Discussions with Eli and Aubry

FotoSketcher - eli - aubryI may or may not have had an animal communicator talk with my two dogs…ok, yes I had an animal communicator talk with my two dogs. Was it a psychic reading? Nope, more like a telepathic conversation. Hmm…psychic reading maybe sounds cooler. Technically, telepathy is sensing the thoughts, feelings and pictures that are formulated in the mind before the words are spoken. The prefix “tele” means over a distance (ex. telephone, television) and the suffix “pathy” means feelings (ex. empathy, sympathy). So literally, “telepathy” refers to feelings over a distance. Since animals don’t verbalize, but they do have thoughts and feelings, telepathy is a great way to communicate with them directly. Why do I think my dogs are telepathic? I believe, like many others, that animals rely on their sixth sense. They can often sense disaster before it strikes. Most people who live with animals have observed their ability to sense what is going on around them. Animals can read our thoughts and feelings, and with practice we can also read their thoughts and feelings. This is what animal communicators do when they “talk” to your pets.

Anyway, I may or may not have gotten the recommendation from my psychic (go ahead, judge me…I’m officially an Angeleno now) for Marty Meyer, the animal communicator. She has a book I’d like to read called “Same Dog Twice” for animal lovers who feel a spiritual connection to their animal friends. Written in a narrative nonfiction style, it will appeal to those who want to deepen their understanding of their canine companion, or those who suspect that the communication that takes place between them and their animal is indeed real. The idea that an animal’s spirit can transcend death and return in new form is discussed at length. Yes, Marty claims to have the ability to communicate with animals, telepathically. After she had a session with my two boys, I believe she has this ability.  Why? Well, she only knew little about my dogs (age, color, location, size) and was able to give me a clear description of their personality. She had engaging conversations with both of them…and here’s how it went:

Eli, the Old Soul…

Marty: Eli’s not demanding and loves the connection he has with you.  He’s smart and sensitive (much more emotional than Aubry). He loves you very much and is much more easy going than Aubry. He does want more quiet time with you.

Before he came to live with you, he was adopted by a family with two small kids and they didn’t have time for him. He was left alone in a yard, not physically abused but not given much attention. The man in the house yelled a lot and was angry. He is much happier with me. He feels strongly that he should be with me, we are meant to be together. He has a strong memory that we lived together in a past life, he was my sheep dog. I was a sheep herder and he helped me care for all my sheep…he helped me a lot and enjoyed it very much. He wanted to let me know that he is happy now being a pet instead of a working dog. Here is how their conversation went…

What do you think of your little brother Aubry? Are you jealous? Do you like him as a playmate?

I feel Aubry is a good dog and gives me respect, but I am jealous of him, but we’re friends. We get along, I just feel he can be pushy and annoying, but I do enjoy playing more now that he’s around.

I could go either way with Aubry, I think things were just fine before he came and I never asked for or needed a companion, although now that I have one, I like a companion to play with sometimes (just not as much as Aubry wants to play). I have a positive feeling about Aubry, I don’t seriously dislike him in any way. I do feel Aubry is the “dog” and I’m like a human buddy. Aubry is the pet, not me. I want to be equal to Dad, not Aubry. The house was more human before Aubry came along – now it’s more dog – I’m more human than Aubry

FotoSketcher - Eli 2010Are you happy where you go to boarding when I travel?

I get apprehensive about going because I miss Dad a lot – but I know he’ll come back and the people there are nice to me.

Why do you hate cats so much?

When I was a puppy, cats would walk along a fence in the yard I was in and tease me. I hate cats and I always will.

Why do you pull on the leash so much?

Sorry I pull on the leash so much, I just can’t wait to get to the next place and look for new animals – going on walks to new places is my favorite thing to do.

Do you like the doggy daycare?

I am just OK with doggy daycare, but would rather be home where it’s calm.

Do you ever mind being left alone?

I get a little bummed at first, but then I don’t mind being left alone (knows it won’t last).

Is there anything that would make you happier?

I don’t like it when Dad raises his voice, its mainly at Aubry but it still upsets me. It reminds me of the man who was always angry and yelling in my first home. Give Aubry timeouts, they are what he leanrs most from, he doesn’t care if you yell at him, he thinks it’s a game.

How does your back feel?

I have some dull pain in his lower back, right side, would like it gently massaged. Its not too bad. (keep giving him glucosamine supplement)

Do you think you are in charge?

