MUSINGS

The other day on Facebook I saw a quote that was getting a big response from readers:

“Do Not Judge My Story By The Chapter You Walked In On”

Something about that message just didn’t resonate with me.  So I took some time to think about why and realized that I felt it was a somewhat aggressive message.  Truly why would someone be sharing a chapter in your life and making judgements?  Why would you invite someone to share a chapter of your life and then feel as though you have to warn them about judgement?

I thought that perhaps the message should be more like this:

Because, even though many chapters of my life have had some extremely difficult passages, the people I invited to help write those chapters have always made them more interesting.

What do you think?

What If I Became You?

what if

On Sunday Lucas and Dom had an interesting conversation on black holes.  The posited that it was a possibility if they went through a black hole they could switch identities.  This lead to a hilarious conversation about switching roles with Lucas being the grandfather and being married to me and Hillary being Dom’s mother and on and on.

But, after everyone went home it got me thinking about how would I behave if I thought I would come back to this world as another person.  Maybe a person of a different race and maybe a person without the economic privilege that I have.  Would I take the Biblical injunction to “Love my neighbor as myself” a little more to heart?

What if I became you

for just a day?

When I saw through

different eyes,

would I finally

understand?

Wishing you a week filled with good revelations,

bernadette

On Tuesday’s I try to write a slice of my life and post it at Two Writing Teacher’s.  If you get a minute check it out.  You won’t be disappointed by the stories.

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

 

52 WEEKS OF THANKFULNESS

52weekw

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.

This Monday post became a Tuesday post this week due to the holiday.

I believe in the power of positive group energy.  Perhaps if enough of us join together we can change the negative climate that exists and is overtaking our planet.  Together we can move our fellow citizens of to a better, higher and finer place.

I hope that by writing these posts that we will move together beyond thankfulness into appreciation.  Because appreciation for the moments and things for which we give thanks requires us to be mindful of our lives.  One of the “mantras” that the great Vietnamese activist and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, has written about in his book, The Art of Communicating, is: “I know you are there”.

At the end of the post you will find a link up frog and I hope you will join me on this venture and once a week write a post and link up to others and share what you are thankful for this week.

This holiday weekend my youngest son came to visit.  It has been a long time since we have come together as a family.  I was overwhelming thankful for this very rare opportunity.  But how did thankfulness become appreciation this weekend.  I think for me by taking the time to follow Thich Nhat Hanh word’s of wisdom to pay attention to the person in front of me, to let that person know that “I know you are there”.

THINGS THAT CAUSED MOMENTS OF APPRECIATION 

  • Talking to my son about his visit with his brother who is severely brain injured.
  • Watching my daughter-in-law, despite her discomfort, treat everyone with loving kindness.
  • Watching the entire family, brothers, fathers, sons, grandfathers and grandson, just enjoy a lot of laughter over the game of bocce.

bocce

Wishing you many moments of appreciation this week,

bernadette

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.  SHARE YOUR STORIES OF THANKFULNESS AND APPRECIATION.

I am sharing this post today with my friends over at TWO WRITING TEACHERS.

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

 

52 WEEKS OF THANKFULNESS

52weekw

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.

I hesitated to start this project at such an odd time of the year.  But then I reflected on the fact that the hands on my clock “keep on ticking into the future” at a very fast pace these days.  So I decided to seize the day and start this Monday feature.  At the end of the post you will find a link up frog and I hope you will join me on this venture and once a week write a post and link up to others and share what you are thankful for this week.

I believe in the power of positive group energy.  Perhaps if enough of us join together we can change the negative climate that exists and is overtaking our planet.  Together we can move our fellow citizens of to a better, higher and finer place.

I hope that by writing these posts that we will move together beyond thankfulness into appreciation.  Because appreciation for the moments and things for which we give thanks requires us to be mindful of our lives.

Saturday I spent a delightful day in New York City with my much loved husband and very dear friends.  It was a perfect day in every respect and one that I have every reason to be very thankful for.  But at small moments during the day appreciation arose and I experienced the day on a richer level.

