Expanding your Happiness and Engaging your Senses go Hand in Hand: Two top notch free meditations you can use right now!11 Aug
“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”
I’ve been making a lot of lemonade out of lemons lately: my mother fell down the stairs while visiting me and somehow wasn’t seriously injured, my daughter’s father’s heart is failing and it is heart breaking, my best friend injured her back and we had to cancel our first trip together in eight years. My other best friend’s father is dying and so now suddenly is her best friend of 30 years. The house we rented and are paying far too much for has bed bugs and carpet beetles (hence the painful and infection bites on my thighs and bottom) which means before we move at the end of next week everything and I mean every carpet, item of clothing, towel and bed sheet we own has to be run through the dryer on high and or sealed in plastic and baked in the sun regardless of the fact that I haven’t recovered enough strength yet to take a proper walk through my new neighborhood, or do our grocery shopping, let alone the laundry or vacuuming.
Much of this is painful and expensive and yet, life is beautiful. Not in a pollyanna-ish everything happens for a reason kind of way. Rather it is in an everything just IS way that includes the realization that what I make of its IS-ness is what determines my experience of it IS-ness way. Whatever the reason for these things- be they the stars, the planets, angry gods or just the chaotic and at times seemingly random nature of life-what matters is not so much that I know why they are happening but rather that I figure out what I can learn because of them.
“When you say “yes to the isness” of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness with you that is deeply peaceful”- Eckhart Tolle
It is so tempting to play the role of the victim-we all do it to some degree at times. However the truth is Life happens for us not to us! Because no matter how hard and awful things are or seem to be, when we are able to surrender and say ‘yes’ to the ‘isness of life, when we accept the moment, the situation, just as it is, we begin to access a sense ‘of spaciousness within’ that is peace. This is when and only when things can begin to change.
I remember hearing Tara Brach talk about the how the poet Rumi saw clearly the relationship between our wounds and our awakening. He counseled, “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” As a writer and poet, I relate to the use of suffering to create, to transform, and to inspire.
Having said this, I want to assure you I am not very different from you…. I too grapple with issues of self worth, doubt and fear. When I am in this place my thoughts say things like- it is too hard, it is not fair, that I am not strong enough or good enough. Or that things have been too hard for too long, and that I am can’t take it or manage anymore. The more overwhelmed I feel the more likely I am to listen to these ‘voices’ which of course makes it even harder to engage my senses and to make choices that truly nourish my senses and my soul, instead of feed my ego.
Sometimes I can snap it fairly quickly. Other times it may take a few days (or even weeks) of avoidance and escapist behavior before I realize that I am feeling even more empty than when I started. When I get to this point I know I need to stop abandoning myself and befriend myself again. This means prioritizing time each day to be quiet and touch base with my true nature which is Love, joy and peace….
One of the easiest and most effective ways I have found to turn things is to reboot my meditation practice by spending as little as 10 minutes each day in guided meditation practice. To this end I wanted to share with you lovelies two of my favorite sources:
The first, which begins today, 8/11/14, is offered by Depak Chopra and Oprah. Part of an ongoing series, this free 21 day course called Expanding your Happiness is rooted in the ancient Yogic Wisdom tradition. It’s easy. It’s free and even if you miss the first day or two you can still ‘catch up’. Register now and invite those you love to be happy with you!
The other, which is ongoing, is offered by the amazing Tara Brach, a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotion healing and spiritual awakening who is also a clinical psychologist and author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge @ Tarabrach.com, is a treasure chest of riches offering both long and short meditations as well as inspirational talks you can return to again and again.
One of the best places to start is with her “10 minute “Gateway to Presence” guided meditation. Listening to this extremely well crafted meditation works equally well morning, or evening. In the morning I often use it to set my focus and attention for the day ahead. And at the end of the day it is a great way to consciously relax and release the day’s stress from your body and mind before sleep.
I’d love to know about your experiences with either of these meditations so feel free to write me!!!
Engage and indulge your senses by wishing on the new moon this month. Staying in tune with the cycles of the moon help us to stay in touch with our connection to nature and our own internal rhythms. You can make this ritual as simple or sumptuous as you please. If the latter sounds engaging try writing your wishes on a piece of beautiful paper that you have scented with your favorite essential oil (I love lavender and ylang-ylang). Be sure to use a pen that feels good in your hand and add some color by using purple or green ink. Then go outside and spend a few minutes breathing in silence and gazing softly at the stars as you reflect on your wishes and drink in the beauty of the night sky.
