Dog Days and Cat Daze are upon us. Though, I always thought Dog Days were in August. It’s already a daze with my cats with long days indoors because of heat and humidity, and bright sunlight shining in because we live on the west side of the building, as it’s too hot to enjoy the west-facing patio. So they sit just inside the sliding glass door and sulk, dreaming of the chew of leaves and the possibility of catching a bird high in the feeder. Storms come, winds blow, the sun is scorching. Meanwhile they sit waiting patiently for cooler weather.
Interestingly, through all this I noticed that cats experience jealousy much like we humans. They become jealous of your attention that you favor one over the other, or worse yet, come home smelling like a cheater. I’ve been caring for a neighbor cat for the last month and my Ziggy and Zack are catching on to the jealousy factor. Yes, I must admit, my two have suffered for attention, but they have me 22 hours a day, where the neighbor kitty only has me 2 hours. As humans we can address, correct and resolve our jealousy. But cats? Well, they’ll just bite your leg, scratch your eyes out or create a non-existent physical ailment that turns out to be behavioral. Acting out? You bet! We all do – humans and animals alike. Well, I only write about cats when referring to animals.
In the meantime, during our July Cat Daze / Summer Haze enjoyment, I have a journaling exercise for you. Since my cats reminded me of jealousy this morning, I thought I would ask you: who are you jealous of and what are you doing about it? This is something to take to the journal and spend some time with it. Spend 30+ minutes sitting in the cool shade and journal on your jealousy.
Jealousy really is not healthy and signifies deeper issues. Hint: all the more reason to journal on your jealousy. So do I hear you saying, “Ha! I’m not jealous! Not Me!” And so, there’s another reason to journal on this – denial! Journaling about jealousy may uncover deeper issues around anger and resentment. Boy, watching cats and their behavior tells me a lot about us humans.
Your Journal Prompts:
The key word here is “Jealousy” … Get your pen and paper out and answer the following:
*Who might you be jealous of? I know, don’t end with a preposition! Stick to the assignment… who might you be jealous of in light of career, success, love, beauty, style, money, home, car, accessories, etc.? Think about it, now write.
*What happened in your life to cause such jealousy?
*When in your life did this happen and when does it keep coming back? Think of and write about trigger points.
*Where does it take your emotions? Pay particular attention to your writing on this one.
*Why hasn’t it been resolved? Why does it still bother you? Why do you continue to be jealous after all this time?
*How have you recognized how jealousy no longer serves you? How can you resolve it? How can you release it and let it go? And, if you are unable to resolve it, why? Go back to the “Why” question and flush it out, then return to the “How” prompt and complete again.
Just some writing fodder to use a journal you bought months ago and should use on a regular basis. Nobody needs to see your entries but you.
Remember, do this sitting in the shade since any anger it may create may get you so heated that sitting in the sun will only make the exercise more uncomfortable.
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It’s Easter Sunday, and I chose to take a hike instead of going to church. You see, for decades I have felt closer to God in the woods than I have in a building they call a church, and with people who pretend to pray and walk the talk on Sunday’s and not any other day of the week. I call them hypocrites… I’ve known quite a few and even worked with many of them over the years.
When I walk in the woods, I walk with God… well, I feel his presence more so, since his creations are so overwhelmingly obvious to me deep in a place of nature. With spring erupting, it’s apparent that there is a force greater than us that is present in every corner of our life. Even in places you wouldn’t imagine.
I find I keep changing – growing is more like it. Vibrating at a higher level and a seeker of truth. Call me restless or call me crazy, the bottom line is … I’m no different than you since we are all one and what hurts me, hurts you too. So, when we say we want peace, find peace in your heart first. When you say you want love in your life, find a way to love yourself first… and so forth and so on.
