up several times a night where one, or both, of my hands feel as if they are so full of fluid that the skin is stretched tight and they are feeling swollen like cartoon hands. It hurts to even tough them in this condition. It wakes me up and then I have to hold them up in the air until a feeling of normality returns and then I can go back to sleep. It has been troubling me for several months now. There are no other symptoms that go along with this. Well, if I can not get in within the next 2 days, due to a cancellation in his office, I will have to wait for 2 weeks while he is on vacation.

I hope giving up coffee is not in my future!!! A very scary thought.