Character

ethics-2991600_640I found a little saying in a magazine many years ago, clipped it, and pinned it to my bulletin board at work.

“Character – Be True to your Word, your Work and your Friends.”

fashion-3080181_640You can be a character, eccentric and colorful, or an actor in a movie, play or book.  I like to think I’m a little bit colorful.  But the other definition spoke to me more.

“The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”  To me, this definition speaks of integrity whose definition is much the same.  Another simple way of saying this is “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

 

Character or integrity should be an important aspect of who we are.  If you are wishy-washy or evasive, people will lose trust in you.  Integrity is a favorable quality to have in your work, one that will get you recognition, promotions and possibly more money.  Having integrity will build character and that will earn respect.  You can be likeable and even lovable, but if you don’t have integrity you won’t get respect.

business-1869266_640Stand by your word.  Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes – you will actually get more respect by being honest and truthful.  It also helps if you step up to the plate and take action to repair the damage, even if you have to ask for help.

If someone asks you to do something that compromises your integrity, say no.  If you know that what you are doing is legally, ethically and morally right, stand on that and follow through.  Saying no to someone’s demand that you do something in opposition to that, might momentarily get you in trouble, but ultimately you will be respected and recognized for doing the right thing.

God knows we have so many people with so few ethics, that you need to hold onto every little bit you have.

Because, really, the only person you really have to answer to is yourself.

 

 

Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.

 

restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.

Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.

Techno Trash

password-222331_640The saga of the crashed computer and lifeless Seagate continues.  After recovering the black box of death, I have continued to leave it unplugged until I feel that restoration is complete.  I have been digging through the 10,000 files.  Don’t laugh, you might be there too and will need a sympathy pat on the head.  Or sympathy shot of tequila.  Or whatever.

There were quite a few techy files, like the FAT tables and such, that I vaguely understand but am doing nothing with.  I wouldn’t know what to do with them even if I did understand what they were.  I worked my way through the documents and pdfs and it appears that I am missing some so I will have to run the magic recovery tool again.  Got the music files sorted out and then moved on to the photos.

Head-scratching time.

Most of the photos were replicated 2 to 4 times.  I have a lot of travel photos so that explains the 10,000 files.  Oh. Dear. God.  I picked through some of them and realized that might take a decade.  Then I discovered that I could sort the recovered files by date created.  Ahh!  Then I made folders by year and month and dumped them into each folder.  I was wise enough to label my original folders by destination, month and year and they are not very extensive.  So I have been viewing each of the month/year folders, sorting them by date created and deleting the duplicates.  And triplicates.  And quadruplicates – or whatever.  Once I get them cleaned up, I dump them back into the original folder.  It is tedious to say the least, but it is better than crying myself sick.  I plan on getting a flash drive to save all my photos as an additional source in case of crashes or push-here-dummy drive deletions.

broken-153601_640And the laptop crashed again.  Sure glad I decided to keep Big Dog Dell.  It recovered much faster this time, but I am puzzled as to why.  Looks like it will need to go visit the geek doctor.  Hopefully said doctor won’t laugh at my sorry tale.

I read in the news about the VPN Filter unleashed upon poor, unsuspecting routers.  To be safe, I unplugged and reset my router.  I don’t know why any of those mean hacker people would bother with my household.  We won’t vote for someone we don’t like.  We have no political influence. Our bank accounts aren’t worth enough to buy a small country or missile.  My internet goes up and down often enough that their hacking efforts would be wasted.  Hard to say if any of this has anything to do with my laptop, but the geek doctor can figure that out.

I miss good old-fashioned printed photos, but they take up space and can get lost too.  Technology is a useful tool, but it is not infallible.  The reality is that nothing really lasts forever.  Our human bodies give out and we pass on, leaving behind a bunch of photos or music that no one likes and stuff to haul to the landfill.  Enjoy and cherish the moments.  Live well and live happily.  Enjoy your stuff for you alone and not what you might leave for someone else.

But remember to back-up your computer.  You never know who might be hacking.

