A Blogger’s Diary 9/12/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, The Garden, WordPress, Site Changes, and Gratitude

The Week

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted a diary entry, and in the past four weeks, there have been some developments with the garden and to my site, which I am excited to relate; and, I also have a question for you about WordPress. More on that in a moment.

First, let’s take a look at some writing reflections.

Writing and Reflecting

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

I’ve published several poems in the past four weeks, many of them taking love as their central theme or concept.

The poem, shaded in love, we agree, was a reflection upon my time living in the desert. I’ve been fortunate to live in several types of geographies, and the desert is among them, and holds a special place in my heart.

Sometimes people conflate the desert with barrenness, and the poem was an ode, if you will, to the splendor of the desert landscape, which I miss. There is something magical about being in the desert, especially at sunrise and sunset. The beauty is magnificent.

The poem, just like a star spangled night, was part of a much larger reflection about living life with an open heart. As I’ve written about in many posts and poems, living life with an open heart today is a blessing, and I am grateful to many people, especially, my life coach and teacher, for showing me a different way to understand the world, and our place in it.

It’s taken a lot of internal work, and, yet, what I understand today, is that all of my life happened just as it was supposed to. Exactly as it was supposed to; and, I am blessed with many different levels of understanding today because of all of the paths I’ve traveled. They were all needed, and are all important.

The Garden

Well, it’s also been a while since I’ve updated you on the garden, which is continuing to produce, and has been so much fun.

Here is a pic of some tomatoes I pulled last week.

Corvallis, Oregon 2021

Coming soon, broccolini, one of my favs!

WordPress

Over the past two months, I’ve had several regular readers send me messages that my posts are not showing up in their WP Reader. I actually emailed WP about this issue, and have yet to hear back.

The only workaround I know for this type of issue, which I’ve used before, is to unfollow the blog, and then refollow, which got me thinking.

Might any of you know of other workarounds to mitigate this issue? If so, I would love to read about them in the comments section, or, if you prefer, you can email me, thank you!

Site Changes

Earlier this year, I created a goal to make some changes to the site; and, I’ve finally made some of those changes.

I wanted to mention the changes here, in the event you notice anything that is not working well, or you have any suggestions, which may improve your experience. If so, please do let me know, thank you.

Gratitude

The week-beginning message I scheduled to go out to the team last week, was about gratitude; and the deep gratitude I have for everyone in my life.

My life has been, and is, blessed with connections to amazing people; and, today I am connected to many, many, more amazing people.

I think it is important to pause each day, and reflect upon the impact we make with our lives, and about the connections we have. They are so important.

In fact, I believe that human connection is one of the most important aspects of being alive. Experiencing aliveness is, for me, about being deeply connected to yourself, and then to those that you choose to surround yourself with every day.

Therefore, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I am feeling deep gratitude for everyone in my life; my family, my friends, the team I work with, the community I live in, and, each and every one of you. Very grateful.

Thank you for being just as you are, and for being there, and supporting my work. It means the world to me.

Have a beautifully blessed week everyone.


#aliveness, #blessed, #blogging, #connection, #diary, #gardening, #gratitude, #heart, #humanity, #life, #love, #reflection, #wordpress, #writing

A Blogger’s Diary 8/8/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, Portland, and Living Life as it Comes

The Week

This past week has been full of more change, as the delta variant continues to spread in the State, new cases are being reported regularly, and those vaccinated and unvaccinated are becoming infected. Scary, yet the current reality.

What does this mean for the team’s fall term in-person classes? I have no idea. We have a plan, and will execute on this plan, as possible, and if not? We will pivot, as we’ve done so many times in the past 16 months. Like we all have.

Alright, though a precarious time here locally, and across the globe, it does remind me of a reflection of mine from last week. Taking life as it comes, which I’ll write more about in a moment.

First, let’s take a look at some writing reflections from this past week.

Writing and Reflecting

Photo by Pepe Reyes on Unsplash

This week, the poem The Brilliance of Life, was published in MasticadoresUSA; thank you again, Gabriela and team. A true honor.

I also found out this week that MasticadoresIndia will launch September 1, and will be edited by Terveen Gill. I am super excited for MasticadoresIndia, and for Terveen. Amazing.

Alright, poem reflections, here we go.

The poem, The Brilliance of Life, like many of the poems that come forth today, was a reflection and reminiscence on working through layers and layers of trauma; and just as importantly, the newness, or brilliance, that life takes on as these layers are uncovered, and removed.

