Saturday, July 19, 2014

Soul Searching

I wanted to write a bit on the soul. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the soul and what happens to our soul after we die. Different faiths have differing perspectives on this, but many of these various perspectives seem to jive with one another (to a degree).

Yesterday I was jogging and just as I felt I could not push further, I crossed a threshold and felt a rush! With that rush came greater clarity. As I had been thinking a lot about the existence of souls and contemplating a few differing views, that clarity came about while I thought on souls and soul mates.

What is a soul mate? I think that our souls recognize other souls with which they have had meaningful, significant contact with. I believe that soul mates have varying degrees, and that sometimes our best friends are soul mates. For example, I have a friend, Todd, with whom I have had a lasting and meaningful friendship for the past 24 years. As soon as I met him I KNEW him. I developed one hell of a crush on him, and, looking back, I see that the feelings were mutual. However I was convinced otherwise by someone I thought was well-meaning at the time. Anyway, long story short, he and I are still friends and whenever I see him again it is as if no time has passed. He is one individual with whom I believe I share a deeper, more "soul mate" kind of connection. Not romantic. I used to believe that soul mates were only romantic, and my point here is that I think I have seen more deeply into the idea of soul mates and now realize the levels which exist.

My brother, Roger, I think is one of my oldest friends (outside of this lifetime). I think my soul is older than his, but I have always had a closeness with my brother that I attribute now to us having known each other outside of this existence. I believe that when we meet people with whom we are immediately comfortable that these are soul connections. Our souls recognize a past relationship (friend, sibling, lover, parent... whatever) and the communication we find between ourselves is easier and more natural than what we might have found in another.

Recently I picked out a few random novels and of the three I chose, two wound up dealing with the concept of souls and soul transfer. I think that is odd and kind of cool. Nothing that I am writing here is from either of those books, but reading the books caused me to think about these ideas. I am in no way saying that my views are whole and inspired, but I think I am getting there. I have always been intuitive (though I can be stubborn and fail to listen to my own intuition) and perhaps my ideas on the soul and soul mates, while not thoroughly journaled here, are a bit along the intuitive.

A Long Time Ago in a State Far, Far Away....

... I started a blog. Since my move to California I have pretty much abandoned the old blog but I think I might want to start it up again. I say "might" only as an escape clause. While I do enjoy writing I do not always enjoy writing with an audience.

Life is wonderful and crazy and, on occasion, not too great. Mainly I try to focus on the positive, but since I am a human I can fall short of that mark from time to time. Today, for example, I was a bit more focused on the whole "feeling sorry for myself" outlook which I employ with less frequency than some, but with greater frequency than is altogether healthy. Damn that human nature that I possess!

I have been on a kick to get myself back into the shape I once was, so many years ago. Before teaching. Before a failed marriage and the birth of a child played tug-o-war with my metabolism and self-control. Before 40 showed up. It is a lot harder to lose weight and gain muscle as a 41-year-old woman than it was to do the same thing even five years ago. My advice to chubby or out of shape women in their 30s? Do not wait. Start today and develop good habits as soon as possible! So... back to that kick. I have dropped 18 pounds since the beginning of May. I feel pretty good about that! I wish I could say that I have dropped more weight than the 18 pounds, but that is negative thinking and that is contrary to my attempt at a positive outlook. AND my clothes are a lot looser. I actually had to throw my shorts (previously too snug, only last month!) in the drier and now they fit a little loose and look a lot better.

Overall, the move to Cali was long overdue and has been a great shift in my life. Gabe loves living here. We both love the beach being 20+ miles away. I am a huge fan of the East Bay and will eventually (I hope) make the move to the Oakland area, but for now we are here. Rent is increasing in a few months by a disgusting $400, which has caused me to start searching, but I cannot afford a place in the areas of Oakland in which I would want to find myself raising Gabe. I guess I am going to have to get some more credits taken care of in a hurry so that I can move laterally along the old pay scale and remain financially independent. It is okay as I have always been a pretty determined gal, and this is nothing but another minor bump in the trail.

Well, folks. That is my update. I will post more thoughtful stuff here in a bit, but I just wanted to get on here and take care of the minimal post.

