The P Word

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Prayer. Sometimes more difficult to say than the F-word. Why is that? I think that many people associate prayer with a religious affiliation. Nothing wrong with that, but it might mean that people don’t understand what prayer can do.

Have you ever shrieked “Oh, my God!” when you witnessed something scary? Or whispered “help me!” when you were alone and afraid? Those statements are prayers.

Scientists and doctors are providing data that when someone is ill and receiving prayers, their recovery is much quicker.

You see, you don’t have to be in a specific place or be in a spiritual state of mind to pray. Praying is just talking to the Universe or Spirit, or any other name – or not – that you choose. It’s saying thank you when you’ve had a good day. It’s asking for help for a friend when they are in need. It’s asking for the good health and recovery when you or anyone else is experiencing an illness. It’s praying that the planet pulls its collective head out of its a$$ and gets on the path to a gentler, kinder and more cooperative way of life.

So, get down on your knees or not, and have a conversation with the Universe. God knows, we could use the help.

Blooming-burg

garden
view from the front door

I love our front garden.  It’s a tiny bit of paradise filled with color and life.  We created this out of a grass-filled space, and it has grown much in a few years.

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Phlox, more columbines and everyone needs a fairy garden

I love seeing it all come alive in the spring.  A reminder that nature knows exactly what it needs to do all the time.

pink columbine
Planted one pink columbine and it has spread significantly

bleeding hearts
1 of 3 bleeding heart plants

I continually add new plantings, just because some of them don’t always like the winter months or may they don’t like where I put them.

poppies
poppies

It’s okay, that is why it is called garden-ing; a verb rather than a noun.  For me, just creating a beautiful space that I love.

fish
even the yard creatures practice safety

cat
there are two of these and are social distancing

I Can’t Believe What I Heard

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Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

Cognitive dissonance occurs when you suddenly hear completely conflicting information about a long-held belief.  It causes stress and anxiety, and can change your brain pathways to that which resemble someone with PTSD.

A good example of cognitive dissonance is someone who began smoking during the years that the Marlboro Man commercials were running.  Sexy, mysterious, the actor playing this role made smoking look cool and tough.  These ads were soon followed by Joe Camel.  Both depicted a habit that was thought to be completely acceptable.  And then. . .lung cancer became the new enemy.

Many smokers went into complete denial.  “That won’t happen to me.”  Some thought they should just cut back.  And there were others who probably thought “what the hell, I’m going to die someday, anyway” and increased their consumption.  These behaviors were maladaptive, in order to lessen the belief’s conflict.  Cognitive dissonance occurred when they encountered someone, or heard evidence of smoking-induced lung cancer.  Cortisol would flood the body and eventually contribute to chronic inflammation, the root cause of most diseases.

Cognitive dissonance can occur when a trusted source of information suddenly denounces everything they supported, or even removes evidence of such.  I believe we are in a time when such things are occurring.  So, how do you reconcile conflicting beliefs?

Avoidance can be helpful, but might be just putting your head in the sand.  Defiance, which may or may not get you into trouble.  Changing your belief, but you might want to perform due diligence of fact-checking both sets of beliefs.  But ultimately, it comes down to what do you feel in your gut.  Your gut is an extremely powerful sensory device.  You’ve had that sick feeling when you are around someone who makes you feel bad or is scary.  Trust that feeling.  Make time for meditation so you can tune into the Universe and ask for guidance.  Don’t worry if you don’t hear anything immediately.  The Universe will get the answer to you in multiple ways, even with a song playing over and over in your head.  When you feel inside that you have your truth, seek out like-minded individuals who will support you.

Just don’t make yourself sick over someone’s lies.