Though the process of removing these layers is difficult, there’s always a knowing that I’m (we are) never alone. We are all connected through our shared humanity, and the love and affinity we share for each other and our home, this beautiful planet. 

The poem, open hearts have healed, speaks to the truth just elaborated on; when we work through our grief, sadness, insert any other emotions here, our heart does break; and sometimes, it breaks again and again, yet there is always a healing and wholeness on the other side. It is so clear to me today, yet, as you all know, was not clear to me for a very long time.

Inside of the concept of brokenness, healing and wholeness are already there. Quite simple, yet profound as we experience this reality.

Portland

Music Millennium, Portland, Oregon

Last weekend, I took a quick trip, two nights, to Portland, for a very simple and pragmatic reason; to shop. Where I live in the Willamette Valley, let’s say, shopping for clothes can be difficult. 

The shopping went quite well, and I also got to spend some time with Justin. We went to a lovely vegan breakfast place, called Nectar Cafe. Was delicious.

We also visited a super cool record store, Music Millennium. Awesomeness. The store is huge, and, I think, is the second largest in Portland. There are 5 different rooms, and an upstairs. I found three records, one of which is by John Coltrane. Soul stirringly beautiful.

Living Life as it Comes

As I mentioned earlier, the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reflecting on how life shows up; and how inside the experience of life showing up, we have, as leaders, as human beings on this planet, the opportunity to respond to a situation, or react.

Sometimes reaction is needed and necessary; yet, often, we can pause, breathe into life as it shows up, whatever the situation might be, reflect, and then respond. 

Creating a pause like this in our lives holds enormous power and potential. When we can be with life as it shows up, and hold the knowing that we can pause, breathe, reflect, and then respond; we create more possibility for ourselves and everyone around us.

As life continues to show up for you, and me, today, tomorrow, this week, this month, over the course of the next couple of months, remember, life just shows up; it just is, and we can create the space to pause, breathe, reflect, and then respond.

It is quite beautiful and inspirational, just like each of you.

Have a splendid week, everyone.


#poetry, #act, #blogger, #blogging, #breathe, #diary, #life, #masticadoresusa, #openheartshavehealed, #oregon, #pause, #poem, #poems, #portland, #reflect, #reflecting, #writing

A Blogger’s Diary 7/18/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, Veggies and Blueberries, and Updating the Site and Traveling

The Week

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted a diary entry. I am excited about this entry, as I’ve got a couple of veggie pics, a blueberry picking adventure, and some news about traveling. Fun.

Last week, the team and I completed the team building I wrote about in my last diary entry. It went well. The theme of the team building was Back to the Future; yes, termed such after the movie, and the concepts we discussed were connection, continuity, and change.

We discussed these concepts because we know that there will be more change, there always is, every moment something is changing, we are all changing, yet, we also know that within this change, there is also continuity and continued connection. 

An important paradox to understand and be at ease with. 

Writing and Reflecting

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been reflecting a lot upon the internal work I’ve been engaged in these past 4 years, and how this work has shaped the man I am today. Transformational is the concept that comes to mind.

Transformational because when we look at the pain we carry, get in touch with it, work through it, we get back so much more. The only way to let go of something is to actually be in touch with it first, and to then work through it. Then, we can let it go. 

I imagine my poetry will always be shaped by these experiences, because they are not static, they continue today.

Veggies and Blueberries

The garden is healthy and well, and is producing, and will produce even more in the next month. Exciting.

Here are a couple of pics.

Justin and I went to a local blueberry farm last weekend, and picked almost 40 pounds of blueberries, which are one of my favorites. I eat them everyday, and enjoy them most in my evening smoothies. Delicious.

Here are a couple pics of that trip.

Updating the Site and Traveling

As I wrote about a few months ago, I will make some changes to the site this summer. I’ve already removed the videos page, as it is very outdated, and am creating a couple of new pages, and condensing some of the other pages.

At this time, I am not planning on changing the overall site theme, yet, you never know. As I work through these changes over the next two months, if something occurs differently for you, or becomes difficult for you on the site, I would love it if you would let me know. You can get my email from the contact page. Thank you.

As I’ve written about before, I am excited to travel in the coming years; and, I’m excited to share that I’ve booked my first trip. It will be to London, next May. Since I’ve been at my current job, I’ve not taken off more than a few days here and there, and am excited to be in London for 12 nights. 

