What is Zen?

Zen is a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Proof in Yoga is Every Where

If the following video doesn't impress you and make you ask if you should also be doing yoga, then I am not sure that there is anything that will convince you!  Someone she once spoke to said, "It's to late for me!"  And she replied that it was never too late for anyone.  Yoga has many stages and there are very easy poses and go to the most difficult.  Everyone has to start some where.  Most yoga poses can be modified to fit your current fitness level.  This lady didn't start doing her most difficult poses when she started. Dr. Oz recently had a show and had audience members do several self tests.  Among those tests he asked the audience to sit on the floor reaching forward trying to touch their toes.  He stated that those over 40 who couldn't reach there toes was a sign of artery hardening.  I don't know about you, but the thought that yoga stretching could keep me off the road to heart disease made me sit up and take notice.   I challenge you today to try at least one yoga class this week.  There are many ways you can participate.  Join a local gym for a trial yoga class.  Most gyms offer one day passes or discounted trial memberships.  Go to your local video store.  A lot of video stores offer exercise videos for free!  Watch a yoga class on a TV program.  And lastly there are yoga apps that you can download onto your smart phone.  Several of these apps are free!  I personally like daily yoga.  So get up, get out, and try a little yoga!  There are many benefits!  Namaste' my friends!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Falling of Snow (Day 39)

February 8, 2014

     Falling softly, quietly as a gentle whisper. Tiny, gradually grand frozen stars floating to and fro on air to earth.  A soft blanket a gift for the flora and fauna.  Pristine beauty pleasing to the eye.  Calming refreshment for a once brown and dying landscape.  A cheery, brightness added to the outlook of winter.  A smile.  "Let's go make a snowman." a grown man cheers, breaking the morning silence.

     To me this is what marriage is like.  It can make life cheerful.  Relaxing adding brightness to a once dull life.  But it can also be the brown and dying landscape at times.  We just have to be prepared to grab our gear and become prepared to make a snowman.  

     There are many things about married life that are really enjoyable.  Companionship, love, support, and even friendship.  Marriage has it's down sides as well.  Someone to answer to, arguments, money, and religion to name a few.  But with shared teamwork it can be fabulous.  Anything fabulous is worth working for or earning.  Think about all of he things you love.  Do they come easy or did you have to work for them?

     One of the issues my husband and I have as a couple is both having the need to be right.  We have stopped listening to each other and what the other has to say.  We focus more on what we've said and being right.  It is my first goal to change this about myself.  From this day forward I am going to work towards having a conversation instead of having a competition on which one of us is right.  A few months back I down loaded an app called the love dare.  I learned of it after watching the movie Fireproof one evening.  Every couple should watch this movie because it has some very enlightening points and lessons we can all learn from as a couple.  Each day as I use the app it gives a new task to follow or do for your spouse.  There are scriptures to go with the task and your efforts will not go unnoticed by your spouse.

     I feel that every day is a great day for change for the better in a marriage just as a brown landscape is a great time for a snowfall.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

FMF: Write (Day 38)

February 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday

Lisa-Jo is a wonderful blogger and writer that one day had the grand idea to link all writers up with a mere prompt and have them write about that prompt for just 5 minutes.  It has become a anticipated activity of mine every Friday, that I enjoy.  Click on her button above and try it out for yourself.  Below I have listed the rules for participation.
Your words. This shared feast.
It’s easy to join in, just:
  1. Check what the prompt is on my blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. {And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post}
  4. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  5. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  6. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  7. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  8. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  9. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

Today's prompt is: Write
There is power in words.  The power to build up. The power to tear down.  The power to change and the power to convert.  Why do we write?  I write to express myself through my words.  I feel powerful when I choose beautiful words to cover the pages I write on.  Poetry, novels, journals, essays, lovely writing.  I am a writing teacher and an artist.  I am supposed to spark the passion of writing creatively and productively within the hearts of my students.  But, you cannot put that passion in someone, it has to just be there.  If it is there you can encourage its emergence.  I love seeing that.  I have that.  I dream of placing my words within the pages of a children's book.  What prevents me?  Fear of rejection.  Fear of failure.  The dreaded writer's block.  I dreamed last night about my first children's book.  It was vivid.  It has a plot and colorful, creative characters.  It has a setting and a paralleled theme.  Write/right.  I need to spark that emergence within self...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Recipe for a Marriage (Day 34)

February 3, 2014

     Oh it was another rough day...at home.  Alarm goes off, snow hits ground, school's called off, husbands off to work, I drink my coffee and contemplate how to spend my day.  As the day unfolds I make the decision to bake cookies.  Sugar cookies.  Iced, sprinkled, buttery, sweet, warm out of the oven, sugar cookies.  Great snowy day project.  Who doesn't love sugar cookies in February?  Or any day for that matter?  

