Call of the Muses

They say that art feeds the soul, and now more than ever we are starving! Time limitations, financial limitations and a plethora of things that are there to amuse us without us actively participating have lead us away from the basics:  art, music, dance, theatre and literature. I guess even some of the basics have been out priced, especially in this economy, but part of enjoying the arts is to be creative!

I want to share with you my passion for all forms of creative expression, and challenge you to find your own experiences with the muses.  The wide variety of styles, tastes, media, locales and venues truly offer something for everyone.  There is no harm, no foul in saying that something just isn’t your thing, the challenge comes in finding what moves you.

Did one class trip sour you on visiting a museum, or was it visiting with someone who felt they needed to cover the entire building like a general on a mission? Did your mother invite you to a concert and then tell you it was Barry Manilow (who puts on a great show, but doesn’t rock a teen ager’s world!)?  Did you see the Nutcracker every holiday and think that every performance of dance included dancing rats and large ladies with multiple children under their skirts?  How about if your first theatre experience was Kafka when you were ten, or a rollicking musical when you were in your goth phase? Of course, the insult to literature most of us experienced was the ill chosen summer reading book foisted upon us. How many dogs do have to die to have educators feel that they are providing meaningful content?

We have all had bad experiences with the arts, that is in fact part of the process.  Knowing what you don’t like, what doesn’t move you, is an important part of finding out what makes your spirit soar. It is unfortunate when we are scarred so young, or buy into societal or gender roles about what types of entertainment you should enjoy.  Sometimes by the time we move beyond the school age years our interest in pursuing artistic experiences, whether as a participant or a consumer, is non-existent.

Honestly, unless an experience motivates us, moves us or challenges us we aren’t anxious to repeat the experience or revisit it.  It is vital to find the place within you willing to try, to truly make an effort to make a space for the arts in your life.  It is also a responsibility to introduce young children in our lives to various forms of artistic expression so that they can develop that part of who they are.  As kids grow into teen agers and young adults we also need to be open  to their muses, it is so important not to dismiss something because of our own prejudices.  Being open is the key, what happens next may surprise you.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and accept the challenge to move beyond my own comfort zones as we explore the beauty in the world around us – the call of the muses.

 

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Welcome to The Positive Thinking Cafe

There is not much I enjoy as much as sitting and talking, sharing ideas, laughing and learning.  Regardless if my company is my family, friends or new acquaintances I find I never lose interest in the possibility of conversation, the meeting of minds and the potential for growth. One of my goals is to meet as many people in the world as I possibly can!

Add coffee or a nice glass of wine and conversation just seems to get better!  So welcome to my cafe, my kitchen table, my front stoop.  Think of all the places that talk just seems to flow naturally. We don’t often get a chance to do that in person, but now is my chance to do it here.  I have always said I wanted to have a cafe, but I only wanted to have it open when I felt like cooking, when I felt like socializing and welcoming friends new and old. I guess you could see the potential for failure for a cafe that is only open when the owner is in the mood.  Thanks to the beauty of the internet – my cafe is now open just the way I imagined it!!

I like to consider myself a renaissance woman, someone who has lived life to the fullest and followed the path wherever it lead me.  I have worked in advertising, public relations, development, consulting, in a florist shop, as a substitute teacher, as a marriage and family counselor, as the facilitator of a family program and as a licensed realtor.  I have been involved in dance, theatre, volunteer work, philanthropy and fund raising. I am married and a mother of three who loves  traveling, reading, writing, cooking, learning, shopping and aspiring.  Every time I became curious about something I took the opportunity to see how it fit into my life.  Some things were passing fancies, some became hobbies and some helped me discover exactly who I was meant to be. 

In my heart I believe each and every experience was necessary to lead me to where I am today.  When I look back I have very few regrets and when I look ahead I am filled with excitement and wonder.  In those rare instances when I stand still I work hard to focus on the present, to be mindful of where I am and grateful to be experiencing the now.  My now.

Join me on this adventure, sit with me at my cafe.  We will share thoughts, dreams, aspirations and recipes.  I want to share all the parts of my life, the trials and tribulations of what it means when we say  “we are all only human”. Some joy, some laughter, some deep thoughts and some questioning.  Welcome to my next adventure!!  xo

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Faith, Love, Hope, and Oprah

 

I know what it is to be loved and love, to be afraid of losing and being given the gift of time. This is one of the most beautiful expressions of that spirit.
Kristian was diagnosed with liver and bowel cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments to fight this disease. Rachel went back to teaching high school to support her family financially and comes home to take care of the kids and be there for her husband. As you can imagine this can be emotionally and physically exhausting.

Kristian, a television editor, wanted to celebrate his wife’s birthday in a special way so that she might understand just what her actions, sacrifice and love mean to him – and to their family.  As you can see he was able to find a magical way to do so. In keeping his promise to use no words, he is assisted by a pretty well known Aussie and a pretty well known Kiwi.

As you can imagine, this video has gone viral and at this point has been viewed over 191,000 times.  Beyond this amazing story, this amazing effort, there is the universal understanding of what it means to love.  The sacrifice, the leap into the unknown, the joys and the sorrows are something we all can relate to. Whether for someone in our family, a friend, a neighbor or a stranger literally halfway around the world we connect through our collective soul to what this effort means. This act of love is as healing to the giver as to the one receiving the gift.

Today this story and video were featured as part of Oprah’s visit to Australia. Oprah was able to arrange, along with Xbox, for this family to be financially secure so that they can spend the time together with their small sons. $250,000.00 will enable this family to have the most precious gift of time without worrying about bills, without wondering how to fit a day’s worth of teaching plus a day’s worth of homemaking and mothering, plus a day’s worth of care for a very sick husband into one day.  How can you put a price on the ultimate value of this gift for this family?

I do not envy what Oprah has as she has worked so very hard to earn it, but I do envy her ability to do this kind of good. Some discredit her actions feeling that she’ll never miss that amount, some criticize it isn’t enough; some will pass it off as just another opportunity for public relations. Regardless of what you earn, a responsible person knows exactly what they have and what they choose to do with it. Is this amount enough – for this family it might be as much as a few years income and priceless in terms of what it will allow them to do in that time. I argue that at this point in time Oprah is far beyond needing to be charitable for public relations. What would it be like to accept that a choice was made to do good where good could be done?

How many times do we think about doing something when we hear about a person in need, read a story online or in the news or hear something on TV?  Often the next thought is one of feeling that what we are able to do wouldn’t really make a difference, what we could afford would just be a drop in the bucket. Imagine if every person that felt they wanted to help did one thing, one small thing, do you believe that could make a difference?  What about reaching out to family and friends and sharing the story and seeing what you as a group might be able to do.  Could that make a difference? I believe that it would and could make a difference not only to those in need but to you in your life as well.
I think we can all try to do good where good can be done in ways big and small. We can ignite a spark within ourselves, our families and our communities to make a difference. I aspire every day to do some small good in the ways I can, imagine the difference if we all did.  xo

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