Hidden

Once upon a time…..

 

IMG_5191

 

In the middle of a noisy, bustling and crowded metropolis, lay a hidden kingdom.  Behind the gates and beyond the woods, in the shadows of the stone garden, a princess was locked into dreamless sleep under the watchful eyes of a fiercely magnificent dragon…..

 

fullsizeoutput_27ac
The megalopolis known as Atlanta
IMG_5111
The dragon towers over….
IMG_5110
the still, sleeping princess
fullsizeoutput_27b0
Ever watchful
fullsizeoutput_27ae
he is magnificently terrifying.

 

Meanwhile, beneath the glare of the midday sun, Poseidon’s daughter sun’s herself in the cool fountain waters as she gazes wistfully into the mists of sweet memory-the ocean and freedom.

fullsizeoutput_27ad
Her comfort in the pool where she waits…

 

Yet her beauty is rivaled by the rising Phoenix, spreading its glorious wings in welcome of the admirers awaiting a small miracle from the kingdom’s most beloved creature.  Beneath its gaze lies the tavern of sustenance and indulgent delights.

 

IMG_5095
The rising Phoenix
IMG_5151-photo-full
Very decent food in the LongLeaf restaurant
IMG_5149
Hot rolls and cool beverages, both wonderful

 

Weary travelers make their way to this oasis constantly….

 

 

Venturing deeper into the lush gardens, there appears from mists of the past, a great and treasured beast…..

 

IMG_5154-photo

 

She whispered of the miracle within the heart of her world.  After traversing winding trails over bridges and and rails, we found the goddess who protects and showers the kingdom with loving tender care.

 

 

She cares for its many living wonders with gentle adoration and appreciation….

 

IMG_5180-photo-full

 

Behold!  The Green Emperor! Master of the Orchid House.

 

 

Beyond the Orchid House lay the tropical rain forest, filled with lush mystery….

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And lo and behold there he was…..my prince!

 

fullsizeoutput_27db

 

Well…..he had potential.  As he serenaded me I thought to give him a quick kiss!  Alas….

 

IMG_5094-photo-full

 

This was as good as it got.  So we put our heads together and decided our worlds were too different…..

The Zen garden was lovely as well. I made a couple of new friends there too.

 

 

And then there was the magic of glass sculpture…oh my!!

 

 

Alas it was time to leave the kingdom but we made a map so that we could return again….and again. Weary, but satisfied, we left the magic and wonder with tired feet and full spirits.

If you are ever in Atlanta, take a detour from the hustle and bustle and visit the magical kingdom….

 

 

Advertisements

The Pooh in You

7BAD3A00-357A-49F8-8984-BB1FC063D689

C5B11FC3-9DD9-4435-8A01-2C32CAF01625

How many times have I had this thought? How many times have I felt even smaller than my physical stature and emotionally ill equipped to compete in a world so driven by extreme emotion and knee jerk reaction? How many times do I compare myself to others so that I can look down on myself before anyone else does?

It took a lifetime to realize the true source of my misery. Some kind folks used to tell me, “Don’t let them steal your joy.” It made sense but still left me in the role of the victim. And how could I stop them? They were so much more confident than me-no one dared make them feel ‘less-than’. It was as if I had a neon bullseye attached to my heart that flashed out to the world, “Free shots, bring your really big guns!” So many days I have felt like a gunslinger, just waiting for the next rebel to call me out for a duel to the death.

Make no mistake. I was by no means a helpless rabbit. No, no, I am a Cancer on the astrological chart; and what Cancer does when cornered is pull out the really big claws. My fight or flight instinct has always been well honed, and I have been victorious over the long arm of evil doing on many occasions. I have to say that it was never gratifying because for we home bodied crabs,  a broken relationship is always a loss, a failure, and somehow all our fault. 

7D2DC9CF-8BE1-4A5A-A1DE-1A7DAD143EA6

Along the path I have walked, I have been blessed with angels and guides, coming in all forms, including those not so palatable ones; for I know that life lessons are manifest in all that we experience. Once I began to understand that what triggered me most negatively in others was often something I feared was within me, my ability to deal with these issues changed. When we accept negative aspects within ourselves and treat ourselves with love, compassion and forgiveness, we soon realize how very small the things that once loomed large and menacing over our relationships truly are.