Au revoir!

Monday, June 6, 2011

California Dreaming

Well, for those out there who do not know already, I am in San Jose! I am actually on summer break, and enjoying my time with my son and mom. Feeling a lot more creative since my move, and a great deal more vibrant.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Well, I had a phone interview tonight with a school in San Jose. I would have preferred a face-to-face interview, but, that said, I think it went well. How well I do not yet know. Perhaps I will be calling San Jose home by January, but perhaps I will still reside here in the Mid South. Either way I still feel like the interview was positive and a good experience. And San Jose is so near my brother and his family, not to mention super close to Half Moon Bay (!!!!!!), and in a hilly area that is green and pretty... all very enticing for me.

But I don't want to get all excited about this. If I am offered the job I promise that I will post an exceptionally-detailed blog-post and include pictures and everything. But if I don't, well.... I will just "comment" and leave it at that.

Wish me luck!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Europe with Teenagers

Last summer I took a small group of teens and adults to Paris, France for six days. It was fun. This summer I took a group of thirteen teens and three adults (four, if you count me) to Italy and Spain for ten days. It was amazing!

I am a teacher, for those who don't know that. I teach at the junior high level (though I would love to secure a high school position); my content area is Art. I have my BFA in sculpture/ceramics/jewelry-metals and a BS in Art Education. But that doesn't really explain my love of art and kids. I really love both, and teaching just came naturally to me. So, now along with my regular responsibilitues as an art teacher at the local junior high school, I lead international trips with a co-worker of mine. It has been an incredible experience thus far, and I think we have started something that is truly amazing for the kids in our district.

We returned to the Memphis area on July 20th after traveling to Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid. Neither the other teacher nor I speak any Italian at all, and my Spanish is more comprehension than anything else (I can understand some, but not too much). While traveling with students to a country where one cannot communicate very well may sound unappealing to many, Crystal and I seem to thrive! Of course, we travel with EF Tours, so we have a Tour Director with us much of the time, but not all of the time.

The kids who have traveled with us have almost without exception matured on the trips. This summer we had a terrific group, and I think that everyone really loved the experience and grew a lot from it. We visited some of the oldest structures on land, and walked the streets where many historic figures traveled before us. It was like walking through history, and it was truly fantastic.

Of course, we also did some serious shopping and spent time at the beach, so there was a very nice balance for everyone! I have posted many photos on Facebook, for those who are my friends there, but I will also post many of my more than 5600 photos on a Picasa album soon. Once I do that I will link to it. For now I will add a few images for you to see some of the amazing places we visited.

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. I really love Antoni Gaudi, so this was perhaps the best day of the trip for me!

Coming into Barcelona on the ferry from Rome.

Two of the girls on an overlook in Castel Gandolfo.

Leaving the hotel in Rome. It was a really cool place.

In Zaragoza, Spain

Two of our kids with a fellow traveler in Park Guell

Me in Park Guell

Most of the large group we were a part of, Park Guell

Me and several of our kids in Park Guell

Two of my girls in Park Guell

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Cocks" & "Peckers"

Now, before anyone out there in the Blogosphere starts freaking out, the title of this blogpost refers to the innocence of my son, who is three and a half. Gabe refers to birds as "cocks." I am not really sure where he picked the lingo up, but it is funny, so our giggles encourage him to continue with that name.
While we were visiting family in California, my sister-in-law, Gabe, and I went out hiking in the Berkley hills (Tilden Park, for those who are familiar with the Bay Area). He saw a few birds and called out, "Look Momma! Cocks!" Yeah, we laughed. It is so cute and super funny. So, anyway, while out on this hike we heard several woodpeckers (or perhaps one who was very mobile in it's quest for food). Gabe asked, "What's that?" I replied, "A woodpecker, Gabe." From that information Gabe began calling out, "Momma! A pecker, Momma! It's a pecker!!" everytime he would hear the tap-tap-tapping of a woodpecker in the trees.
True story. And so now you understand about "cocks" and "peckers."

Crazy Colors

I don't think I will keep these colors, but I wanted a change.
So there you have it.