My thoughts ramble on this beautiful spring day, so I make doubly sure that my thoughts are what I want manifested in my life. So when I say I stood with God… I stand with him everyday, and so do you. You may not think so, but you do. And your thoughts deep within your sub-consciousness create your reality. So when you realize life is what you make of it… make sure you make it a great day. Check those thoughts and keep checking them … and thank God for all that he created, you included … Because everyday is a great day, whether you think so or not – it’s all in how you view it in your mind.
A recent art journal page that I created talks about abundance… Abundance: your mind creates abundance in your world. A play on words really speaks to it: Birds of feather flock together… even in abundance.
You probably wonder what this has to do with standing with God? Think about it… because whatever your think about manifests – God answering your request for more or less of what it is you’re focused on. So take a moment and think about those thoughts – as you stand with God – and focus on the good stuff… focus on love … focus on peace … focus on whatever it is you want to expand in your life and watch it grow even more. Then when you say “I stood with God today” you are a witness to his greatness.
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Drink the Kool-Aid …
So often I hear excuses when it is suggested, “why don’t you journal on that?” In my years of writing journal entries and teaching the process to go within using the journaling technique, I get a reaction as if I’m asking you to “drink the Kool-aid.” Your inward journey is a self discovering process (using journaling as the tool) that only the individual whose journey it is can experience. The excitement is when you discover that change is beneficial to your health and overall well being. That change – although may be faced with fear – we learn after the fact that it was a welcome opportunity. And, possibly discovering it was even a learning experience – learning about yourself and your potential (by busting through your self-imposed limits).
Change is inevitable. It’s obvious about change, indicated by the dramatic changes we’ve encountered over the past few years as a global society. But let’s focus on you and your change, your fear when facing the unknown and all the nightmares it may bring. Spend 15 minutes each day, going deep on the page, getting in touch with your feelings, expectations, disappointments and joys. Write about your limits, blocks, and yes your fear. Get in touch with the fear that holds you back and why. Write it out, draw it on the page, get mad, get angry, cry, laugh. Hopefully you may uncover through your journaling what’s holding you back from change is really you, and no one else.
“Change is constant, and all else revolves around it”* … and “with change we shape our future.”* Taking those 15 minutes each day, and writing those thoughts, fears, ideas, etc., you will begin to see patterns, directions, and drill down on your focus. Just write, and don’t edit, let your feelings and ideas spill on the page. If you find yourself all over the place with scattered thoughts, that’s ok too. Create lists or draw mind maps to help organize your thoughts – all in your journal. Let your journal be the place you go to rest those demons, spill the chatter, and correct the constant negative self talk. And, if you are a very detailed oriented person, create different “what if” scenarios – all in your journal. However, at some point you must begin to journal on action steps needed to make your changes become a reality. You may have been doing this all along while writing. Go back and read what you wrote and gain insight to what’s blocking you and how to move forward.
Go ahead … Drink the Kool-aid! My Kool-aid won’t kill you. It will, however, open doors for you to see directions, opportunities and yes how to put fear to work making it a useful friend in the sea of change. “Because remember, change and shape your future, otherwise this is as good as it gets!*
Start by setting a timer each day if you feel you will go over 15 minutes. Begin writing in your journal using the prompt word “Change” … what it means to you, how change will change your life and those around you; and what your life will look like a year from now by NOT making changes in your life. My book 365 Days of Creative Writing – Journal Prompts for Everyday of the Year offers a minimum of 25 prompts just around this subject. Those prompts include Change; Fear; God; Happy; Limits; Procrastination; Resistance. Trust your higher power that you believe in to know you will come through whatever changes you are faced with as a better person. Start writing – today!
Wishing you Spring Blossoms and Warm Sunshine on a snowy March afternoon…
Rosemary Augustine – Author
* As mentioned in the book Facing Changes in Employment by Rosemary Augustine, published in 1995.
Please Note: The reference to “Drink the Kool-aid” is used as a figure of speech and is in no way intended to imply that you do harm to your body. The author merely uses this phrase to help you overcome your fear of writing and address your self-imposed limits using journaling as an emotional and spiritual tool.