When we accept that the sum of ourselves is made up of many different aspects, both positive and negative, we can then close the gap of separation that keeps us so often at odds with our outer world.

This way of being is not to be confused with passivity, for such a path dictates that we accept all wounds, absorb all negative energy and never fight back-all in the name of being peaceful. I believe it is possible to be at peace within while having a warrior spirit that is ready to defend and protect ourselves when necessary.

I have arrived at an emotional place where I accept that my world truly is one where I create the environment I exist within. When I feel a soul vampire (yes, they do exist but are not so honest as to be easily recognized) honing in on me, I shut down my own emotional response system and begin calling light energy to surround me and fill the space between us. I refuse to acknowledge the attack, turn away from my own need to defend, and soon they just stop. The first time this happened was so miraculous I wanted to shout to the world. Now, the greater question for me as the deep thinker that I am is:

Am I truly shutting them down defensively or is my refusal to recognize the attack making it not exist at all? Either way, my walk has become more peaceful because I made an adjustment to that advice given me so long ago. No longer do I say, “Don’t let them steal your joy.” Instead I have taken ownership of my well-being. Now I say,

“Don’t give your joy away.” No one can steal anything from you emotionally which you do not allow or give of your own free will. The devil can’t ‘make you do it’ and the Creator is not a Geni who grants wishes to the blessed and chaste few. Life is directed by the positive flow of The Creator, and when we are in sync with that fllow, our lives work-through good times and bad. We are spiritual beings in a world held together by extreme energy. Sometimes these things blend and excite for a beautiful existence while at others they clash to create storms that often devastate. Science and spirituality coexisting since the dawn of time. Perhaps they are one and the same.

Ask the ‘lesser’ creations….

9119939A-84C0-4D1B-8FF2-23D000F7A4F4

They go with the flow. They live to exist and exist because they are about the business of living. When one bird is aggressive, the other sits by until the he leaves. If the timid bird is hungry enough, she fights back, getting what she needs. I’ve never seen one off alone crying for lost bird seed, though. There really is more than enough of everything to go around.

I may not be able to change the world, but I can definitely change my way of being in it. If one is to believe in the Butterfly Effect theory, perhaps this is enough to effect some kind of positive change. And that is always a good thing.

I hope you all have a beautiful week. And if you have a chance, grab this little gem of a book. Be like Pooh. Because being a bear in the Hundred Acre Wood is a very zen thing. 😘

51B13129-569E-4096-B338-0B009F720CD9

My latest project in the works.

Free 48/Weekend Adventures

I had a stellar weekend. Really, it was all I wanted and came right on the heels of a great week. Was work perfect? Hardly. But I realize the things that mean the most to me are those little gold flecks that show up while I am sifting through life’s dirt and rock to make a living, with or without striking it rich. Things like friends that pass through town and spend an evening relaxing and laughing over some great food. Things like meals I neither have to cook nor clean up after. Things like preparing a simple, tasty lunch with my hubby and enjoying it outdoors.

I‘ve made my mind up about one thing since returning to full time work after our brief ‘retirement’ in Costa Rica.

 

I cannot go back to living for the weekend.

 

C1A5A109-166C-4211-9274-710870A9E5DE

 

My time in paradise taught me that each day is meant to be lived entirely-whether brilliant, beautiful, boring or back breaking. When we power through our days with blinders on working toward those precious moments we feel belong to us alone, shining like a trophy on a folding table at the finish line, several things happen.

Number one, we rush through our moments, trying to ignore the difficult ones while our eyes are glued to the checkered flag waiting to mark the end of another gruelling race.

Secondly, we build ourseleves up for something stupendous to serve as our reward for a job well done, for putting up with so much nonsense for yet another week and for perservering through life’s muck and mire to get to that place in the sun we call our weekend. And then it rains. 🙄

Thirdly, we age while we live our lives in chunks of time. Week to weekend, holiday to holiday. Vacation to vacation. Another year closer to retirement. Talk about a hamster wheel!