I know I’m really loved and I feel I am #1, since I’ve been here longer and have a deep connection to Dad.

Do you like your name?

Yes, I like my name and feel it’s the right one for me.

Any final thoughts?

I wanted to tell him I love him very much and knows I’m busy and have to work a lot but I know I will always be back. I’m very happy and I know how important I am to him.

Aubry…the FREE Spirit!

FotoSketcher - AubryAubry is extremely happy go lucky, a bit of an opportunist and very perceptive. Before he found you, he lived with a family (spoke a foreign language) who had no time for him and he wanted to be “more important” so he escaped from the yard. Someone left a gate open – it was a crappy yard and a crappy house – he knew something better was out there for him. He’s very happy he found a nice dad with a nice yard. He has a short attention span (puppy) – needs to be entertained a lot. He knows he has a good life – he loves to play tug – he loves getting lots of attention. Aubry is a new soul, at least new to me – he has no recollection of a past life like Eli does. He feels I spend a lot of time with him and Eli when I can – lots to entertain us – he feels very loved. He feels strongly that I’m supposed to be his dad and that this is the right place for him – the bond will continue to grow. He feels we are connected and I need to depend on him more. He loves that I give him freedom and that I let him in the house. He said that I fostered him and wasn’t sure about keeping him – but he tried to talk me into keeping him and he’s glad it worked! Here is how their conversation went…

Do you like your big brother Eli?

I like Eli and I’m happy I have a dog friend with me all the time. I wish he would play more.  I know I pester him, I just feel strongly that I must be where he is at all times! I’m not jealous of Eli and I accept the bond they (Eli and Chad) have. I really like Eli and we get lots of attention when we go out together.

What do you like the most?

I love freedom and I have lots here – I’m so excited I’m allowed in the house! I love to chew on stuff. Sorry I chew on wood, it’s a bad habit…all I had to chew on when I was a puppy teething was a wood gate and fence. It’s just a bad habit. I like boarding and doggy daycare much more than Eli –it’s so exciting and I love the chaos!  Playing with other dogs is my favorite thing. I love walks and LOVE playing with other dogs – I love to RUN free!

What’s your favorite toy?

Everything 

What do you dislike the most?

I don’t like being brushed because my hair is fine and it hurts when it gets brushed. I haven’t had a traumatic grooming experience or anything, I just hate it because it hurts (no phobia). I also don’t like all dogs, most dogs, but not all. Some dogs are bad and I know they can beat me up and I don’t like them, I steer clear of them.

Do you mind being left alone?

Yes, I mind. I don’t like it but I put up with it. I’m rarely alone anyway but I’m learning to put up with it and be more patient.

Do you think you’re in charge?

Nope, I’m not in charge yet. I’m thinking about it – still figuring things out.

Do you have any memories of a past life…maybe one with Chad, like Eli does?

Huh? No. What’s that? What are you talking about?

Do you want to sleep in the bed?

Yes, and I do when he’s not home!

Do you like your name?

Yes, now that I know what it is. I’m proud of it and I know it’s the right one for me.  

Anything you want Chad to know?

I really love him – he lets me have fun and be a dog! I would like more attention – I get bored – Eli only plays a little then he just waits around for you to get home – it’s boring sometimes.  I want him to know that I would never run away from him, he can trust me and depend on me. I feel good in my body and I’ve grown a lot since I came to live with you – I love the food, it’s really good!

My final thoughts and next steps…

I enjoyed the reading and feel I have even more insight into my dogs minds. Much of what I learned was really a confirmation of what I suspected. The fact that Marty only new the age, color of coat and location of the dogs but could nail their personalities amazes me. Think what you want skeptics!  I admit, I was surprised Eli didn’t mention tennis balls, as he seems to be obsessed. Although it was just one conversation.

I also thought Aubry’s thoughts were that of a puppy and a reading in a year or so may be much different. Eli and Aubry, about three years apart, are like putting an elementary school kid with a middle aged person and expecting them to play and have a good time all the time. They have fun together, but it’s clear Eli is on a higher plane, at this time. Although I feel I know what’s going on in their minds a bit better now, I can’t forget they are still dogs and will always enjoy dog things. Does it smell rotten? Yum! I do think their bond will continue to grow as time goes on, they will begin to depend more on each other. I plan to get them out to do things together and work as a team. Both dogs are smart and eager to learn, I need to check out Zoom Room up the street, it’s a dog agility training place…we’ll keep you posted!