That will be the 2022 trip, and in 2023? India; and, then in 2024, Japan. That’s the plan anyway. We all know that plans change, yet, having a plan is important. And, then? Let the change come. It’s all okay.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Wishing you all a beautiful coming week.


#blog, #blogger, #bloggersdiary, #blogging, #community, #diary, #gardening, #japan, #london, #travel, #uk, #update, #vegetables, #website, #writingandreflecting

A Blogger’s Diary 5/16/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, Summer Schedule, and Navigating Difficult Situations

The Week

This past week was, well, like many of the weeks that preceded it, in this year of pandemic. Meaning, my days, for now, look similar from week to week. Work, eat, meditate, write, sleep. Not in that order, or, rather, sometimes, yet not always.

Yet, as you know, there is a trip coming to Los Angeles. Only a couple more weeks, and I’ll board an airplane for the first time in over 15 months. Pretty wild.

Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the writing that occurred this week.

Writing and Reflecting

This past week, I completed the second installments in both the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings series, and the Community Gardening series. The latter has already been published, and the former will be published next week. Super fun.

I am enjoying being out in the sun right now, and am looking forward to more sun as we move towards summer. Yes, I love the sun and the heat. As I lived most of my life in LA, where it is sunny, well, almost all of the time, I have a special affinity for sunshine.

Being out on hikes and working in the garden when it is sunny, is especially lovely.

Summer Schedule 

Linn-Benton Community College, Albany, Oregon

As I wrote in last week’s entry, the Summer Schedule is out and registration starts Monday, May 17. Our summer offerings are on the small side, yet, we have plans for a large fall term. Exciting.

The team and I are also now talking about introducing more in-person classes, as possible, this fall. As I’ve written before, I see the next 15 to 18 months as a slow reintroduction to in-person classes, while also continuing to offer remote classes. 

With the reintroduction of in-person classes, including the team back in the office beginning this summer, will come mixed emotions for, well, everyone, me included. Exciting, yes, and also anxiety producing. Normal.

That, as a team, we are aware of this truth, simply means we can talk through these emotions as they arise and work through them together. Lovely.

Navigating Difficult Situations

Invariably, you have, and will continue to be presented with difficult situations; we all have and will. It’s part of being a human being. I was presented with a couple this past week. Both of these situations are work related, and are, well, navigable. Just like all difficult situations.

When we stay present to what is known, and get clear on what caused the difficult situation to arise in the first place, we make a space to create new possibilities.

In both of the situations I was presented this past week, I, first, listened, then did my research, and learned. Once I was clear on what was happening, I was ready to create.

And, you know what?

From the space of clarity, anything is possible. Both of these situations presented me with challenges, and, at times, felt, well, not so great. Yet, once worked through, I was able to create new ways forward.

When you are presented with difficulties, remember to stay present, listen, learn, and then create. 

From the space of clarity, we get to then stand in the current reality. And, on a team, or in a family, when we are all clear and understand the current reality, no matter what the reality is, we can all work together to move forward. Beautiful.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a lovely week, my friends.

#blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #clarity, #creatingpossibility, #diary, #difficultsituations, #education, #emotionalintelligence, #listenandlearn, #navigating, #noncreditclasses, #summerschedule, #writingandreflecting

A Blogger’s Diary 5/9/21: On The Week, Writing and Reflecting, Emotions, and Acknowledgement

The Week

A lovely week this past week, as always. I’ve been continuing to prepare and plant my plot at the community garden. I’ll have another installment in the gardening series in the next week. Fun.

I’ve also been playing the guitar more. There is something about music. I’ve always known this, yet I’ve rediscovered, or, maybe it’s, renewed a deep passion within me for, and with, music. I love it so much.

I’ve also been working, well, a lot. The team is as busy as ever. We just finished the summer schedule, which we will publish next week. I will share it with all of you in my next diary post.

And, of course, I’ve been writing. Less this week, yet, it’s always there, and inspirational.

Writing and Reflecting

I completed the first entry in the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings series, and am contemplating my next hike. It will be next weekend, and I may drive up to Salem. Not sure. We will see. However it goes, I’ll have some lovely pictures and reflections to share with all of you.

I also published the purpose post this past week, which was fun. I think about purpose in such a different way today. Actually, I think about everything today quite differently. Purpose is just another concept that I like to think about; and, for me, purpose lives and breathes in each moment. It’s always there, and doesn’t need much attention. Just being, living, and loving. Awesome.