 

86F61551-A482-43E0-A594-60145FEF139A

While I can’t always (though I try like hell) improve the quality of a nightmarish work day, I can at least step outside of myself to be objective.

 

This too shall pass

 

I can’t change the attitudes of anyone around me, so I must be content to do what I feel is healthy for me and hope that someone else might find value in my outlook, might learn to laugh instead of complain about the small stuff, and so a ripple effect is begun.

Sooooo. I have made the decision to no longer live for the weekend; and the first step in this new mental directive is to change the way I view the mini repreive I get every 120 hours.

Henceforth the afore mentioned ‘weekend’ will be now be referred to as the Free 48. The Glorious 48 hours that are blank pages in my book of days. What do you think?

I am celebrating this new outlook by sharing my very first Free 48 with you here. It was relaxing, exhilarating, creative, fun, rewarding, loving….did I mention it was really good? Here are a few of the simple, fantastic details.

It started Friday afternoon by grilling shrimp with the hubby and enjoying our meal on the deck under some welcome sunshine.

 

E02A3101-9AB8-4FA4-9378-F429167B9822
Magenta blooms
413238FD-DCED-4663-82CB-53AC51EABBF2
A nice Reisling to go with our shri p
B92F43BC-E987-49C0-ABE1-4DD63E02BE8E
My humble little paradise in the making, check out the SUNshine……..

 

Then, my ‘book-that-never-came’ from Amazon finally arrived! Yaaaay!! (Yeah, it was sent again with actual shipping info too!) Miracles do happen.  This little book is a real treasure. If you haven’t read it I recommend it highly. The simple truth of the Tao spoken through the heart of a lovable bear.

 

0E9CEC39-680C-4B4E-86A4-99939BFA96BB
The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet. 💕
8E571D17-E212-4C47-B50F-1F2D5B68284B
Which explains my completely Zen feeling all weekend.

 

Then, Saturday we got out for an early morning hike. Well, early is relative since my one rule of the Free 48 is no alarm clocks. But we did make it out of the house by ten am. Hubby is in charge of adventure time, finding us new trails, parks and places of interest. This time we hit the Silver Comet Trail, a very scenic and easy to walk paved hiking trail that goes on for miles. We did about three. It was beautiful but had a bit too many bikers for my comfort. (More on this subject on One Liner Wednesday. I’m working to keep my ohhhhmmmmm on here.)LOL.

After our hike we rewarded ourselves with a great Mexican meal and margaritas at our new favorite Mexican place in town. (More on that for Thursday Doors)

 

44165862-6EB4-4829-AB0D-7E96155CCC5A
Silver Comet Trail
24EB8D7A-EE8F-4A55-A94C-F8EE3D5F99BD
I wanted so much to get a shot of this tunnel sans people-no easy task.
EB3869AE-9260-41EB-977A-ECA5B4C16DA7
Someone else was feeling Zen!
23C6E0BA-047E-4D80-B878-058D40CE5B6F
My new best friend in a glass.

 

Now on to my favorite moment….

Sunday brunch with my youngest at the place we tried to go before. You know….where the awesome bar Eleanor  is? 

Yes! We finally ate at Muss and Turner’s. And it waaaas good. From the Tropicalia on draft to the pulled smoked pork andwich on an H &F bun, it was all I hoped it would be.

 

 

But the real gift was the company. Food, no food, we all had a great time catching up!

 

C82D999C-276B-4008-9051-F00C2326DAC2

Oh yeahhhhh…I actually spent an evening working on my latest creative exploration. I have wanted to try my hand at paper bead making for quite awhile. It was such fun! I am only just getting started. 👏🏻🙈

 

8B319506-50A1-454C-9E54-5019AF49442A

 

Sooooo…..there you have it. My first Free 48. Can’t wait to gear up again in about….well…..who’s counting anyway? 😉Have a great week friends!