SDT_BookMore about Marty Meyer, Telepathic Animal Communicator

Marty lives in Independence, California with her animal family: JJ, Oats and Barley the Dogs, Melody the Cat, and Tuna the Horse. She has a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Miami, and has 14 years of experience working as a marine biologist.

An animal lover all of her life, Marty Meyer became fascinated with animal communication in 1991. To further develop her natural ability, she attended classes and seminars by several animal communicators, as well as studying other mind enhancement techniques, including meditation, hypnotherapy and thetahealing. After years of study and practice, she began consulting professionally, and offers both private consultations and workshops. Her work has been recognized, and she has been interviewed on the television programs “Out of the Blue” and “Animal Planet”.

Marty does most of her animal communication long distance, and clients call her from all over the US. She works with all species of animals, receiving information to assist them and their human friends. Marty also offers workshops in telepathic animal communication, and greatly enjoys helping others discover how to relate to their pets on a deeper level.

 

Perfect 10

minimizing-perfectionismOhhh to be PERFECT…but what is perfection? This depends not only on the topic at hand but also to the individual deeming the perfection. Tricky, right? It can be. Being a perfectionist can have both negative and positive connotations. While helpful in a skilled trade, or sports…it can kill creativity. But alas, perfection can also help create amazing works of art. Which is it? Both. Although we have to always. Remember the phrase “nobody’s perfect”, which in many cases is true. But try to figure out who is awarding the perfection before you get all bend out of shape. Is it your boss? Your fans? Your agent? Your significant other? Yourself? What’s my point? Perfectionists (myself included) need to lighten up.

I did a bit of Google digging on the subject and thought I’d share. I was surprised by the fact that there are psychological and philosophical definitions for perfectionism, both quite different:

Perfectionism (psychology)

Perfectionism, in psychology, is a belief that a state of completeness and flawlessness can and should be attained. In its pathological form, perfectionism is a belief that work or output that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable. At such levels, this is considered an unhealthy belief, and psychologists typically refer to such individuals as maladaptive perfectionists.

Hamachek describes two types of perfectionism. Normal perfectionists “derive a very real sense of pleasure from the labours of a painstaking effort” while neurotic perfectionists are “unable to feel satisfaction because in their own eyes they never seem to do things [well] enough to warrant that feeling of satisfaction”. Burns defines perfectionists as “people who strain compulsively and unremittingly toward impossible goals and who measure their own worth entirely in terms of productivity and accomplishment”.[1]

Greenspon considers perfectionism to be a unitary combination of a desire to be perfect, a fear of imperfection, and an emotional conviction that perfection (not “near-perfection”) is the only route to personal acceptance by others. Perfectionism itself is thus never seen as healthy or adaptive.[2]

Perfectionism (philosophy)

In ethics and value theoryperfectionism is the persistence of will in obtaining the optimal quality of spiritualmental, physical, and material being. The neo-Aristotelean Thomas Hurka[citation needed]describes perfectionism as follows:

This moral theory starts from an account of the good life, or the intrinsically desirable life. And it characterizes this life in a distinctive way. Certain properties, it says, constitute human nature or are definitive of humanity—they make humans human. The good life, it then says, develops these properties to a high degree or realizes what is central to human nature. Different versions of the theory may disagree about what the relevant properties are and so disagree about the content of the good life. But they share the foundational idea that what is good, ultimately, is the development of human nature.[1]

The perfectionist does not believe that one can attain a perfect life or state of living. Rather, a perfectionist practices steadfast perseverance in obtaining the best possible life or state of living.

PerfectionismI personally dig the philosophical version of perfectionism myself, although I have traits of the psychological as well. We can’t let perfectionism hold us back. Our internal critics LOVE to use perfectionism as a tool against us, we just need to be conscious of it. Many of us feel our perfectionism helps us, although research indicates this isn’t true. I challenge you to take a good hard look at where perfectionism may be holding you back in life.

ASSIGNMENT:

  1. List all the things in life where you strive for perfection (you can use instances within the previous month if this helps – career, family, personal relationships, exercise, eating, art, etc.)
  2. Create a two-column Cost / Benefit grid so you can expand on each instance
    1. For Example: I strive to have the perfect blog posts – the cost is undue stress to me and the very real resistance I get to writing because of this expectation. The benefit would be great posts which help readers and an inflated ego for ME. (This kind of clarity helps me see things in perspective)

That’s it, take it easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over this stuff. Just be aware of it, good and bad. Focus on the positive and notice when you’re being too critical of yourself and others. We can’t get rid of our perfectionism overnight, but awareness of these traits can help turn them to allies instead of enemies.