     Marriage isn't just like baking cookies, but it definitely has a recipe.  A tried and true recipe that many don't master.  Most don't try to master.  Once they burn the batch they throw it out and just start over.  I don't want to start over.  I love the cookies I chose.  I want to relish, taste, and lovingly bake my cookies for the rest of my life.

     A new month, a new goal to set.  My next goal is to focus on my relationship with my husband.  We are soul-mates, best friends, lovers, partners, family builders.  We do everything together.  We play together, enjoy the same hobbies together, take road trips, watch t.v., do household chores, cook, everything together.  We have pet names for each other.  The kind that make others sick when they hear them pet names.  We enjoy each other, dream together, and eat together.  So what's to fix, you say?  A husband/wife relationship doesn't just happen.  It has to be worked on.  We have to want it.  We can't give up, that's the easy way out.  Who wants to give up.  My marriage is not perfect.  No one's is.  It is worth fighting for.  I want it.  Everything has room for improvement.

     I recently stumbled upon this wonderful website by Jennifer Flanders at http://lovinglifeathome.com/ for wives just like me.  I got the free printable above from her and a lot of great advise.  God driven advice.  I especially liked the post 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband.  As well as Turn Your Thinking Around.  I am going to begin my goal by working on the 25 Ways.  I don't think it was any small coincidence that I happened upon Jennifer's blog.  There are many blogs out these days and they are not always God focused as hers is.  Thank you God for directing me to this website.  Let me begin this day and the days beyond to making my marriage the happiest and healthiest it can be. 

I Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices when ever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Demons (Day 33)

February 2, 2014

     He came as a thief in the night.  He was swift, quiet, unnoticed.  To the untrained eye, he didn't exist.  Pushing his vile mind changing serum upon his willing victims.  The victim taking it down willingly, adamantly, adoringly; even. The persuasion no longer in existence, just a quick hand over exchange of personality for poison.  As each sip of poison was consumed the demons power was more and more visible.  And the dead silence of his host right before the storm, that is the gate opening to the performance.  It consumes its quarry and becomes so powerful it strikes fear in the hearts of lovers. Its roar and dis-value to life can be heard in the depths of hell.  No regard to the hearts broken, tears wept, scars that it leaves.  Never looking back...

     How many of us have had a demon within us?  How many of us have seen one in a friend, family member, or coworker?  We would be lying if any of us said, "no".  For some of us it comes in the form of lying, drinking, cheating, money.  What ever we let consume us and take over our lives are those demons.  We we forget our spirituality, family, work, or life and those demons effect any of those areas of our lives, we have let those demons take control.  Let's face it...we all have them.  Those things that take over our lives.  But it is only a problem if we don't recognize it before it's too late.  Let them take over and take our lives from us.  When we don't learn from our mistakes.  Say we are sorry and don't change what made us sorry.

     James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

     Good news my friends and family.  God gives us an out. He has given us the chance to free ourselves from those demons that posses us.  He has given his life for us.  I am so thankful that I have a way out, a way to get free from the devil and his powerful control.  I hope you find yours and you put on God's shield of faith.  Go forth today and conquer your demons and set yourself free!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Puppy Dog Dreams and Animal Meals (Day 32)

February 1, 2014

     A good scratch, a nice stretch, a larger than life yawn...now comes a hard decision, to sleep on the couch next to a warm body or sleep in the chair all to myself?  A dog's life is rough.  a short hop up on the couch, a few circles to find the just right spot, burrow down under the blanket.  Seconds pass and a soft Boston's snorting snore can be heard at my side.  What a life!  An hour from now he might get himself a bowl of food to eat and then head upstairs for a nice soak in the sun shining through the window, before heading downstairs for another short nap.