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Angel Visit Anyone?
This is a Personal and Spiritual Experience
Would you like an Angel Visit? If you think this is crazy, you do not need to read any further.
However, if you believe in the power of angels, I invite you to continue reading and consider an angel visit.
I was recently asked by my friend Sandy if I would be interested in an angel visit. She explained what I would need to do and I immediately said yes. Fast forward to my preparations and their arrival, I was excited, honored and most grateful to be selected. The preparation was easy… ensuring I had a candle that would burn continuously for 5 days (I used 2 LED powered candles across the 5 days; white flowers in a vase; 3 wishes in an envelope and 3 new hosts for them to travel to once they were completed at my home. Oh, and an apple! The night they were to arrive, I was excited, not knowing what to expect – if anything. When I opened the door and welcomed them in, I immediately sensed an energy that was thrilling knowing my intuitive side was engaged. Even Zack my one kitty immediately sensed the energy when they entered… Ziggy, however, was his usual non-chalant self. Once they arrive, you really don’t have to do anything, just the prep work ahead of time, the welcoming and bidding farewell when they leave. Anything else is really up to you. If you pray or meditate, you can include them (or not), ask for a sign or anything else you desire. Or do nothing just the welcome and farewell.
If you would like to encounter this visit in the coming days, please let me know immediately. Since I may have some hosts that are looking for their 3 hosts to send the angels onto on April 3rd.
Irmi, a German medium, tells of some unnamed selected angels, highly placed in the angelic hierarchies – it is calculated that at the 20th iteration their work would be exponentially expanded to impact the whole world.
It is angels’ desire to come down and, for five consecutive days, stay and work with individuals and help each of them meet three personal wishes. The angels stay with each new person five days before moving on to new hosts. Then, after five days, each individual sends the angels on to three new individuals who have said YES to receiving them. The angels will always arrive at the new location on a predetermined day at 10:30 PM and leave five days later at exactly 10:30 PM. Between each five-day visit, the angels have a quiet traveling period of five days, when they are on their way to the three new addresses. These pauses have a considerable positive impact on the world.
My experience was wonderful. I wrote creative writings that just suddenly came to me, moved heavy objects with ease and noticed my healthier food intake since I had asked about healthy eating. I was sad when it was time for them to leave, but knew I was on the road to something new. But I must say, I am open to these kinds of things and welcome the spiritual energy, wisdom and enlightenment that such an experience offers. Your 3 wishes can be anything at all – personal, or global, financial or emotional. So, if this is something you would like to experience, please contact me so that I can arrange for an angel visit to your home. Remember, if you live with someone and they don’t want to participate, it’s fine… just have your candle, flowers and envelopes (with the 3 wishes and 3 future hosts) in an area that is private for you.
Here is a website/blog I found today that may offer you some insight to the power of angels. I look forward to hearing from individuals who are serious (no skeptics please), and ones that are interested in being open minded to a spiritual experience. Check out this website and Happy Spring!
Author of 365 Days of Creative Writing
P.S. Please feel free to forward this page if you feel someone may be interested in hosting an angel visit.
If you are interested, please email me today, as you would need to be listed as a host in the coming days and your angels would arrive April 3rd and depart April 8th. See email address on the bottom right of this screen.
Berwyn, PA – January 2, 2014 … Waiting for a snow storm to come, it’s cold, dreary and I need to write. It’s January 2nd and I’m hoping you are pondering the New Year. Is it business as usual? Probably not because you want something different for 2014 … don’t you?
Read More at: http://365days2journal.wordpress.com/
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Fruit Sticker Art and Healthy Eating
We constantly hear “eat fruits and vegetables” everyday! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! How many times do I have to tell you? Or… how many times will I hear this in a day? Eat at least 5 servings of each – everyday! Well, when I started this campaign in 2010, my dilemma was: “what do I do with all those fruit stickers?