 

 

Secret Selves

KittanimHow many of you had imaginary friends growing up? I did. Mine seemed to appear when my sister (two years older than me) started school and I had more alone time. I don’t really remember much about my imaginary friend, only that he died in a horrible crash driving his Knight Rider car off a cliff when I started kindergarten. Yes, such a violent noble death for the early 1980s.

Even if you didn’t have an imaginary friend, I bet you have played a few different roles in your life. Those teenage years almost require different personas just to survive. Sometimes it was fun. Many times we didn’t even know we were doing it. The glorious holiday of Halloween, fun for kids and adults, allows us to be our Secret Selves. Now we’re all grown up and there doesn’t seem to be time for any fun, which is why I think Halloween has become such a popular adult holiday. Now I’m not saying if you dress up as the devil you want to BE the devil or you’re evil. Maybe you just have a dark side (we all do) that you want to explore.

Think about your last few Halloween costumes as a starting point. Could these be subconscious secret selves you want to explore? Maybe. Maybe not. You decide. Why is this important? Ahh young grasshopper, don’t you know? Discovering and uncovering these Secret Selves allow you to begin functioning in a more conscious and creative way. At least this is what Julia Cameron says in her book, The Vein of Gold, which I highly respect as a creative resource.

I have many secret selves, here are five currently on my mind…

JamesBondinOO7-2ndRex is a spy who knows multiple languages, has an overflowing bank account and is incapable of maintaining any real relationships. He never knows where he will be and who he may have to kill or blackmail. He lives life on the edge and can’t stand to stay still. He works out and has a perfect body. His closet is filled with designer tailored suits and shoes, a few guns and knives and a telescope.

Colin is a writer with limited social obligations. He’s an avid runner who lives in a simple studio apartment caring only for one plant and an aquarium housing four fresh water tropical fish.  He wants to get a dog but is afraid of the responsibility. He’s published a series of fiction novels dealing with various paranormal mysteries, a rabid fan base has developed. Colin doesn’t relate to his fans and his agent is pressing him to broker a TV deal. Colin has lots of resistance. His closet is a bit disheveled with lots of t-shirts, khaki pants, baseball caps, sweaters, running shoes and a classic typewriter he picked up at a garage sale.

Barry is struggling actor/comedian, life of the party. He has a modest home in the Hollywood Hills (Valley side), which he was able to buy from a short lived sitcom in the early 1990s. He’s close to his family back east. He offers private acting lessons and makes it a point to go on at least one audition a week. He enjoys starting political arguments at parties, getting people really riled up. His closet is a mix of Banana Republic and Paul Smith attire.

Hugh is a doting dad with an extremely active life. Running the kids to soccer practice, dance recitals, math tutors, etc. He loves to cook and throw big (yet laid back) parties. BBQ is his favorite.  He’s always there for his family and is able to balance his career responsibly. He enjoys his day job as an insurance adjuster and gives it all he’s got from 9am – 5pm. His closet has a soccer ball, old trophies from college, a few suits from Men’s Wearhouse and casual clothes from Target.

Kenly is a world traveler who pays the bills as a ghost writer for various travel companies. He’s a jetsetter who enjoys photography on the side. When he’s not traveling he creates photo books for private clients. The friends he’s cultivated in the last 10-15 years are his family. His closet is filled with travel gear, photography equipment, hiking boots, hats, tennis shoes and every color cargo pants /shorts imaginable.

Challenge: Name Five Secret Selves

Play some music, light some candles or incense…do what you need to do to create a different environment for yourself. Get creative. Don’t let resistance keep you from this exercise.

  1. List 5 Secret Selves
  2. Tell us about them.
  3. What’s in there closet?
  4. Choose your most FUN Secret Self and write about what your life would be like if THEY were running it!

Energy is Magic

2008_11_energy_cartoonEnergy fascinates me. The thought that we are all “energy” makes sense…in a way. We’re all fueled by ‘something’. Of course many different schools of thought on energy exist. Let us take a look at a few:

The scientific/practical:

Energy – In physicsenergy (Greek: ἐνέργεια energeia “activity, operation”) is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

The psychological:

EnergyMental or psychic energyor activity is the conceptof a principle of activity powering the operation of the mind or psyche. Many modern psychologists or neuroscientists would equate it with increased metabolism in neurons of the brain.