Emotions

Photo by Kyre Song on Unsplash

As you all know, I write a lot about emotions. The reason I write about emotions so often, is that for most of my adult life I held all of my emotions in, and didn’t process them.

Once I learned how to understand my feelings, I began to learn how to process them, talk about them, and, yep, write about them.

Therefore, in the past 4 years, I’ve lived through, and engaged with, a lot of emotional processing. These experiences serve as the foundation for many of my poems, and are quite beautiful.

I appreciate each of you for walking through these experiences with me, and supporting me as we do so. An honor.

Acknowledgement

I’ve also been reflecting more upon the concept acknowledgement this past week. Partly because as I was preparing the quarterly team report, it occured to me that I had so many acknowledgements to make, if I made them all in a single communication, it would be, well, rather lengthy.

Therefore, I chose to create a 4-day communication event, acknowledging a few team members each day. It feels right, and is important. It’s also important to acknowledge ourselves, and to do so often.

When we acknowledge how we feel, the lows, the highs, the middle spots, we get so much more back; and, we develop a real sense of what it means to be a human being on this wonderful planet.

As a final acknowledgement this week, I’d like to acknowledge my beautifully strong mother, sisters, exwife, and all of those moms out there who, for so many reasons, exemplify strength, persistence, determination, compassion, love, and kindness.

Thank you. Thank you for being exactly as you are.

Alright, everyone that’s all for this week.

Have a fantastical week.

#acknowledgement, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #diary, #emotional-intelligence, #emotions, #life, #love, #moms, #mothers-day, #reflecting, #writing

A Blogger’s Diary 4/25/21: On Writing and Reflecting, Portland, Reading, and Breathing

I’ve been thinking more this week about how important it is to take time for ourselves. It is interesting, as I know this truth viscerally today, and have written about it several times in the past few months, and yet as life continues to move, I am continually present to the need to stop and breathe. Important.

Alright, more on that in a moment.

Writing and Reflecting

First, let’s take a look at a few reflections from the week.

Flush

The poem Flush occurred to me this week after I dropped off my guitar to be worked on at the local music store. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve loved learning to play the guitar until, all at once, it was removed from my presence for a couple of days. 

I actually went to the music store one day, while they were working on my guitar, just to play the guitars on display. I love the feeling that comes with playing the guitar. In fact, I’ve always loved music, which has been a large part of my life, for, well, always. Moving, deeply satisfying, and inspirational. Lovely.

Hug

The Hug poem was inspired by the WDYS #78 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. As I pondered the picture of a small table, set for two, it reminded me of times as a child and youth at my grandparents house. Being around all of my cousins, and feeling that deep sense of connection and love you get when you are near so much family.


Though I don’t get to see much of my extended family today, I relish these memories. Beautiful.

Next Week

I don’t have much to write about the writing that is coming. That’s fun.

I know there will be more poems, and I do have plans on a post about purpose, yet have not begun to write this piece. All of this unknown is part of the process and joy of creation, which I adore.

Portland

Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash

My oldest son has an internship with Intel in Portland this summer. Yes. Exciting. I went up to visit him yesterday, which was my first time in Portland in over 15 months. It was an amazing experience.

We went to a wonderful local grocery story called the India Supermarket, and ate at an equally lovely restaurant called Apna Chat Bhavan. Delicious. We then played guitars for the afternoon. It was so lovely to see him and spend time with him doing things we love to do, two of which, we’ve been unable to do, or have chosen not to do, for a long time. Lovely.

Reading

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The remote book club is still alive and well. We just finished The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende. An elegant and descriptively written book about war, violence, oppression, love, family, and life. I highly recommend this book. Just know that the book does contain many violent scenes, which may be disturbing to some readers. The book contained about as much violence as I can handle these days.

I am now reading the Mahabharata, by Kamala Subramaniam, which is part of my continual spiritual and devotional development. I am only about 100 pages into the text, and am already seeing parallels to all of life, which I know will continue.

Breathing

Have you ever had someone ask you if you are breathing, or, have you had someone say, don’t forget to breathe? Yep, me too. In fact, I am the one that often says to people, remember to breathe. Yet, more context is needed.

When I say to someone close to me, remember to breathe. These words come along with a historical conversational context about what remembering to breathe really means. 

It means creating time in all of our days to stop. Stop working, cooking, cleaning, erranding, working, etc., and just be. Creating time to focus on our breath and be with ourselves. As I’ve written before, you can accomplish this by taking 5-minutes away from everyone and everything, and just focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. 