In the summer of 2010, I started an art project collecting all the stickers from fruits and vegetables. Sorry this was not one of my original ideas. I collected as many as I could and added them to a sheet of watercolor paper. At first the page seemed big compared to those small stickers. Then it became an obsession – where I had co-workers at lunchtime offer me their stickers. I found plastic surfaces worked best to hold the sticker flat until I got home and could add it to my sticker collection.
More than a year passed, but I never forgot my art project. I continued to save the stickers and applied them to multiple surfaces. With the original Sticker Art shown above, there are several layers of stickers and multiple layers of acrylic gel to hold it all in place. I often frame my pieces of art work from the stickers and give as gifts. They make a great hanging of art for any kitchen collection of art displayed above the countertops. Here’s what you can do to have the same thing in your kitchen….
Use a 9”x12” canvas sheet or a sheet of 140 lb watercolor paper. You can use other surfaces like art board, foam board, construction paper, canvas board, glass bottles or coffee/tea tins, etc. Remember the bigger the surface the longer it takes to fill it up.
If using Paper or Canvas:
Add stickers randomly – and be sure to add going in different directions including upside down, etc. If you have a lot of one sticker, create a pattern. Notice my kiwi sticker pattern. Use larger vegetable stickers to anchor a pattern or anchor a corner of the page. Use glue stick if sticker curling occurs. Mod Podge (or my favorite – Liquitex brand Matte Medium) works the same as a wetglue stick and is great for larger surfaces and/or sealing to preserve with a coat of matte medium. When you’ve had enough, add a final coat of acrylic gloss medium and let it dry at least 48 hours. Now it’s ready to frame (glass is optional) although it would protect your finished work in a sometimes steamy kitchen. This piece is fun when framed with a floating picture frame (where the paper is sandwiched between two pieces of glass). This project can also be on note card stock. See the video for other ideas and suggestions.
Glass – jars/canisters/etc. are great surfaces for the stickers since those tacky little stickers adhere very well to glass. Follow the above recommendations for patterns and make sure you put a final coat of matte medium to preserve it. This project looks great on odd shaped glass bottles / containers.
Tins – I have tea tins that I used to collect the stickers at work and liked it so much I kept the stickers on the tin. Always finish off with a coat or two of matte medium.
Note, this is an ongoing project and may take a year or more to complete. Although a family of four may have enough stickers to complete this in a matter of months. Don’t get discouraged. Since this is an ongoing project, you get to see the project unfold the more stickers you add. I keep a 5” x 7” canvas board in my kitchen to add stickers every time I peel them off of fruit or veggies. Now it’s become a fun and ongoing project – a great gift for your favorite cook.
A little background history on the stickers:
7 out of 10 items in grocery store shelves contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. Fruit and vegetables do not come with nutrition labels but they do have stickers (PLU – Price Look Up Code) which contain pertinent information.
Next time you decide to purchase that apple or cut a slice out of that melon, consider the PLU sticker. This sticker will tell you whether the fruit was organically grown, genetically modified, or produced with chemical fertilizers, herbicides or fungicides.
PLU stickers that have 4 digits and begin with a “3″ or “4″: produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was sprayed with weed killers and chemical pesticides.
PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “8″: produce was genetically engineered (man intervened by manipulating the genes to produce a larger or brighter colored food). This produce may have been chemically treated.
PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “9″: produce was raised organically. You can be sure that this produce was not treated with any chemicals.
Remember, 8s not Great and 9 is Fine!
Note: the adhesive used to stick the PLU onto the fruit is edible but the sticker itself is not. The codes have been in use since 1990. Currently, there are over 1300 universal PLU codes assigned.
4139: Conventional Granny Smith apple
94139: Organic Granny Smith
84139: Genetically Modified Granny Smith
Information in italics was supplied byhttp:/rawearthliving.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/what-does-the-number-on-a-fruit-sticker-mean/
In my video I mention the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15… The Dirty Dozen are foods you should only buy organic since they have been identified as containing the highest levels of chemicals and pesticides when grown using conventional farming methods. They include: apples; strawberries; spinach; celery; grapes; sweet bell peppers; nectarines; peaches; blueberries; kale/collard greens; lettuce; potatoes.