The esoteric:

Energy – The term energy has been widely used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine[1][2] to refer to a variety of phenomena. Such “energy” is often seen as a continuum that unites body and mind. The term “energy” also has a scientific context, and the scientific foundations of “physical energy” are often confused or misused to justify a connection to a scientific basis for physical manifestations, properties, detectability or sensing of “psychic energy” and other physic phenomenon where no presently known scientific basis exists. It is sometimes conceived of as a universal life force running within and between all things, as in some forms of vitalism, doctrines of subtle bodies or concepts such as qiprana, or kundalini. Spiritual energy is often closely associated with the metaphor of life as breath – the words ‘qi’, ‘prana’, and ‘spirit’, for instance, are all related in their respective languages to the verb ‘to breathe’. Sometimes it is equated with the movement of breath in the body, sometimes described as visible “auras“, “rays”, or “fields” or as audible or tactile “vibrations”. These are often held to be perceptible to anyone, though this may be held to require training or sensitization through various practices.
Whoa…freaky, right? Did I lose you? Come on back…take a deep breath. OK, here’s what I thing about energy – there’s definitely something to it and I’m open to learn more. I don’t have exhausted evidence of all kinds of ‘energy’ working in my life, but I have enough to be open-minded. How many of us have felt a negative or positive energy about another person at some point in our lives? I think our whole country has gone through both negative and positive times (usually associated with the economy, since we have made money energy in our bountiful capitalistic society).

I have personally felt subtle energy shifts in my own life, which is why I’m interested in learning more. Some people claim amazing results from energy healings, chakra cleanings, etc. I attended a free seminar on energy healing once and found it very interesting. They offered each attendee an energy healing session, lasting a few minutes (although one could say the entire time was an energy session). I didn’t feel a rush of ecstasy or welling up of emotions during my session. However, the remainder of my day was pretty darn good. My spirits were up, felt a bit floaty yet confident and purposeful. My first thought was: sure, it’s psychosomatic. Then I immediately thought, so what if it is? I feel good, don’t I?

chakra_imgWe all put up a good fight (thanks to our egos), nobody wants to look stupid or feel like they are having one pulled over on them. But if you open your mind and take positive actions to FEEL better and it works, why question it just because the rest of society does? Have an open mind.

I read an interesting article on this topic via the Huffington Post called “It’s All Energy” by Vaishali…here are the highlights:

  • Everything is energy. Atoms vibrating at different frequencies form matter. In the physical world the only thing separating a chair from a rock is their rate of vibration. Even non-physical entities such as thoughts, memories, feelings, love and fear are forms of energy with their own frequency and magnetic signature as well.
  • Awareness, what are we giving our attention to, is the most life-altering form of energy available to us. It is our awareness that has the greatest influence on the body, our perceptions and emotions.
  • The sequence is: thoughts attract emotions that, if unresolved, may cause physical problems. Unresolved emotions build up and become increasingly exacerbated by what you habitually give your attention to. Thoughts fuel the emotional fire.
  • The inner narrative and dialogue you are running, your so-called “story,” attracts toxic emotions that in turn accumulate in the body and poison it, if you do not release them. If you keep reliving a negative experience, or one your awareness considers negative, it will make you sick.

 

  • Spiritual Law: you are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to. All the energies that make up physical human life are fundamentally organized and vibrate according to what you give your attention to and how you feel about what you give your attention to.

 

  • The body, emotions and perceptions are giving you the results they are under the impression you want based exclusively on your awareness.

 

  • The old saying, “We have seen the enemy and it is us,” has never been truer when it comes to what we habitually give our attention to. We invite, accumulate and aggravate our miseries according to what we give our attention to.
  • Conversely we also heal, overcome and breakthrough life’s challenges according to our awareness. The empowering aspect of this situation is that what lives in an unlimited, Heavenly place is only as far away as what we are focusing on.

 

There you go…believe what you want. All I suggest is that you have an open mind. What about you folks who have experience in energy working in your life? Share your story with us in the comment section below…inspire us…

Intention = Power

FotoSketcher - Cedar Key BirdI wanted to share this powerful post from Marcia Weider on About.com …it’s such a great read about the power of setting an intention. I think so many of us (myself very much included) say or think ‘yeah, I’m going to do _____ one day’…but we never actually say it, write it or tell anyone else. This has to change. I hope your inspired by this post like I was…share your thoughts and intentions (if you like)…

 

The Power of Intention

Four Steps for Setting an Intention

It’s time to change the way we think and speak about our dreams. Transforming a conversation, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention. Your intentions will assist you in taking greater control of your life.