Originally posted on Astrology with Jan Spiller:
NEW MOON REMINDER… Saturday, July 26, 6:42 pm EDST, is the New Moon Power Day in July. Don’t miss this opportunity to make wishes for goals you’d like to reach and experiences you’d like to have.
Because this New Moon is in the sign of LEO, it’s a powerful time for new beginnings in activating your romantic life and starting a new creative project. Things you may have wanted to happen in your life for a long time can begin easily manifesting through using the boost of this energetic and happy New Moon!
For success, your wishes must be handwritten on paper and ten wishes maximum are allowed on each power day. The most potent time is the first 8 hours AFTER the exact time of the New Moon; within the first 48 hours will still work. The potency continues to exist for another twelve hours, but is weaker…
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“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” ― Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
‘Oh what a night’ to quote the Jersey Boys-
Writer and raconteur Tom Robbins did not disappoint when he read from his not-an autobiography “Tibetan Peach Pie”, answered questions and gave advice last Thursday. The reading started just after six, and when we arrived a few minute early the bookstore was already brimming with Diesel staff and regulars milling and filling the chairs that flanked and filled the courtyard. From this vantage point we had a view not only of the author, but of the Santa Monica mountains turning golden-sandy-pink in the lazily setting june light.
I love Malibu. It lacks all of Brentwood’s pretension….The full house that gathered at the Country Mart Thursday night was a friendly, relaxed, mixture of older and younger, local and those who had traveled from other post codes, as well as the odd celebrity out of rehab sitting off to the side and under dark glasses. What we all had in common-a sense of awe and shared a passion for the uniquely beautiful sentences Robbins constructs from nothing more than his full tilt imagination.
The zen, literary, trickster now in his 83rd year is still very much his own man although he readily admitted to being tired. “I’ve been on tour since May 24th”, he explained as he stood tall, bantering playfully, candidly and sagely about everything from being visited by the FBI to his first experience with LSD. It was this experience that opened his eyes and his mind and launched him out of the south and into the larger world.
With an accent that he feared made “lil abner sound erudite”, he moved to New York City, and said wasn’t sure that he would have become the writer he is if he’d gone to San Fran and landed in the Haight in the height of the psychedelic scene instead. There though he met, and hung out with Alan Ginsberg and other ‘beats’, he found inspiration not in the Village scene but in front of the wild mind paint splattered canvases of Jackson Pollock and others of that era.
I think many in the packed house were also surprised but not shocked to learn he last took LSD about 8 years ago at the age of 75. He called it “a refresher course”, and added that he didn’t understand those who took the drug repeatedly or used it as a party drug. And said his experiences with the drug “were part of my spiritual path”. He also politely refused the offer put forth by a pixy-ish looking audience member who may or may not have been under the influence to “get [him] some “great shit”. Along with attention, this drew a few reproving glances and snickers from the audience. To me it only added to the counter-culture, mystical, sideshow, southern, storytelling, spell that Tom Robbins and his imagination (which he likened to a thermostat permanently set on high) cast a week ago at Diesel, my favorite independent bookstore in Malibu.
Tom’s advice for young writers: and in my opinion for all writers:
- Write every day. Even if it is just for 20 minutes in your journal.
- Waiting around for inspiration to strike is for amateurs.
- Don’t worry about getting published, worry about getting better.
Hello Again Lovely Reader!
It has been too long. I have missed reading your blogs and hearing from you. And I’ve missed writing!!
My healing journey has returned me to the City of Angels. Pacific Palisades to be precise.
All creative work was on hold due to the chaos of relocating! Structure seemed a distant memory and the primary focus was on setting up “camp” and receiving a series of sound wave treatments to stimulate the healing of white tissue and collagen and promote healing.
Yes Virginia, it is working! I am really, truly be able to begin to have a ‘normal life’ again. To go out into the world and feast my senses on all the beauty it has to offer.
After so many years on an island in the sun in the middle of nowhere to now be within a few miles of two independent bookstores, and independent enough to go there albeit for limited periods, is heaven on earth! So too are the views from the promontory where the house we are staying in is located.
