Mindful Moments.

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Have you ever been kissed by the sun

and felt the sweat on your skin

as you reached down into the earth

to see new plant life begin?

 

Have you felt sweet rain on your face

as your eyes looked up into heaven,

and closed them to savor the memory

like you did when you were eleven ?  

        

Have you ever seen honeysuckle vines

filled with flowers and heavenly smells,

touched the soft petals of a rose, 

or walked through a field of blue bells?

 

Have you ever built a camp-fire 

at night under a starry sky,

gazed into the heart of the flames,

and felt that God was nigh?

 

Have you ever cradled a child

close to your heart and knew,

they would be loved forever

and cherished deeply by you?

 

These are the moments we seek 

when we need to replenish the soul.

Such mindful moments enrich our lives,

and help us again become whole.

  Yu/stan/kema

 

 

 

 

In Hard Times, We Must Persevere.

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As a child, I lived through a lot of adversity. I was born prematurely and had to fight to survive. I spent my first months in a hospital with few resources  to deal with premature infants. I went home later with my parents who were hard core alcoholics. My mother also had depression and spent a lot of time in bed. My siblings and I learned early how to find food on trees and bushes to eat. We even ate grass and flowers when we were hungry enough. In the winter, we ate nuts we cracked open with rocks, and we went down the alleys foraging through trash barrels to find empty beer bottles and pop bottles. We would haul them to the beer joint and grocery store in a little red wagon for refunds. We used the money to buy food. Four of us slept in a double bed at night.

There was domestic violence in our household. When I was ten, three of us were placed in a Children’s Home. By the time I was nineteen, I had moved 17 times. Eventually I went to college and worked hard to earn two degrees. I learned to survive by enduring and using resources I could find. I became a teacher and a social worker for 30 + years. I married, had a child, and wrote in my spare time. I learned to survive by having persistence. I learned to live by having hope in the future, faith in people and God, and love from others along the way.

I am an old woman now with a severe illness and have to have treatment every two weeks at an infusion center. The Social Security and Medicare payments that were taken out of every pay check I made while I worked were to be there when I retired. I had a 401 k but the recession in 2008-9, took some of it. I believed in the US Government that took my money from my pay checks. I believed they would honor the contract we had.

But Congress decided to change the law and allow them to raid the Social Security Fund for their own interests and they have year after year, leaving worthless IOU’s behind they never intended to pay back. The old are being threatened over and over that their money may be cut or Social Security may be eliminated. They are told their Medicare will be gutted so the rich can have more tax cuts. Notice that their benefits are not on the chopping block (Congress).

We are now facing financial and health problems that will affect us all. We will have to be strong. We will have to endure the months ahead with Wall Street being unstable and the new virus spreading. Maltbie Davenport Babcock said it best when he wrote this poem, “Be Strong.”          Yu/stan/kema

 

Be strong!

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;

We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;

Shun not the struggle–face it; ’tis God’s gift.

Be strong!

Say not,” The days are evil. Who’s to blame”

And fold the hands and acquiesce–oh shame!

Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name.

Be strong!

It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,

How hard the battle goes, the day how long;

Faint not–fight on! To-morrow comes the song.

MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK

The Bird Who Could Not Sing.

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There once was a bird

who had no song.

He would try to sing,

but it felt all wrong.

His heart was broken.

His mother had died.

He felt so lost and

empty inside.

 

Photo-Found on Pinterest. Quote: Kahlil Gibran. Every Day Spirit.

 

He thought he would

never sing a tune.

So he tried his best

to bay at the moon.

But it felt all wrong,

and he fell asleep.

When the morning came,

he could only weep.

 

He refused to sit

in his nest all day.

So he chirped with birds

along the way.

They introduced him

to friends.

He finally felt that

he could mend.

 

On one of his flights,

He met a brown bird,

and he fell in love

with just a word.

They built a nest

and lined it with care.

Soon, little birds  

chirped everywhere.

 

The bird who thought

he could not sing,

lifted his feathers

and took wing.

He sang, ” Cheer,cheer, “

with such great love,

That God sent him praise

from the heavens above.

-Yu/stan/kema-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sing A Song From The Heart.

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When your heart is feeling anxious

Found on Facebook Timeline on 7-24-17. Country and Farm Photography. Taken by Carolyn Anderson.

And the world is spinning round,

When your legs keep on shaking

And your lips can’t make a sound,

 

Stop, whatever you are doing,

Sing a little song of joy.

Give thanks to God, The Father,

For the blessings of your boy.