Tech No File

broken-153601_640Last weekend, my laptop experienced a heart attack.  I immediately applied the paddles, in the form of Restore and Repair.  It was on life support all through the night and into the next day.  I feared the worst so off to Best Buy I went and came home with Big Dog Dell.password-222331_640

 

 

 

Oddly enough, a few days before I had the thought that the next computer I bought should be a desktop.  Hmmm.  Universe warning me?

I carted the Big Dog into the house and found that my laptop came out of its coma.  Well, sh*t.  I decided to keep Big Dog as it would take me further into the future when I won’t have the income readily available.  Living in a three-story house where all the computers are on the third floor. . . well it would be nice to have one on floor one.  We have a tablet, but it doesn’t like me very much so the laptop would be handy-dandy.

Big Dog sits proudly on my desk.  It has enough ports and slots that I could connect the entire house should I choose.  It could probably power it too, but lest I get carried away I started with the simple things.  It ran through the usual I-must-update-from-my-factory-settings-for-an-hour and then it was my turn.  I loaded up the anti-terrorist/hacking/viral/socialranting software.  Printer.  Office 365.  And then it was recommended to set up a recovery drive.  I thought that was a good idea since I just experienced the cardiac event.

It was then I made the classic rookie mistake.

The available drives were: C: which everyone knows is the hard drive where all the working stuff lives, so don’t touch it; Seagate Hard Drive – an external drive that I keep photos, music and various documents in case the C: croaks; and then it listed F: with some name I never heard of.  Okay, that’s the place to put the recovery drive.  So I selected it and it said it would delete all files on it.  Well, since it wasn’t something I knew about I figured there shouldn’t be anything there.  Right?

apocalypse-2801597_640As soon as it started, the Seagate disappeared.  F*ck.  I cancelled the process and checked the Seagate.  Every last mother-f*cking file was gone.  Double F.*.C.K.  I decided that I would not beat myself up for such a colossally stupid mistake.  Surely to God there is a way to recover the files.  By now, all you techies out there are alternately laughing yourselves silly and shaking your head in sympathy.  I wish you had been there to help.  I unplugged said destroyed black box of death and loaded up the internet.  I landed on the EaseUS website and they indeed had a recovery utility tool that could suck files from the bowels of death.  I paid the 70 bucks and downloaded the program.

code-1689066_640They weren’t kidding.  It ran the initial scan and recovered FAT tables and such.  Okay. Then it went into “Deep Scan” and hit the motherlode.  Ten Thousand – yes that is 10,000 – files later it finished.  OMFG.  I had that much crap?!  It’s going to take a few weeks to get through all that.

I’ve said it many times, and at times with my teeth clenched, that the Universe will deliver us a good solid whack on the head when we need it.  Good things are coming out of this little death.  Several months ago, I uploaded photos and music to the Great Hard Drive In The Sky as a secondary backup.  That was the first place I looked to recover files.  And discovered that not everything had uploaded.  Lesson 1 – if you save something somewhere, close out and go back and check to make sure it is there.  Lesson 2 – if you save stuff either to your C:, the Drive in the Sky, flash drive, CD (yes they still exist), SIM card, external drive or a folder in your desk, look in those places at least once a year and pitch the sh*t that is no longer relevant to your life.  You will be happy you did, unless you really want to view those 10,000 restored files.  As I started opening each of the files that had been in the bowels of the Seagate, I found that a good portion of them just needed to be flushed away.  Into the trash bin they went.

I have to look at all the music and photos I saved, both from the recovery and from the Drive In The Sky, and decide what to keep and make sure I save them in both places.  It feels pretty good, actually.  Near death experiences do that to you.  Help you get a perspective on what you want, need and want to maintain.

I’m going to put a sticky note on the Big Dog to remind myself to clean out my stored crap once a year.  Especially those really awful pictures.  You know the kind I’m talking about.

Will & Grace

will-and-grace[1]I have never watched the show, but I don’t watch much TV.  So I don’t know much about it.  I am talking about your Will, as in your personal power and Grace, staying calm and cool under pressure.

In today’s crazy times, it is very easy to lose your cool and have a public meltdown. H*ll, we see it all the time on the news! Doesn’t mean that we all want to witness that, much less be the one who wails like a two-year-old.