A huge white eucalyptus frames one window. The santa monica mountains the next, and the Pacific ocean meets the blue skies to the West. Yesterday on the way to the doctor’s we spent an hour at LACMA taking in van Gogh, Mattise and Kandinsky’s vibrant canvases… soaking our senses in all the colorful goodness of the paintings, the beautiful architecture, and happy art lovers in their element.
Tonight I will drive the 6 miles to Malibu along the famed Pacific Coast Hiway to get to Diesel: a Bookstore where owner, Lynn, will be hosting a reading for the iconic novelist and counterculture hero, Tom Robbins- think Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Jitterbug Perfume. I am almost too excited for words… so I will sign off for now and look forward to reporting back tomorrow and posting my personally signed copy of “Tibetian Peach Pie-A True Account of an Imaginative Life.
ps. To the wonderful person who gathered up their courage to comment on my blog, and tell me they wanted me to keep writing- Thank You! I can hardly express how much your words meant and mean to me. I am getting goose bumps just remembering….xoxo
I don’t usually post on Friday’s but one of my creative heroes award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg is sitting down with Oprah this Sunday and I wanted to make sure I shared the news early enough that you can plan to watch! He will discuss his experience working with time-lapse nature photography and the inherent spirituality revealed through nature, often not visible to the naked eye! Like me, Louie is “a firm believer that beauty is nature’s tool for survival.” This Sunday he will be talking about how the awe that is experienced when seeing nature can make one more present, mindful and help us connect to our inner voice.”
You can tune in online:
The 11 a.m. hour will be live-streaming WORLDWIDE and everyone can watch at 11 a.m. ET/PT on http://Oprah.com/supersoulsunday or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.
Whilst most of Louie’s films are rooted in the beauty of the natural world, others like Gratitude reveal the beauty of the human experience. This wonderfully moving and inspirational short reminds us why “each day in our lives is a precious gift, and that experiencing the world through gratitude can open our hearts”. Check out the preview and if you like it and want to you can follow Louie LIVE on Twitter @LouieFilms and get a free HD download of the famous short film, Gratitude.
Preview. (Duration 6:09) – Digital Download
Aloha Lovely Readers! Here is little upcountry Maui magic to engage and enliven your senses and start your week off beautifully. <3<3 Sabrina
Hello Lovely Readers,
In between being a busy mother, daughter, and partner, I’ve been having fun making a series of Engaging the Senses Collages to illustrate the book. Each of our senses has an internal and an external quality. So our sense of sight isn’t just about seeing the Beauty that is all around us it is also about self inquiry, in-sight and seeing the Beauty within! I am looking forward to “seeing” you here again soon. In the meantime here is a some soul food for your senses! Love, *Sabrina*
Whew…life hasn’t been easy around here in the longest time- especially sleep wise! My senses are sensitive-always have been-so this means no ambient light from laptops, charging stations, etc. Darkness is as necessary to our health as light. So even though I am a sunshine girl by nature, I was very grateful for the last few rainy grey mornings that allowed for some desperately needed sleep ins.
I’d forgotten what enough sleep even felt like. Delicious, decadent, necessary. Getting enough sleep affects the way we see ourselves and engage with the world around us. Seeing the Beauty that is all around us and within us is much easier when we have had enough of it.According to Proust, the real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
I love that quote! it is a big part of the inspiration for Engaging The Senses- the chapter on Sight begins with it- as well as the exercise below which can be done lying down or sitting up at your desk. Done regularly it is easy way to help maintain good eye health. Best of all it is a simple, relaxing way to nourish your senses inside and out. Try it now, at the end of the day or anytime your eyes feel tired or strained.
Let’s get started…..
- To begin rub your hands together for a count of ten making sure both your palms and finger are touching while imagining the warmth you’re creating and feeling between your hands is healing and restorative.
- Close your eyes and breath in deeply through your nose open your hands and immediately place your palms one over each eye socket forming a seal of warmth. Your pinkies should overlap. Keep your arm, neck and shoulder muscles relaxed. Now tell your eye muscles that it ok to relax completely. Feel this happening- sides of eye, under the eye, over the eyebrow relaxing deeply…Letting your eyes roll slightly upward as if you were gently gazing through the point between your eyebrow will help the muscles relax even more.
