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Archive for the ‘ramblings’ Category

Nutters Talking

Mmmm…reminder me never again to wear my “Keep Talking.  I like watching your lips move” t-shirt…without a bra…out to McDonalds.

It really draws out the nutters.  One wanted to know if I kissed on the first date.

Ummmm no.  Just no.

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Excitement in Sleepy Surburbia

This morning, at approximately 6:30am, a sleepy, wiping the sand from her eyes, Natalie, noticed unusual activity coming from her neighbour’s property.

Four unmarked cars parked out front and two men dressed in jeans and navy blue fleeces standing chatting to each other and into cell phones on the front porch.

Peering through her blurry eyes she makes out some yellow writing on their fleeces…State Drug Enforcement Agency and ATF.

Wow!  Crikey Moses!  It’s just like Law and Order and CSI and, well, Hollywood – sans the flashing lights,  blaring horns and yellow crime scene tape!  I have the DEA and ATF outside my neighbor’s house!  Technically, they are outside my house too, because one of the cars is parked on our part of the street.

Oh my!  My curiosity is just overwhelming!  Nearly 2 hours later and they are still here.

On his way to work this morning, Brian stops his car next to one of the cars and asks them if they can say what’s going on.  One of the officers says they are carrying out a search warrant.

Well, duh!  After me spying on them for just 5 minutes I could have told you that 🙂 .  Yes, (hanging head in shame), I was spying.

I wonder what my neighbour’s been up to?

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I wanted to share my joy and pride in my little brother’s latest accomplishment – The Oak at Hockley Heath.  It’s a old English pub in Middle England, turned modern gastropub, where he is one of the owners and operations manager.

How beautiful it is, Ant!  And knowing you and Hash, the food is simply scrumptious!  How wonderful that I am able to sample a taste of the magic over the miles, thanks to modern, magical technology.

Congratulations!  My, we have come a long way since sunny SA! 🙂

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An open letter to all telemarketers and door-to-door salesman:

If I pay you the courtesy of answering my phone to an unknown number or opening my front door to a stranger and then actually listening to you, please return that courtesy.

If I ask for specific product information, please respect me enough, to provide the information I asked for.  Please do not continue to deliver your (badly memorised) irritatingly monotonous script.

If I then tell you I am not interested, please respect me enough to take me at my word and politely end the call or leave my property.  Please do not ignore my polite decline of product or services by talking over me and suggesting yet another ‘wonderful’ opportunity.

If you cannot respect me (and yourself) enough to honor my simple requests, I will simply reiterate my non-interest and politely end the call or quietly close my front door, even if you are still talking.

Thank you for your understanding that I will not be bullied, nor will I turn into a ranting mad woman, trying to enforce my basic human rights to a quiet respectful life.  Sadly, you do not yet realize that if you had treated me politely and genuinely, I probably would have listened to your spiel and possibly even purchased your product or service.  It wasn’t your product or service which lost you your sale, it was your continued blatant rudeness.

Have a nice day.

Yes, unfortunately, twice now in the past week, I found myself having to quietly, but firmly enforce my basic human rights.  It is with amusement that I note how most of these ignorant people really do not know how to deal with polite persistence and seem to be flabbergasted when someone actually puts down the phone or closes a door in their face, whilst remaining politely calm and serene.  They have only ever used strong-arm bullying tactics and I imagine are often met with retaliating tempers.  The serenity truly confounds them.  I am enjoying my new-found empowerment 🙂

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You know where I am RIGHT NOW? As I’m writing and posting this?

At my neighborhood cafe…eating a scrumptious meal, logged into their very fast internet connection, listening to Corey Hart’s Never Surrender (gosh, that brings back memories…Viki and high school), and before writing this post…working.

I feel so, so decadent!

Know why I’m here? Because I have cleaners in my house, cleaning (obviously), and I wanted to get away whilst they’re there.

And I’m thinking to myself, who do exactly do I think I am? Seriously. How many people (regular people) have someone clean their house whilst they lounge in the lap of luxury? I was SO born to be royalty! This comes so naturally to me. And I love it 🙂 . I say this with a complete lack of shame too. Isn’t that awful? No it’s not, I’m just saying that because I feel I should. I am actually LOVING this! This is the way life should be. Earning one’s living in the way that brings happiness, so that one can pay for the other parts of your life you don’t like doing so much (like cleaning a house).

Anyway, back to why I started this post in the first place…

This cafe is so, so lovely! The murals on the wall are awesome. So realistic. It looks like the courtyard of a street in a Tuscany village…little wrought iron chairs and tables…awesome service…really good, imaginative, wholesome food…with decadent desserts. And this in an area where there are very few unique eating places, with most of them being commercial chains. What a breath of fresh air!

Open Door CafeI nicked a photo from their website to show you, since I didn’t want to be snapping pictures in this lovely setting.

Isn’t it lovely?