A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention is to transform the conversation around dreams from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.

Some might say this is not the right time to dream. The media and masses say, “It’s time to be realistic.” Consider this. Without our dreams all we have is our present reality. Reality is not a bad thing. We have to know where we are so we can design the appropriate strategy for getting to where we want to be. The challenge is our attitude around “reality” and being “realistic” and what being realistic has cost us. Often that’s our passion and joy, our hopes and dreams.

Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness of life, there’s never been a more important time to dream and setting your intention is the first step. When should you set an intention? You could set an intention every day. Your intention could be to work less and make more, or to find a new career that you are passionate about. It could be to get healthy and physically fit, or to spend more quality time with loved ones or alone. It can be specific and about something in particular or more like a quality, such as to be more relaxed or involved with life.

At seventy, Bessie set an intention to become a world famous photographer. Although many thought she was too old, she didn’t. She entered a photo contest where she won the first prize of $10,000. Her prize-winning photo toured around the world with a Kodak exhibit. She told me, “We’re never too old to make a dream come true.”

People set intentions on all kinds of dreams; to get married or have children, to get a job or make a career change, to write a book, lose weight, or move to a foreign country. When you set an intention and then act on it to demonstrate your commitment, amazing things occur. Intention can also give us fortitude for dealing with tough times. I am currently rebuilding my home. I simply wanted to add on a new bathroom, but with all the surprises an old (and charming) house can offer, every turn has been a shock, sometimes even a nightmare. It looks like the entire building may need to be rebuilt. My intention is to live through this process with dignity and grace. I am tested daily. It’s often not easy, but this intention has helped me maintain composure, sanity, and on a good day, a sense of humor. Intention can be used for community or social issues, global events or (literally) in your own backyard.

For example:

  • Before you get out of bed, you can intend to have a fun or productive day.
  • Before you leave the house, you can intend to have quality time with your family or roommate.
  • Before you start your car, you can intend to have a safe ride to work.
  • Before you enter your workplace, you can intend to learn something new or be helpful.
  • Before the meeting begins, you can intend to be brilliant or calm.

Four Intentional Steps:

1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step.

By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams.

Say What?

dirt poorDo you ever wonder the meaning of certain expressions? Piss poor? Chewing the fat? Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water? It’s raining cats and dogs? Saved by the bell? Well wonder no more…my beautiful cousin Courtney forwarded an email to me this week with some explanations of these sayings. I found it so interesting I wanted to…you guessed it…SHARE. Now I don’t know if any or all of these are true (it was just an email forward) and I haven’t researched them for authenticity. Why? Because its fun and today is Monday…which should be all about fun. Ready? Set? Go…

Where did “piss poor” come from? Apparently they used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals(mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

“There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

peas porriageIn those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom; “holding a wake”.

gravedyardEngland is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

 

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer”.

 

Do you know the meanings of any other old “sayings” to share?

 

 

 

 

PR State of Mind

I’m often asked: What exactly is public relations?

Some define PR as the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest. Stay with me now…

Others define it as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics. However you define it, public relations undoubtedly provides an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of interest to garner a third-party endorsement, ideally without payment. We call it “earned” media (vs. “paid” media our friends in advertising get). Common PR activities include speaking at conferences, events, working with the media, crisis communications, social media engagement, and employee communication.

220px-Edward_BernaysOK Chad, thanks for the lesson on PR, now how can this help me? Why should I care? Well, can you imagine yourself as a company? Your own organization? Do you feel you have something to offer anyone? If so, PR can help you achieve your goals…personal or professional.

Did you know the “grandfather of public relations”, Edward Bernays, was the nephew of Sigmund Freud? He based many of the core principals of PR on the psychoanalytical studies on crowd control. There is a science to PR. Ahhh but you say, “I’m not famous and I’m surely not an organization!” Settle down. This will all come together soon enough, trust me. PR is all about promoting goodwill between yourself and the “public”, whoever the public is to you.  It may not be the masses, it may just be your small circle of friends or family.  Next you may ask if PR involves crisis and scandal? Sometimes it does, but hopefully for this exercise the only crisis we need to deal with may be your own ‘internal’ crisis of ego.