The Clean 15 are foods that contain the lowest levels of pesticides and you don’t have to buy organic. They are: onions; sweet potatoes; sweet corn; asparagus; mangoes; pineapples; sweet peas; kiwi; cabbage; eggplant; cantaloupe; avocado; watermelon; grapefruit; mushrooms.
Hope this was both informative and creative for you… Enjoy! And Happy Spring!
Rosemary Augustine – Artist and Author
02-23-2013… We continue to have interesting combinations with numbers even with 13 as a number for the year. But, what’s really in a number? Time comes to my mind. We all have the same amount of time – each day – 24 hours of time. Some of us use it wisely and others… well? You be the judge of your time. The time we take to make a choice in how we use our time can be a split second or deliberated for hours, or even days.
When I hear people say, “I just don’t have time to _______________,” (you fill in the blank). What it really comes down to is your time is important. How you spend your time is equally important. And the choices you make in how you spend your time makes the decision when you say you don’t have time to do something that may or may not have meaning for you.
So, take some time and think about how you spend your time. Keep a log for a day or even a week, tracking how you spend your time. You may be surprised at how you enjoy your time or how much time you waste. Here are a few statements around “time” that you may want to journal on to find more time for the things that give you meaning in your life:
· What are your top 3 “values” in life? Values like family, friendship, security, lifestyle, independence… etc. These are just a few. Choose your own, add to the list, but ponder in your morning pages what values are most important to you. Consider these values when spending your time.
· What is least important to you? When you start addressing your values, you may find a few things that really don’t matter or are least important. How much time do you spend on these things? You may also want to consider why you spend time thinking about things that really don’t matter or are not important to you.
· In your busy day… take a minute to notice your surroundings. Now take a few more minutes to really observe your surroundings and notice three things you have never noticed before. Write about what you are seeing for the first time. What feelings does this evoke for you?
So … time! … some of us have more time than others – or at least it appears that way. Since we all get the same amount of time everyday, how do you spend your time? Something to journal about today, or the next time you spend time writing in your journal.
Make it a Great Day regardless of how you spend your time!
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A New Year’s Resolution That Works? That’s right! A New Year’s Resolution that really works! “How,” you ask? Because most New Year’s Resolutions are too general, often extremely vague and have no time frame to complete or achieve, that’s usually why most people drop off before January is even over. How many times have you heard someone say: “my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight!” Pretty general and without a specific plan to do so, you are doomed before you start. To make changes in your life, often the picture is much bigger to anticipate and usually more than just yourself is involved. So, asking for help, along with getting focused and staying on track with a career coach ensures success of your desired goals.
Whether you are self employed or work for someone else, your work is your career! Since 1991, I have helped thousands as their career coach to find their passion, change their life so their work fits their values and brushed up quite a few resumes (I’ve lost count on the number of resumes). Your life is part of your career and coaching you along your journey goes hand and hand with your life and career. My coaching programs offer my personal coaching system along with using several books – my books as well as The Artist’s Way as additional assignments. Your vision statement and your vision journal play a role in coaching your life as well. And, if you are a business owner, your life and career are affected by your marketing efforts including your web presence, social media, bio/resume, networking, advertising and more. So you see, working with a career coach is not about changing jobs, it’s more about having a life – the life you really want! I help you get focused; stay on track and achieve your goals whatever they may be.
As your career coach, I’m your cheerleader and confidant, and in the end maybe a friend. I’ll provoke thought and support you during changes. I inspire you to reach for your dreams – and achieve them. You’ll work hard to achieve your goals, and when it’s time for us to part, you will say how hard you worked and that it was worth every minute.