- Focus your attention of the feeling of warmth and imagine again that the healing restorative energy you just generated is bathing your eyes in cool softness as you relax your throat and focus on your breathing which should be calm and relaxed as the balm of healing, restorative energy works its magic on your hard working eyes.
- Repeat the process again and this time after you have formed the seal of warmth and healing take a moment to give thanks to your eyes for all the hard and important work they do and for all the beauty they allow you to see. eg. clouds, stars, the faces of your beloveds, flowers, sunsets, etc.
- Repeat the process one more time and then slowly open your eyes keeping your gaze soft. Relax the muscles of your belly,take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth before going on to your next activity.
When you focus with soul eyes, you will see home in many, many places. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Confession: I’ve kept a ‘notebook’ or ‘journal’ all of my adult life. All different kinds from classic black hard back artists sketch style to marbled black and white composition books like the kind I had in kindergarten. Plain and collaged with my own personal vision boards. Knowing all this I imagine you won’t be surprised to learn I love to read about the lives of great writers and poets. One of my dreams is to take a writers walking tour of London and Paris.. Or NYC! So many amazing writers and poets live have have lived, worked, played fought, loved and created in these places. Safe to say that such dreams are within reach. That first miracle I needed happened when I was home on Maui recently to see the amazing Dr.Joel Friedman, ‘shaman’ and author of Dear Isaac. On my way out the door, I grabbed a few more of my favorite books off the shelf including poet Mary Oliver’s Thirst, and Billy Collins “Questions About Angels“.
A few days later I opened my WordPress reader to learn that “Billy Collins, a former United States poet laureate who manages to send books onto the best-seller list, can now claim another feather in his cap: the sale of his archive to the UT at Austin, where his papers will sit beside the collections of such greats as E. E. Cummings and T. S. Eliot. They include dozens of notebooks containing observations, notes, doodles, clippings and extensive drafts of poems, published and unpublished. There is also wide correspondence, audio and video recordings, and childhood writings and diaries. Mr. Collins, 72, said by email that he had decided to sell his papers when he “started making a mental pile” and realized just how much material there was, including more than a few jottings on cocktail napkins, envelopes and other scraps. “I remember one occasion when the lines of a poem occurred to me while I was walking around the city with no pen and nothing to write on,” he said. “So I ducked into a bank and started writing the poem, standing up, on the backs of deposit slips. I used the bank pen that was attached to a desk with a chain, all of which made for a rather short poem. I tried to look very serious as if I were making a monster deposit.” Speaking of poetry and angels, I wanted to update you on The Sound and the Fury and let you in on a little secret that the rest of the world won’t hear about until the official press release next week at the Berlin Film Festival. The need EU distribution deal is in place and the film is going to premier at Cannes on May 2014 with James playing Benji and Seth Rogan playing against type as the sheriff! Talk about a feast for the senses. I’ve been invited to attend and if I can pull it off I intend to savor every French moment, and to post a special “engaging the senses” Cannes edition. To paraphrase Holden Caulfield, one of the all time great literary characters, “What really knocks me out is a movie that, when you’re all done watching it, you wish the director that made it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” This is how I am starting to feel about oscar nominated actor- director- writer of The Sound and the Fury, James Franco (Milk, 127 Hours, Homefront). It seems to me that James is redefining what it means to be an actor and a ‘hollywood star’ and in doing so has taken on the unlikely role of literary guardian angel. He’s already made two great American novels into films and played one of America’s great cultural figures, ‘Beat’ poet, Allen Ginsberg in “Howl”, and now he’s turned the iconic, outsider, writer and poet Charles ‘hank’ Bukowski’s “Ham on Rye” (one of Franco’s favorite books of all time) into a film staring Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln, O Brother Where Art Thou?) and Alex Kingston (Like Crazy, ER) amongst others! Engagingly yours! Sabrina xXxoOo p.s. Billy’s new CD has been released. The live recording was part of a benefit for WNYC public radio and includes and improptu introduction by Bill Murray. You can purchase the CD here.Billy’s new book – The Trouble with Poetry is in bookstores.