 

When you feel like evil’s winning

And there’s nothing you can do,

Sing a song for the warrior

Who lives inside of you.

 

When you see that souls are hurting                         

And there’s nothing left to say,

Raise your voice and sing of comfort.

Hold them close for just a day.

 

Sing of beauty all around you:

How God paints the bluest sky

With the colors of the rainbow

When night is drawing nigh.

 

Sing a song of joy and laughter.

Sing of blessings from above

And spiritual connections

That reflect God’s greatest love.

-Yu/stan/kema-

 

 

 

 

 

I Grieve For What I Have Lost.

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I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in a country I was proud of, the United States of America. I said the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school. We learned to say all the names of the presidents in the order they served in America, the country in which I was born. We sang the names in a song,  and every time I sang the song, I was proud of them, the men who represented our Nation. They were about service, a deep commitment to our laws, a respect for the Constitution of the United States of America.

They weren’t perfect men but they were men who put their Country first, above their own selfish interests and party. They were dedicated to making the United States a place of opportunity, freedom, respect for others, helping those who needed a helping hand. They believed that in serving the American People, facts were important, truth was necessary, and what was right must prevail. They believed a man’s word was his bond, that honor was important, and most of all, they believed one should never betray the Trust of the American People.

These men knew that the right to vote was sacred and no one should lie, cheat, or steal, manipulate the votes in an American election. Falsehoods had no place in the Government. They trusted that the three main branches of the United States Government would see that the people’s voices were heard and their needs would be addressed. That those three branches would work together as intended to find solutions for all the people. They believed the United States Government would serve the American people with integrity, compassion, and respect. They also believed in protecting the American People from harm. These men could be trusted to do the right thing. I was proud of my country back then, proud of the men in congress, proud of the Presidents as the years went by.

In the year 2016, changes occurred in the United States. The Nation started to slide down hill and the years that followed were filled with laws being broken, elections manipulated, other countries interfering with American elections, and candidates for office being slandered by political parties who could no longer be civil with one another. Corruption was present in the highest offices of our Government.

The American People were being lied to, and others were being discriminated against on a daily basis. Fear was used to confuse and distract voters and keep political party members in line to please the leader. The American Press was being attacked relentlessly in order to discourage them from sharing honest information. The more immediate issues of gun violence, climate change problems, and rolled back safety regulations that prevented pollution were being  set aside so the political party in power could raise more money for their campaigns, increase their political power, and  win regardless of the cost to  the people they were sworn to protect and be accountable to.

Such changes have been hard for me to see and  live through. My moral values are being challenged constantly and the need to act becomes more pressing, for I want to live in a democracy and have freedom and justice for all. I want to feel safe in America and I want others to feel safe too. I grieve for what I once knew and for what my children may never have unless brave men of honor, compassion, and integrity come forward to work together to change our world into a better place.

Yu/stan/kema.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just Take A Little Time.”

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All it takes is a little bit of kindness

spread through out the world,

and a little bit of patriotism

when you see the flag unfurled.

 

Found on Pinterest on 2-9-16. helping hands. Dalai Lama.

All it takes is a little respect

toward every one you meet,

and a word of encouragement

to those who have known defeat.

 

All it takes is an act of compassion            

when you see a wounded heart, 

and some time to create a bond                 

right from the very start.

 

All it takes is being positive

when the world knocks you down,

and the courage to get up

from the hard, cold ground.

 

All it takes is each of us reaching

a hand to those in need

to make this world a better place

where all of us can succeed.

 

For by taking the time to respect each other

and wanting the best for all,

we will come together to make a world

without building a wall.

Yu/stan/kema.

 

“The Consequences Of Ants Without Rules,” written by Yu/stan/kema.

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A colony of ants

lived in a city of sorts.

They lived by group rules

and worked with cohorts.

 

They accomplished a lot

when they worked with each other

to achieve the same goals

in all kinds of weather.

 

One had to admire how                               

Found on Pinterest on 4-7-17. Akhyar Maha on Five hundredpx.

much the ants  gave

to bring home enough food,

so some they could save.

 

The ants used a routine

to get what they needed

so all could survive

without being cheated.

 

But some were unhappy,

and a few wanted more

of the good things in life

that were kept in a store.

 

They disobeyed rules

and gave up on routines.

They took what they wanted

and caused a big scene.

 

When it came to each other,

they chose not to share

with the whole group of ants

when their cupboards were bare.

 

They kept to themselves

and ate all that they had.

They lost group respect

and slowly went mad.

 

For what was important

in living their lives

” was to care about others

and live without strife.”

Yu/stan/kema.