As my client, there is a request for a commitment to work together with the amount of time we spend together relative to your desired results. If you truly desire something different in your life, and you’re willing to commit to what is necessary to achieve those goals, then it’s time to hire Rosemary Augustine as your Career Coach. I have worked with individuals from all walks of life and who live anywhere within the United States.
As my client, you will optimize life skills, maximize your potential, recognize false beliefs, identify obstacles, see patterns, break through fear and maybe even recognize a few trends. Most importantly, you will learn how to accessorize change and grow – personally, professionally and spiritually.
So as we ring in 2013, make your New Year’s Resolution a commitment to work with a Career Coach. Give yourself the gift to play more and work less; find your passion, live your dream, make a difference. It’s your career… change and shape your future, otherwise this is as good as it gets!
I offer several types of coaching programs designed to fit an individual’s specific needs and budget. Give me a call (or visit my website) and let’s talk about your particular situation regarding what you want to change and/or achieve in 2013… I would be thrilled to travel with you on your journey to accomplish it. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Warmest Regards and Happy New Year!
Rosemary Augustine – Author and Career Coach
When you learn a friend is diagnosed with Breast Cancer just before Christmas, all kinds of things go through your head… getting a mammogram is one of them. Yet, it appears your friend did all the right things… she eats healthy; exercises; always in a good frame of mind; is active and healthier than most. While you may be all worried, your friend may not. She feels she’s in good hands with the best doctors, along with working on staying healthy, exercising, and releasing deep rooted anger and resentments that she probably doesn’t want to share with you.
How do you support someone like your friend during such a stressful and for some life-threatening time? Here are some ideas, maybe you can add to it.
*Your friend wants love and support at this time. Be a friend, don’t be her mother. Let your friend come forth with answers to questions you may want to ask. Be open to just being with her – some call it “being in the moment.”
*No Drama Please. Now is not the time to call her with your drama. Save that for someone else.
*No Lectures either… she probably gets that from her family and if she can muster the emotional strength, she will limit that discussion with anyone and everyone.
*Consider gentle suggestions like “hey the other day I was reading about …. you think that might help at any point?” rather than saying “well if I were you, I would do…”
*A phone call is always welcome… however, be in the moment when you call. Give her your full attention. Be focused on the call and on your friend. Listen to her and what she is saying, don’t ask so many questions that you want answers to, simply because she may not have the answers right now.
*When calling, remember you are probably one caller of about 20 that she may have already gotten today. Be gentle, comforting, and be calming with your voice.
*It is most important when you call to NOT be driving or on your way somewhere and then get caught in the phrase “I thought I would call for a minute while I’m driving… oh shit the traffic is awful… let me call you back.”
*Send an email, card or letter… and include an article of interest (but not about her cancer); send something that would make her laugh, a joke or comic strip; even a quote or thought for the day.
*Show concern in a loving way but please release your fears around her condition. Yes she has breast cancer and Yes she feels strongly she will live and come through this a better person – cancer free.
*And Yes, she has probably come to terms with the fear of dying and knows she will one day, but not this way. So it is important NOT to hear Fear in YOUR voice since that fear is often your own fear of death. Funny how these things reflect back to us.
*Be gentle with your friend, make sure you’re not asking questions where she has to constantly justify why she is doing something her way and not your way.
*Know that she is comfortable – sometimes even being alone. Also know she will reach out when she wants help or just wants to hear your voice.
*Lastly, when you offer to help, offer what you are willing to help with. Her neighbor said recently, “I can drive you to the doctor if you want me to.”
Your friend is probably overwhelmed right now with the scheduling of appointments prior to surgery and post surgery schedules of more appointments and radiation five days a weeks for six weeks or more. Offer to make lunch or dinner at her place or bring her the kind of food She eats; shop for her; go for a walk with her; bring her a magazine or read her a special quote you found.
Most importantly, tell her you love her – Every Time – and how together we are going to get through this with flying colors… then make plans to do so.
Somehow, this is a Christmas Gift that eventually will truly be a Gift!