I’m all about action these days, thus the various exercises I try to give you guys in my posts. I hope you’ll play along. Think of this as a creativity exercise, which is really what it is. You have a grasp of PR and a personal passion. Even if it’s a pipe dream you’ve never told anyone about…have some fun. Maybe you always wanted to open a coffee shop or a dance studio. Unimagined dreams of becoming a henna tattoo artist or a clown? Weekend poetry slam events or a lemonade stand? Now is your ch

press-release-template-tipsance to bring them (somewhat) to life…all in good fun. Ready? You. Can. Do. It. Have fun.

ASSIGNMENT: Write a press release on yourself! What the heck is a press release? Well, not to get too technical, but a press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. This press release will be JUST FOR YOU…hang it on your fridge or by your desk for inspiration.

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty about HOW to write a press release, there are plenty or resources online (see below). It’s easy and only has to be one page (longer if you choose). Remember, this is fun and it doesn’t have to be perfect…it’s just a way to get your passion out of your mind and into reality (just a baby step, no need to distribute your press release to news media…not yet anyway).

Resources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8793_write-proper-press-release.html

http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release

Assignment 2: Tell us what your “headline” is in the comment section below…

Strategize My What?

strategyStrategy: A careful plan or method toward a goal.

Snooze, right? Every time I hear “strategy” I get a bit exhausted. Why? Because it usually means some work is involved, and I can be a lazy human. Good news! The strategy we’ll be discussing is all about YOU. It’s fun because the end result will be benefiting you and YOUR cause. Yes! To take some real action we need a plan. Boring, I know. Stay with me. Check it out, if you’re a blocked creative, my guess is you need a sturdy plan…a nudge if you will. How can we make this as easy and painless as possible? That’s up to you. Remember, we’re dealing with YOUR passion, something you love. Creating an action plan around this should be fun.

Let’s say I’m an aspiring fiction writer. Fiction is my passion. I have an incredible idea for a novel which has been reoccurring in my mind for years. I even have various characters and storylines plotted out in my mind. Yes, only in my mind. I haven’t got a plan to actually get pen to paper. Why? Fear. I can’t be a professional writer and make money. What’s the point? Hello critic! We all have them, yes we do. That voice in our heads that tells us to “get real”. Is this the voice of reason? Perhaps. Only you can be the judge. Our critics can protect us from this harsh reality we live in. Ahh, but with no risk, there is no reward. Right?

Go out on a limb. Take a risk. I challenge you to DO LIFE. Take action. Action can be your buddy. Don’t let fear of the unknown paralyze you. Even if you have a seemingly “full life” (as many of us do). Ask yourself, is your “full life” spent doing what you love?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAASSIGNMENT: Action Passion Plan (APP)

1. Get a sheet of paper out.

2. Write your strategic statement at the top. For example: My goal is to write a simple book on how people can use public relations tools to ignite their passion in life.

3. Next list 4-5 goals to accomplish within the next month. Goal 1: Create an outline. Goal 2: Begin writing. Goal 3: Edit and transcribe writings. See, not so hard. All the research you did on your last assignment should help you out.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. Trust me, there are MANY ways to create an “action plan”, feel free to Google it and see what works for you. My only advice is KEEP IT SIMPLE. If you’re like me, you’ll find fifty versions of action plans and get so overwhelmed you’ll forgo the action plan for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Golden Girls  marathon. Keep it simple. Give yourself thirty minutes to create your action plan. It’s that easy. Our brains like to complicate things, they enjoy the workout. You control the workout. Acting on your passion can be like yoga for your mind, a great workout combined with relaxation and spiritual purpose.

 

 

The Simplicity of Momentum

Freeway Photographed In Slow MotionMomentum: strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events

Did you ever do the research on your passion? If not, don’t you worry…there is still time! You are the master of your own time. Your passion will just sit and wait for you, all your life if it has to. How often do we throw our passion by the wayside? We don’t make any “money” from it so why bother, right? Wrong. Money shouldn’t be a driving force for your passion, it just shouldn’t. Yes we all need to make a living to survive, I get it. Trust me, I have been there – and I’m still there! I thoroughly enjoy writing, but ninety percent of my ideas have never left my brain.  Ten percent have (thus this blog you are reading), but lack of momentum has crippled me. Momentum carries us through the good and bad patches. It gives us a track record of ‘there, I did that…’ even if it doesn’t feel like much at the time. Momentum should be part of your life strategy. How can you add momentum? Weave it in as simply as possible. Find your own way. You have the tools, here are a few example of setting aside “passion time” each day:

-          Thirty minutes of ______ each day (insert your passion)

-          Fifteen minutes of meditation about ______ passion.