Having a Will is healthy as it means that you have a sense of self and appropriate boundaries. Will helps you get up in the morning. Will gets you to the gym to do something about that beer gut. (Yes, you know it’s there.) Will gets you to survive and thrive. Will helps you write that novel.

man-1207675_640But the most important thing that Will does for you is getting you to stand up for yourself. You have a right to your beliefs. You have a right to your emotions. You have a right to be safe and cared for. Will doesn’t do this at the expense or pain of anyone or anything else. That’s Will’s black-sheep cousins, Coward and Narcissist.

When Will stands up for your beliefs, Will needs to invite Grace to the party. Grace acts with dignity. Grace remains calm, but stands firm. Grace has an inner badass. Grace does not screech and demand her way. Grace bends her Will to a Higher Power as she knows that something bigger is there to guide and protect her.

If you put Will & Grace on your team, you will walk through life being respected for honoring your needs with dignity. And some people will think you are a badass.

Chakra Cleanup – The Benefits of Meditation

art-dawn-dusk-56006Meditation lowers your blood pressure, heart rate and soothes and calms your nervous system. It helps you to open up to Divine guidance. And it is an easy method to balance and tune up your chakra system.

There are many meditation methods and you can find whatever you resonate with on the internet. I use a visualization style and move energy through my body this way. Always begin with several slow, deep breaths and continue them through your meditation.

If you need a very quick, calming and energizing method simply visualize the top of your head opening up like a funnel. Then reach up into the Universe and drawn down a column of Divine white light. Pull it into the top of your head and slowly draw it down through your body, pushing out negativity down through the soles of your feet. Let the light go deep into the earth to ground and connect you. You will be amazed how much better you’ll feel in just minutes.

A longer meditation starts the same way with the Divine light. Then you can balance the chakras.  Look to the base of your spine and see the first chakra as a red ball. Spin it clockwise and visualize negative debris flying out. Then fill it with gold light. Move the energy up to the second chakra and do the same. Continue up through all the chakras. Then draw down another column of Divine light to further connect the chakra system. Finally visualize yourself being surrounded with a large egg-shaped ball of gold light. This acts as a shield to help prevent negativity from being sucked into you.

Regular meditation keeps your energy system functioning optimally, keeping you healthy and happy.

Let’s Talk Chakras – The Advent of the 12 Chakra System

12chakrasystem-web[1]12/21/2012 is known as the date that began a shift in Divine Energy. The Universe is simply tired of the old way of doing things. Mean people can’t hide in the shadows anymore. Greed, corruption, male domination, lack of empathy and compassion and many other negative patterns. . .I guess you could say it is the time to clean up the Seven Deadly Sins.

We live in volatile times. Shifting energy will do that. Think Spring on a grand scale. Just imagine what will blossom when we get through this. I doubt that our minds can even comprehend that right now.

Another shift in energy is with the chakra system in the body. If you have been following this series, you know that there are seven that exist within the body. There are a few minor ones that I haven’t written about: hands, feet and ears. They need equal attention as the others. Five additional new chakras are being awakened and they exist outside of your body. As they are still developing, I don’t know enough yet to write about them. However, the eighth chakra – The Higher Self – is the one we should be opening up to.

The Higher Self Chakra allows you to seek guidance from higher realms. Your Higher Self is the part of you that knows all about you and guides you to your best good. Expanding this will open you to spiritual channels that can take you to a more meaningful existence. Think Archangels and the Council of Light. They are the guardians of the planet, guiding us to peace and ensuring that we don’t blow the thing up. Good to know. Earth is an amazing incredible place, filled with endless possibilities for growth and spiritual development. We have no idea how important it is in the grand scheme of the Universe, which is why these Higher Beings are so involved.