     Harley, my dog has never been fat.  He has never been on a diet.  He eats when and how much he wants.  He has never had to be on a vigorous exercise plan or have a trainer to guide him.  Never had to weigh in or check in with Weight Watchers.  He is pure unadulterated, lean muscle.  In fact his veterinarian says he is the healthiest, fittest, muscled Boston Terrier she has ever seen.

     Now I know that there are some pets that are over weight, not healthy, out of shape.  But how did they get that way?  They had human help.  Ever see a fat wild animal that didn't have human contact?  Now I mean really think about it.  They know how to take care of themselves.  Stay healthy, exercise, stay fit, eat what is healthy to them.  They do this automatic, without guidance.  So what do they know that we don't?

     I decided to start watching my dog and just try to figure this out.  First I notice that he eats twice a day a big meal.  He eats it at the same time almost every day.  Now he has a bowl of food that he can eat when ever he wants, but will always eat one bowl in the morning and one in the evening on most days.  Some days he only eats one bowl.  He asks for two snacks each day.  I know he is spoiled, but I know dog, he has asked so many times until he finally got it through my thick skull, what he wanted.  He lays around and naps when he is tired most of the day, unless his guard duty calls by some odd chance.  Once or twice a day, without warning he exercises.  He will unannounced, grab a toy and smiling wildly, with tongue hanging out, run like lightning through the house at full doggy speed.  Sometimes this lasts 10 minutes.

     Why with us is it much more complex than that?  We have to count calories, weigh our food, do so many minutes of cardio and so many minutes of weight training.  We have to check our weight on the scales, what our cholesterol; both LDL and HDL, watch our BMI and the percentage of water we have in our bodies.  Is it any wonder we struggle??  How can we make this easier?  I am not talking a quick fix, just an "Oh, I get it, do it like this, I can handle that change, kind of plan.  And then there are so many diets out there!  The low fat, no carb, whole grain carb, no fat, calorie counting, South Beach, Atkins, Flat Belly, Eat This, Not That, Biggest Looser, Weight Watchers kind of diets.  Makes your head spin.  What is effective?  What is safe, healthy, tried and true??  Plus easy, might I add?

     I think this is why so many of us struggle.  Where do we start?  What do we need, when?  Yes, I am still struggling.  No I haven't even gotten an inch, let alone a mile stone.  Where is that mile marker?  I can't even see it ahead!  Where's my map?  How do I program my GPS?  I am really struggling here...I hope tomorrow I can just get the key in the ignition and the car turned on.  Progress is so slow, so un-measureable.  Insert much needed encouragement here, please.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Steak, A Salad, and a Promise (Day 25)

January 25, 2014

      Oh you know it was a normal weekend.  A gift card left from Christmas, a night out to dinner with the husband. Hostess announcing as we enter the door that it would be at least an hour late.  I waited for the inevitable "I am not waiting an hour to eat here." and the departure to yet another restaurant, where we would most likely wait anyway.  But, it didn't come.  My husband calmly nodded his head, gave the hostess our name and headed to the restroom.  I sat and waited as the cold wind swept in and out of the foyer chilling my bones.  "Wow, an hour, really?" my mind complained.  Shortly after Keith returned from the restroom we were seated and our drinks were on the way. We exchanged the normal husband-wife dinner conversation about ball games, household issues, and various unimportant topics.

     This is the typical beginning to an unexpected event.  We are absorbed in the hum-drum everyday-ness that it can blind site us easily.  During that oh, so common spouse chat, my husband interjects oh so gently, "I'll go to church with you in the morning."  I was not prepared.  I was speechless.  What do I say?  Let it make an impact, make it count.  "Really?  Your not playing with me?" was my reaction.  Really?  Isn't that the way most of us as Christians are?  Unprepared to say best.  I spent the rest of the night not knowing what to say, what to do.  I felt as if I were projected back to our first date.  I went to bed not knowing what to say, think, or do.  "Is this real?"

     The next morning I got the question, "What time does church start?"  I know my mouth flew open, well at least it did in my mind.  My heart was over joyed.  There is no other gift in this world that could even begin to prepare.

     Prayer.  There is great power in prayer.  Pray unceasing.  Pray out loud. Pray unending.  Pray in the quiet.  Just Pray.  You never know when and where your results will emerge.

     1 Peter 3:1-2 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the good news, your godly lives will speak to them without any words.  They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

What kinds of magazines are found in your home?