City_lights_in_motionKeep it simple. Give it a go! Do you need an inspirational quote to get you started? Yeah, I thought so…check this one out from Tony Robbins:

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life? — Tony Robbins

I haven’t read any of his books or attended his seminars, but you gotta hand it to the guy, he’s built an empire from something he’s obviously passionate about. How will you begin to build your empire today?

 

My Secret Sauce: Morning Pages

artistswayMorning Pages: Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Occasionally colorful, more often than not Morning Pages are negative, fragmented, repetitive or bland. Good!  Worrying about your job, the laundry, the weird look your friend gave you – all that stuff distracts you from your creativity. It eddies through your subconsciousness and muddies your day. Get it on the page first thing in the morning and move on with your day with a freer spirit.

Listen up, in January of 2011 I began the daily practice I found in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron called Morning Pages and I can honestly say it changed my entire perspective on life. Huh? Really? How can writing three pages of nonsense stream of consciousness first thing in the morning change your life? Umm, I don’t know…it just does! Here’s the deal, if you have a human brain like me (chances are you do) that goes round and round like a hamster running that wheel as if his little life depends on it – then keep reading. If you feel an inner peace at all times and you think you’re the Dali Lama, you can skip this post.

hamsterMorning Pages has allowed me to be more creative throughout my day by giving me a place to dump all the nonsense I have going on between my ears. In my experience, the nonsense becomes less and less and then some pretty cool creative stuff pours out on the page. Stuff I never expected. I think it’s magic, kinda, sorta, maybe? Or maybe I know have stacks of journals with the scribbling’s of a mad man, who cares? I feel better. This blog was spawned from Morning Pages, so there!

Here are some guidelines to make this exercise most effective:

-          They must be done in the morning

-          They must be written by hand

-          No editing, just write

-          Don’t show anyone else your pages

-          Don’t go back and read them right away (you can further down the road if you like)

I can already hear your resistance to this exercise…

I’m too busy to do them in the morning…I can barely get to work on time!

-          Get up early!

I write much better at night.

-          Nope, end of the day writing is fine but it usually turns out to be a review/dumping of the day you just had. Doing these in the morning will free up your mind to have a more creative day – trust me.

My handwriting is awful, why can’t I type them?

-          Writing longhand will get you more honest pages, trust me. There is something about writing longhand and the stream of consciousness…just at least try it. I spent months typing them and didn’t see the same results – although this is just my experience (I actually think just DOING them is a huge step, no matter what your process is).

I’m much more verbal, why can’t I say my thoughts into a recorder?

-          Nope, same reason as above…writing longhand produces more honesty. I’m willing to bet you will ‘write’ more crazy thoughts than actually say them out loud…just sayin (you know who you are).

genius-image-300x300Living in great cities like Los Angeles and Dallas, I have had the luxury taking an Artist’s Way Workshop with Kelly Morgan in L.A. and with Barley and Joanna at Studio Arts Dallas – both of which I highly recommend. It was helpful to hear others say these same excuses in the workshop. My teachers would give the same advice I’m giving to you: just give it a try. Simple. If you want creative change in your life, try it.

Trust me, these aren’t easy. They also aren’t hard. I still have trouble on some days. The point is to JUST DO IT. Check it out…my pages obviously change on a daily basis. They can start off something like: I’m tired, writing this early sucks. When is my coffee going to be ready. How long will I walk the dogs…where do they wanna go? I wish they could talk…nah, they may complain too much. How can I be creative today? I wonder if my car needs new brakes? I better call Nana back. You get the drift? Good…trust me, they get good. Sure it may be crazy for a while, give it time. My Pages have turned into some really cool stuff.

Challenge: Write Morning Pages for One Month

-          Get yourself a pen you and enjoy and a notebook/journal (I find the standard 8.5 x 11 spiral notebooks work well)

-          Set your alarm for 30-45 minutes earlier than usual

-          Make coffee or caffeinate (if that’s your thing)

-          Sit down and WRITE at least 3 pages (more if you like)

I hope you’ll take this challenge – keep it simple. I only gave you a month and hope you’ll continue – trust me, I had no idea Id do them this long. I don’t plan on stopping, I suppose I’m hooked. If you want to learn more about Morning Pages, definitely get The Art’s Way book or Google it and you’re sure to find lots of other evangelists like myself.