“it’s not that ‘literary” fiction’, and their cousin ‘literary film’ can’t be an escape, a highly enjoyable one, it is that they offer so much more than that because the story doesn’t depend on a formula. They are organic and sometimes messy like life. These stories are soul food for the senses because they engage our sense of empathy and imagination. They speak on many levels and deal with the stuff of real life. They help us know ourselves and to understand others…!”
Hello again lovelies,
I hope your new year is off to an engaging start. I just finished reading a wonderful book that further imagined the life of legendary writer, Ernest Hemingway, so when I got the news that funding to bring another great American writer’s work to the screen had finally come together, I breathed a sigh of relief and excitement and wanted to share the news with all of you!
Movie making is a ‘team sport’ however hats off go to James Franco said producer, Ron Singer, of Thats Hollywood Pictures and tv for pulling off the almost impossible! These lovers of literature have come together to bring one of 20th century America’s most important novels “The Sound and the Fury” to the big screen. Nobel Prize winning writer William Faulkner’s epic tale of all the things listed in this post’s title and more.
James has talked fondly about reading Faulkner as a boy, and why he still likes and teaches his work. So it is a beautiful homage to the great writer and screenwriter – Faulkner, adapted the work of two master story tellers into successful film scripts – Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and Raymond Chandler’s detective novel “The Big Sleep” -that James decided to adapt the novel and co-wrote the script with his friend, Matt Rager. While security on stills is tight, the candids below taken on set last week show James dressed down and getting into character as well as wearing his director’s hat.
Word is Franco intends to use the finished movie in the film classes he teaches at universities both in LA and NYC. This isn’t the first time James has put his time, money and talent towards adapting Faulkner’s fiction for film. “As I Lay Dying” premiered at Cannes this year and judging by reviews he pulled it off with “aplomb” so “The Sound and the Fury” is likely to be even better than its predecessor. The way the second time mother or father is often a better parent.
There are some that wonder if James, who likes to burn the candle at both ends, is over extended and whether this will affect the projects he is committed to? The guy is only human after all. Asked about this, and the difficulties around funding and distribution, Singer clearly said, “he wouldn’t want James to be any other way.” And with recent studies on the merits of literary fiction finding it, “good medicine” for an often apathetic society, I say, “way to go James for using your considerable influence to bring quality literature and film into the consciousness of the millennials and popular culture at large.”
A former student of Franco’s called him “one of the best, best, best film teachers I have had.” and said “He is so great..it’s easy to forget he is famous he is so humble and talks to you as a peer.” At his recent Comedy Central Roast, James was called a lot of things, but humble wasn’t one of them. That is probably because it takes a big healthy ego,imagination and determination, to translate Faulkner’s epic tale of obsession, suicide, virginity, alcoholism, deception and promiscuity, not necessarily in that order amongst the aristocratic, once prominent, Compson family in post civil war America.
The novel has been called un-filmable by some due to its stream of consciousness style and non-linear story line. So it is especially brave of Franco to fight not only to bring the story to the screen, but to insist on artist integrity in the filming. This remake, unlike the recent, Gatsby, isn’t full of music video inspired cuts and will not be shown in 3D. (I love and admire the creative team of Baz Lurhman and Catherine Martin -so no offense meant!) I wonder if “The Sound and the Fury will be ripe with the longer luscious camera pans and dreamy sequences, that worked so well in “As I Lay Dying”?
“Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder” William Faulkner
Anyway, they don’t call it show BUSINESS for nothing. Funnily enough, the European market would rather have our fast action dreck than an art house adaptation of one of America’s classic novels Even if the movie is being made by the gorgeous, idiosyncratic actor/director, playwright, James Franco and includes hot Hollywood actor/director/producer, Seth Rogan. This did not make the producer’s job easy. No, no, not easy at all. Singer, a collector of literary first editions,and a long time friend, has had to act like a magician on this one. First and foremost to raise the money needed to make the movie. And secondly, to cut a distribution deal that will make this film available, and accessible, while remaining true to the artist’s visions and legacy. I can’t wait to attend the premier!
Happy New Year Lovely Reader!