And, as thoughts arise, such as I need to do this, and I need to do that, just let that be. And, return to the breath. If you choose to walk during this time, count your steps as you inhale and exhale, which will help keep the mind at bay.

The point?

We all need time to let ourselves be. Away from all of the “needs” that are arising within us.

When we begin to learn that, in fact, those “needs” never really cease, and that we can take actions to slow down the reactivity of the mind to stimuli; by, for example, taking a 5-minute break away from everyone and everything. Using this time to just breathe, we begin to deepen our understanding of how our minds work. Helpful.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a lovely week.

#apnachatbhavan, #bhagavadgita, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #breathing, #contemplation, #diary, #indiasupermarket, #introspection, #mahabharata, #mindfulness, #oregon, #poem, #poems, #portland, #reading, #resturants

A Blogger’s Diary 4/18/21: On Writing and Reflecting, 2 New Series, Vaccinations, and Gentle Yoga

Wow, how is it that we are now in mid-April? Phew, not sure, time is moving, well, rather rapidly at the moment. Anyway, the past week was busy for numerous reasons. Yes, lots of work, and writing, and I did get my first vaccination dose last week. 

More on that in a moment.

Let’s first take a look at two writing reflections, and two new series, shall we? Okay, here we go.

Writing and Reflecting

Sprite

The poem Sprite, was inspired by the WDYS #77 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. I had a lot of fun with this little poem. Sadje’s prompt reminded me of being at the coast. Many of you know how much I love the beach, or coast, or sea, or shore, or whatever the ocean is called where you live. I grew up near the ocean, and love it much.

As I was reflecting upon the picture, it reminded me about my trip to Yachats a couple of months ago, and an antique store I visited during my trip. The prompt picture looks like something that the little shop would have stocked and sold. From there, it was off and running. One insight after another; and then, the poem was finished. Super fun.

Becoming (2)

The Poem Becoming (2), was inspired by a breakdown I had last Saturday. It was a rather large breakdown, which, as you might surmise I would write, is perfectly okay, even needed and wanted. Why? 

Because it’s part of the process of being a human being. If we hold our emotions inside all the time, and actively resist them, we are resisting life. However, when we are with our emotions as they come, we are going with the flow of life.

I actually wrote the poem in intervals during the breakdown. Writing is, at times, how I process my emotions. It reminds me I am not alone; never, in fact, alone. None of us are. We are all connected. Always have been, always will be. Lovely.

2 New Series

Alright, some of you already know about one of these new series, Community Gardening, the first post of which was published this morning. As I wrote in the first post, it occurred to me this weekend that I’ll have many more updates from the community garden, which is why a new series made perfect sense. 

I am excited to continue to update you as we move deeper into Spring, and then Summer.

One of the things I love to do where I currently live, Corvallis, Oregon, is hike. I love hiking, especially during the Spring and Summer. The weather in this part of the US is gorgeous during Spring and Summer. Love it.


It occurred to me that a series on hiking the Willamette Valley, then, made sense. I will travel throughout the valley this spring and summer and hike, reflect, and learn more about areas in the valley I’ve not yet visited. And, we can hike, reflect, and learn together through my trips. Fun.

I’ve not come up with a title yet. If you have ideas, please let me know. I’ve already completed my first hike, which was lovely, and will create the first entry in this new series in a week or two.

Vaccinations

Yep, I got my first vaccination dose, well, two Fridays ago now. It was actually a super simple process. I am grateful to all of the people working and volunteering to make the vaccine more and more accessible. Thank you.

Gentle Yoga

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Well, as many of you know, I do yoga everyday. Meditation is a step of yoga, which I’ve now practiced for almost 4 years. There are 8 steps in yoga, and while I have been meditating, or practicing Dhyana for years now, I am not as well practiced at body movement with the breath.

Therefore, my life coach and teacher has put me on a very gentle path to increase the movement and blood flow in and to my upper body. It is important that the practice is gentle, as I have two shoulder injuries, which happened some time ago, yet have been exasperated by the pandemic.

Anyway, the point is that I am finding great relief in the practice; and am excited about the movement returning to my shoulders. Awesome.

Alright everyone, that’s all for this entry.

Have a splendid week.

#poetry, #becoming, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #communitygarden, #corvallis, #dhyana, #diary, #gardening, #hiking, #meditation, #poem, #poems, #sprite, #willamettevalley, #writing