“The Choices We Make In Voting.”

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As a nation of people, we come together to choose how we want to live, and how we will act toward others. We are given the right to vote as citizens, as individuals, to cast a ballot, and those who actually vote will determine how we govern, what values our Country will ascribe to, what laws we follow, and how we treat others in our Country, and the other countries in the world.

Each vote is important.  It is fortunate that we live in a democracy. It is up to the voters to insist we have fair elections, that people follow the rules of voting, and respect the rights of other citizens to vote. Those who refuse to do so must be held accountable in order for a democracy to work. Bullying voters, stealing elections, manipulating the voting system always threatens a democracy. Such behavior cannot be tolerated. It breaks the trust of the American people. It often ends in an abuse of power.

Each time we vote, we must ask ourselves the hard questions in order to make wise decisions. We need to evaluate whether or not the people we elect are working in the best interest of the American people. Are they seeking to meet the needs of all Americans or are they being bought to put party before the needs of all Americans? Tough questions must be answered and we need to vote accordingly.

Are the people we voted for safeguarding the trust of older Americans who for years had money taken out of their paychecks to pay for retirement and who were told the money was put in a trust fund they could draw upon in their old age, and live their last years with dignity and be independent? Are they upholding  their contract with the old, or are they taking money away from the old to pay for their own political interests? No matter what law they manipulated into taking the money that did not belong to them, congress needs to honor the contract. To refuse to do so is stealing, fraud, and abusive. Voters must vote accordingly and hold them accountable.

Are the people we voted for taking care of the needs of the disabled? Are they removing the obstacles that keep the disabled from receiving their benefits so they can survive? Are the people we voted for abusing and neglecting the most vulnerable in our Country in order to give tax cuts to the rich? If so, we must hold them accountable for neglecting the disabled, the sick, the dying, the poor, and the children who are hungry.

As a Nation, are we making sure the people we vote for are not creating suffering for the American people, but are trying to prevent and relieve suffering for those who need help? Do we believe in justice, freedom, compassion, and kindness for others? What kind of world do we want to live in and leave for our children? We have choices in whether we vote or not. We have choices in who we pick to rule over us. Choose wisely the people you vote for. We determine the kind of Country we live in.

Yu/stan/kema.

 

 

” The Difficult Truths Found In The Midst Of Reality.”

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We now live in a world where things are changing with every breath we take. We are bombarded on all sides with thoughts, emotions, and the behaviors of others and ourselves. The media exposes us to events occurring halfway around the world. Pressures are exerted upon us to influence us or control us.

Even in the middle of all the chaos and the changes, we have the capacity to make choices. Whether we do or not is up to each one of us as an individual, a human being. We can choose to do nothing, ignore what is happening around us, or absolve ourselves from all responsibility by telling ourselves it really doesn’t matter because it is not a problem for us. In doing so, we allow what is happening around us  to happen by not acting, by doing nothing.

We can choose to take action, to respond with morals, integrity,  and compassion. We can  accept responsibility for our role in making the world a better place for others and ourselves. We can decide to do what is right, what is kind, to accept others, to help those who are in need, and to become more aware that each of us is part of the earth and every living thing, and acknowledge that we need each other to survive and thrive. We can chose to respect one another, give to one another, and strive for peace.

We can also choose to do what is selfish and what benefits us. We can decide to let evil triumph over good, to do harm to others or allow others to do harm. We can choose to disregard all the rules of law, and decency. We can encourage others to disrespect those who are different from us, gain control over people who disagree with us, and make life miserable for those who annoy us or who refuse to conform to our way of thinking. We can choose war, create chaos, and encourage division in our Country.

No matter what we decide to do or not do, we still have the capacity to make choices. The difficult truth is: we also carry responsibility for the choices we make and the consequences that follow from those choices.

Yu/stan/kema.

Learning To Regulate Feelings.

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Fear gallops across the landscape of my mind.

Uncontrolled stress hits me from behind.

My heart races and beats like a drum.

Thoughts disappear and feelings become numb.

Muscles grow tight holding it all in.

I become convinced there’s no way to win.

 

I cut off my thoughts and say they don’t exist.

I let fear control me and watch myself twist.

I cry out in shame and lose all my pride.

I hold fear within and find a place to hide.

Still, I can find courage living in me

And commit to a process to set us all free.

 

I will act on a commitment to trust others more.

I will reach out my hand and seek to restore

The Self that I lost in the long ago

When my heart was crushed with a terrible blow.

I will learn to breathe deep and let muscles relax

While I connect with my parts and remove my mask.

-Yu/stan/kema-