How fortuitous that this year begins with a new moon in the sign of Capricorn. According to spiritual astrologer, Jan Spiller, “on this day wishes concerning the following categories that are related to that sign are especially potent: ambition, goal orientation, sensible approaches, success, accepting responsibility, authority, taking charge. Now, we can focus on practical and attainable long-term goals, work on developing maturity and common sense, prepare for the future, make commitments and recognize responsibilities, and nurture our dreams in a realistic manner.
Here are some Sample wishes from Jan’s WordPress blog:
I want to easily find myself successfully taking charge in every area of my life
I want to easily find myself managing ambition in a way that is in my overall best interests
I want to consciously and consistently experience a quiet sense of my own authority in every area of life
I want to easily find myself accepting responsibility in the situation of ________ in a way that empowers me to win
I want clarity concerning ________ so that I can make sensible decisions that lead to security in my life
I want to easily reach my goal of ________ by breaking it down into smaller goals and accomplishing them one step at a time.
Whatever your resolutions and wishes for the year ahead may be, do take time today to write them down or even to collage them, and then tonight just after sunset, look over your list and let the power of the new moon infuse your intentions with extra energy. In the spirit of this new year and new beginning, I wanted to share Diana Nyad’s powerful, funny and just plain awe inspiring, TED Talk, with you.
For a late bloomer, such as myself, it is particularly potent reminder to “never give up”, and that it is only too late if you think it is. So to all you dreamers and seekers out there, let 2014 be the year you decide to harness the immense power and intelligence of your senses, and use them as portals to appreciation and connection!
Let this be the year you mindfully stop and smell the roses, both symbolically and literally. Let this be the year you hear and follow your heart’s whispers and deepest desires. Let this be the year you truly taste all of life’s sweetness. Even in the midst of great sadness or struggle these things are still available to us! We always have the power to choose the light and to mindfully engage our senses. To let the power of Beauty in all its ordinary and extra-ordinary forms transform us and re-connect us to our the Beauty that is our True Nature. So dear ones, my wish for you is the same as my wish for myself- May we walk in beauty as easily and naturally as the sun shines and the birds sing, and may the road rise up to meet us with every step we take!
Happy Solstice Everyone from my Heart to Yours…
“The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach.”
Aloha Lovely Readers,
I am so excited to tell you that I am soon to be the owner of this spiffy new scooter!
Every season offers its own special treats for engaging the senses. I’ve always loved Autumn with its golden orange leaves just perfect for crunching. So it probably won’t surprise you to know that for weeks now I have been longing to “take a walk” in gorgeous Kapiolani park (check out the slide show above),and bask in the beauty of the cooler days of Autumn. The park (which is close to the zoo and the aquarium) is lined with festive pink and yellow Shower trees and stately Banyons, and is a feast for the senses as well as the soul. I love the views up to Diamond Head on one side and glimpses of tropical blue Pacific Ocean on the other. Even though I live ‘a stones throw’ away from this semi-urban oasis,I am not yet able to walk there and still have enough leg power left to actually take a walk in the park.:( And parking, especially around sunset, can be a problem. So who’s a temporarily disabled girl like me gonna call? Why developer/designer Peter Treadway and Acton M Scooter to the rescue of course.
Unlike a regular bike, which I can’t ride yet, “the Acton M scooter can handle grass, dirt and pavement, and “is compact enough and maneuverable enough at low speeds that you could drive it through a crowd of people without causing all kinds of chaos.” According to reviewer Jason Torchinsky on Jalopnik.com, one could drive it into a building, and right onto an elevator. It gets even better because the scooter, which has a retractable seat, folds up into the size of a medium suitcase, and can be placed under a desk or in a car trunk. So if you live in a large, dense city, it could function as your daily commuting vehicle, possibly used in conjunction with public transport. It could also make sense on college campuses or any number of large-area places. Needless to say, I can’t wait to give it a try and to let you know how it goes! Freedom here I come.
Big Hugs and happy post Thanksgiving,
ps. A great big thank you to the visionaries at Kickstarter, and all of you who believed in Acton M, for making projects like this not just possible, but probable and hopefully profitable!