Oh well…time to publish this post, get the check and return back to mundania. Thanks for taking a walk down fantasy lane with me…

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Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about religion and spiritually again. It’s a topic I find fascinating and it’s never very far from my mind. This time, my musings were triggered by this post about Deepak Chopra’s new book by David W. Boles’ Urban Semiotic. And it’s just been continued by me starting an 8 week course about a book called The Kybalion – A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece. I have lots to say on the topic of religion and spirituality, so I might be writing a few posts about it in the future.

To start with, I will just mention two concepts I came across today, whilst researching the Blue Star Wiccan tradition and following the resulting link trails.

Concept 1 – Personal Responsibility
From this article talking about Halloween and Paganism:

Though paganism is often confused with religions that worship the devil or perform satanic rituals, most pagans do not recognize Satan at all…”There’s no evil spirit that makes people do bad things,” … “We’re responsible for ourselves, whatever we choose.”…”Those who describe themselves as a pagan or Wiccan … may hold beliefs that not everyone may hold, but the same can be said for people of all different religions.”

Yes! Yes! Yes! I cannot say YES! strongly enough!
Paganism does not recognize Satan is the Christian sense. Paganism does not recognize God in the Christian sense. There is not the concept of good and evil beings who decide our fate. It is ALL about personal responsibility. For someone like me, who comes from a Christian background, that is simultaneously terrifying and liberating. No devil or hell to worry about? Hell yeah! No god to “forgive my sins”? Oh no! You mean I, and I alone, am responsible for me? On this huge planet? In this huge universe? Holy moley! Excuse the intended pun.

I like it. It sits very well with me. Especially considering one of my other beliefs…that we create our own reality.

Please note that article I linked to is not very well written. It seems to portray Paganism as a region. It’s not. But Wicca is. Wicca is part of paganism. But paganism is not a religion. It is more of an umbrella term, used to describe a plethora of earth-based, often polytheist religions. The article also says that pagans and Wiccans do not practice magic. That is wholly incorrect. Wicca almost always incorporate magical practices (witchcraft) into their religion. Pagans may also practice magic. For a fuller description of Paganism, visit the Wikipedia page.

Concept 2 – Religious Freedom
From a Blue Star Wiccan webpage:

Our only animosity toward Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy-of-life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only way” and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways or religious practice and belief.

Again, yes! Yes! Yes!
One of the reasons why I am drawn to paganism, and wicca to a lesser degree, is exactly this point. These people freely accept anyone in their circles. There is no judgment. No one path is the correct path. This is not only recognized, but considered a strength and incorporated into practices. I cannot stand, let me say that again, I CANNOT STAND! intolerance of any kind. The sheer arrogance of it, simply blows my mind. And I will never, ever align myself with a group which claims to have “the one true path” and negates thousands of other people.

Last year I attended a conference entitled “Between the Worlds“, which was a convergence of many different esoteric religions. Most were of pagan origins. But there was also an esoteric Christian group there. My heart was warmed to see such co-operation between traditionally opposing groups. We all have something to learn from each other.

My hubby has a website called www.aPath.org which provides inspiration and resources for the pagan community. He has a disclaimer there, which illustrates this concept brilliantly:

Nothing here is “the real truth” or “the one true path”. Each person has their “own true path” to walk in life, and what rings true for one person may not be right for someone else. I simply present what rings true for me in the hopes that it may help others to find their own paths from the landmarks I’ve found along my own. I can’t make this much more clear than the name of this site: “A Path”. Not “The Path”. Just “A Path.”

Another illustration of a heart-warming exchange of ideas between supposedly opposing religions was provided in Sabrinamari’s LiveJournal. Sabrina is a friend and Wiccan priestess who was blogging about pagans and money. And a devoutly religious Christian commented on her post. Which then inspired a further post by Sabrina on cross-religion monetary thoughts.

Well folks…that’s my 2 concepts for the day.

Namaste!

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Namaste

I am likely to use the word “Namaste” as a greeting in my spiritual or health related posts. So I wanted to provide a definition for those who may not know it’s meaning.

Taken from Wikipedia:

Namasté is a Nepali and Indian greeting, as well as a gesture. It expresses deep respect.

It is commonly used in Nepal and India by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, as well as outside the Indian subcontinent. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, the same hands folded gesture is made wordlessly upon departure.

Taken literally, it means “I bow to you”. The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): “to bow”, obeisance, reverential salutation, and (te): “to you”.

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning.

Symbolism in Hinduism
One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self. By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above his differences with others, and connect himself with the person to whom he bows. The bow is symbolic of love and respect.

Symbolism in Global Culture
Namaste is one of the few Sanskrit words commonly recognized by Non-Hindi speakers. The term has come to be associated with yoga and spiritual meditation all over the world. In this context, it has been viewed in terms of a multitude of very complicated and poetic meanings which tie in with the spiritual origins of the word. Some examples:

  • “I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me.”
  • “I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace, When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.”
  • “I salute the God within you.”
  • “I recognize that we are all equal.”
  • “The entire universe resides within you.”
  • “The divine peace in me greets the divine peace in you.”
  • “Your spirit and my spirit are ONE.”
  • “That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you.”
  • “The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you”.

Namaste, my friends!

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