Open your heart, allow your mind to expand with possibilities you can’t see, listen with your inner hearing to the Wise voices that can and will guide you to happiness and contentment. Don’t know what that sounds like? They speak very formal-like and calm, always starting with “We”. They will never, ever make you feel bad, scared, depressed, nervous or any other negative emotion. Their truth will resonate down in your gut in a way that you don’t understand, but just know without a doubt. If you listen to their guidance, your life will be smoother. Oh the sh*t you might be dealing with will still be there, but that guidance will help you get through it with confidence and composure. If you let them, they’ll even reduce the drama.  Wouldn’t that be nice!

So tune out, tap in and turn on the faucet of light that will fill you with the strength, courage, confidence and direction to move forward in your life. A meaningful existence will seek you out, giving you purpose and the desire to stay here as long as possible. You’ll improve your health without struggle. Relationships will be with like-minded people. You’ll have exactly what you need in your garden of life.

May Divine Light and Love be with you always.

Let’s Talk Chakras – Part Seven – The Crown Chakra

crown-2533113_640This is the seventh in a series about our energy body that consists of Chakras. Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”. We each have seven of them located along the spine, from the base up to the crown of your head. There is an additional one located slightly above the top of your head. Chakras are funnel-shaped, spin in a clockwise circle, and you have one on the front of you that draws in energy and one on the back that gives out energy. It is beneficial to you to keep them spinning and have a balance of flow in and out.

The seventh chakra is located, appropriately, on the crown of your head. It vibrates to the color violet in the light spectrum. Physical issues are related to depression, fatigue and constantly feeling out of sorts.

The Crown Chakra connects you to Spirit. Here is where your beliefs reside concerning religion, spirituality, sense of purpose, divine guidance and trust in that which you cannot see. Your deeply held beliefs waging war with those that might be imposed upon you by others will cause you to feel aimless in your life. A general feeling of illness that simply won’t go away can be based in this inner conflict. Only you can determine what you believe in. If it simply doesn’t feel right down in your gut, then it is not for you. Going against someone else’s belief system that they have imposed upon you might feel like a fight you don’t want and might cause a permanent riff, but whose happiness is most important? Another person’s? Or yours? If you choose the path that is for your highest and best good, then Spirit will support you by giving you the direction to take. And your life will be immensely better.

Open your Crown Chakra and connect with Spirit. Listen to the guidance you receive and act upon the direction. Ask Spirit for help with the next step. Watch how your life beautifully unfolds. And thank Spirit for helping.  As this corresponds to the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – self actualization – then contentment, feeling safe, feeling supported, and a sense of belonging bring peace to your life.  Which is what all of us really want anyway.  Namaste.

It is important to keep your chakras clean and spinning in a clockwise direction. A regular practice of meditation, with a focus on re-balancing your chakras, is the best method of keeping them healthy.

Let’s Talk Chakras – Part Six – The Third Eye Chakra

brow-2533110_640 (1)This is the sixth in a series about our energy body that consists of Chakras. Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”. We each have seven of them located along the spine, from the base up to the crown of your head. There is an additional one located slightly above the top of your head. Chakras are funnel-shaped, spin in a clockwise circle, and you have one on the front of you that draws in energy and one on the back that gives out energy. It is beneficial to you to keep them spinning and have a balance of flow in and out.

The sixth chakra is located in the center of your forehead. It vibrates to the color indigo in the light spectrum. Physical issues are related to migraines, seizures, sinuses and vision.

The Third Eye Chakra is all about intuition. For many people, it is the awakened sense of clairvoyance or the ability to see beyond the physical. An awakened Third Eye is your inner “bullsh*t detector”. It helps you to see the truth behind situations and others’ motives. When you have opened yourself to your intuition, you can see your eye looking back at you when you close them. It works sort of like the shutter of a camera, but with more control to the exposure. It can be very beneficial to keep your third eye opened.

But along with an awakened Third Eye comes your need to trust. You must learn to discern spiritual truth from your ego’s barking. The ego will fight for control and try to keep you disconnected from Spirit so its messages are negative and frightfully urging. Spirit will be softly persistent and always be for your highest and best good. The more you listen to and see the truth in a matter, the easier it will become and your life will flow much smoother.

It is important to keep your chakras clean and spinning in a clockwise direction. A regular practice of meditation, with a focus on re-balancing your chakras, is the best method of keeping them healthy.