This poem sings out to be heard, even if only whispered to yourself…Happy Thanksgiving! XXOO
A List of Praises
by Anne Porter
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing, Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches, Mad with the joy of the Sabbath, Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun, Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes, A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry living wild on the Streets through generations of children. Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning, Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh Of the wind in the pinewoods, At night give praise with starry silences. Give praise with the skirling of seagulls And the rattle and flap of sails And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor. Give praise with the humpback whales, Huge in the ocean they sing to one another. Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas, Give praise with hum of bees, Give praise with the little peepers who live near water. When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries We know that the winter is over. Give praise with mockingbirds, day's nightingales. Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle And glossy tulip trees On quiet side streets in southern towns. Give praise with the rippling speech Of the eider-duck and her ducklings As they paddle their way downstream In the red-gold morning On Restiguche, their cold river, Salmon river, Wilderness river. Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow. Far, far from the cities, Far even from the towns, With piercing innocence He sings in the spruce-tree tops, Always four notes And four notes only. Give praise with water, With storms of rain and thunder And the small rains that sparkle as they dry, And the faint floating ocean roar That fills the seaside villages, And the clear brooks that travel down the mountains And with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood, And with the angels in that other country.
Our sense of smell is considered by some to be our most primal sense. It corresponds with our root chakra (at the base of the spine), Cedarwood, Myrrh, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Frankincense essential oils, and the color red. Numerous studies have demonstrated its power -both negative and positive on every thing from our moods to the selection and rejection of suitable mates, to the identification of our newborn babies. It’s good a thing to know we can identify the exact scent of our baby should count we or the hospital lose track of them.
Seriously though, a recent study showed that “immediately postpartum, odor-based cues direct the newborn babies orienting decisions in the environment afforded by the mother’s body.” This process is reciprocial and bidirectional. Eg. Human adult caretakers experience heightened bonding in response to infant sensory cues as well as to infant-elicited behavior. This in turn releases nurturing attitudes and responses, and the correlative neural and neuroendocrine cascades, mainly within the dopaminergic reward system. This is neural pathway associated with addiction, and with the good feelings that are activated by engaging in reward-inducing behavior.
Under normal conditions, the circuit controls an individual’s responses to natural rewards, such as food, sex, and social interactions, and is therefore an important determinant of motivation and incentive drive. In simpler terms, activation of the pathway tells the individual to repeat what it just did to get that reward. It also tells the memory centers in the brain to pay particular attention to all features of that rewarding experience, so it can be repeated in the future. Not surprisingly, it is a very old pathway from an evolutionary point of view. The use of dopamine neurons to mediate behavioral responses to natural rewards is seen in worms and flies, which evolved 1-2 billion years ago.
“So the reaction to a newborn’s scent may be a hard-wired bonding mechanism between mothers and infants—a biochemical reward for mom in the midst of all her hard work”, according to Erika Beras, and an Oct 21st 2013, podcast from Scientific American.
The example above is one of the more altruistic examples of how our sense of smell impacts our behaviour. A less pure motive is probably behind the use of scent by retailers, and real estate agents -think wafting scent of home-baked chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies- who are hoping to use scents to induce us to buy things. With this in mind, the upcoming release of the Scentee accessory for smartphones shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The plug-in accessory attaches to headphone socket on both iPhones and Android smartphones and, when told to by the companion app, releases a burst of fragrance, paired with a customizable LED light.The current model delivers 100 bursts per capsule, and additional ones can be bought for $5 / 500 yen a piece, online.The available scents and aromas include rose, mint, cinnamon roll, coffee, curry, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lavender, apple, coconut, strawberry and strangely enough, corn soup. But that’s not all. A special limited edition range of scents called the Korean BBQ collection will be available on November 15 and includes three extra ‘flavors’: two different type of meat and, well, baked potato.
According to Endagadget.com, scent release can be added to social networks, SMS, games and alarms, and developers are also working to tie-in location-based release. Hardware development, meanwhile, is aimed at further miniaturization and (if possible) the ability to embed multiple scents into a single accessory. Anyone for some lavender, rose, mint? I’d take that over corn soup any day.
I’ll be talking about a simple engaging practice for balancing your root chakra and for engaging your senses of smell in an upcoming post. Until then keep on smelling the roses and the baked potatoes. We like ours stuffed with broccoli and parmesan cheese. Yum!
Sabrina <3 <3 <3
- Aromatherapy: Brief List of Scents to Manipulate Basic Emotions (undergroundhealth.com)
- Calming Scents (apecewamogo.wordpress.com)