THINGS THAT CAUSED MOMENTS OF APPRECIATION 

  • Watching my husband and friend engrossed in a conversation.
  • Feeling a cool breeze when we crossed to the shady side of the street.
  • A big smile given to me by a small child while we waited to cross a street.
  • Being able to dine while appreciating the beauty of the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River.
  • The intimacy of riding in our car in the dark and speaking about our hopes and fears for our children.

Wishing you many moments of appreciation this week,

bernadette

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.  SHARE YOUR STORIES OF THANKFULNESS AND APPRECIATION.

I am sharing this post today with my friends over at TWO WRITING TEACHERS.

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

I am also linking today with Jacqueline at ACOOKINGPOTANDTWISTEDTALES.COM.

Slice of Life – A Call To Action

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

 

The madness in our country continues.  The hate and ugliness continues to damage the beauty and hope of our wonderful democracy.

As individuals we can make sure that our little children are brought up and taught to love and respect others and as adults we should be railing against this violence by adding our voices to those who want better gun control.

southpacific

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Songwriters
Rogers and Hammerstein

The following in a snippet from Women’s Voices For Change, womensvoicesforchange.org. Take a moment to go there and read this call to action.

Monday, June 13, 2016
Dr. Pat: 14 Mass Shootings and Counting
June 13, 2016 by Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D.
“Women can force the people we elect to represent us in Congress to hear that we have had enough. Women can insist that our representatives enact legislation that will make the sale of these guns illegal. Women have a voice because we vote and we need to send a message to Washington that we have had too many mass killings in this country because someone could buy an assault rifle.”

Patricia Yarberry-Allen, MD is a gynecologist, director of the New York Menopause Center, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and an Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital . She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Yarberry- Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.
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SLICE OF LIFE – LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

How many of you remember the 1970 movie Lovers And Other Strangers?    One of the plots revolved around Mike’s Italian-American parents, Frank (Richard Castellano) and Bea (Beatrice Arthur), who are relentlessly trying to dissuade Richie and Joan from divorcing.  The tag lines from this plot were, “So, what’s the story Richie?” And the line from the wedding reception, “Do you see so and so, do you think their happy? But they are still married.

LOVERS

Dom and I remember thinking that this whole plot was hilarious.  Of course, we identified with the newlyweds in the movie and  thought the angst the parents were suffering over their son’s impending divorce very humorous.

I had lunch with a group of friends.  Our friendship date back to when our 40 something children were in grammar school.  The conversation turned to the number of those children who were starting to get divorced and how sad we all felt every time we heard that kind of news.

Later in the day I was telling Dom the news from lunch and I thought about this movie.  We both acknowledged that it was a very strange feeling to now have the role of the parents.  And we both agreed that we didn’t find Frank and Bea’s angst so hilarious anymore.

Isn’t it funny how your perspective on life changes?

Wishing you only happy news,

bernadette

SLICE OF LIFE – THE STORY OF HUNGRY

 

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

June is National Hunger Awareness Month.  As school draws to a close my thoughts turn to the many children who rely on school for regular meals.  I am reflecting that for most of those children summer isn’t the time of joy and freedom that we have come to think of at the end of the school term but a time of worry about the lack of food.

I would like to share this video called The Story of Hungry.  Perhaps we can all try to make a difference.
No Kid Hungry – Share Our Strength
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Donate to Change the Story
Watch the Video

The story of hungry takes place in schools, playgrounds and houses across the United States and the No Kid Hungry campaign is working to rewrite it.

In schools, more kids are getting breakfast, raising math test scores 17.5% where kids are accessing them.

During the summer, innovative local leaders are getting the support they need to start meal programs that work. Food trucks, new technology and better tracking turned Arkansas from the most food insecure state in the country to the state with the highest increase in the number of meals served to kids.

Things are changing everywhere, millions of kids who have had no voice are gaining one thanks to you. Find out ways that you can get involved at http://www.nokidhungry.org.
About This Project
The Story of Hungry is a unique look at hunger through the eyes of a child, created by Creative Artists Agency in partnership with the No Kid Hungry campaign, and brought to life through the talents of Hornet Studios director, Julia Potts, with contributions from music producer, Justin Stanley, and featuring the voices of Bess Frierson and No Kid Hungry spokesperson, and Academy Award winner, Jeff Bridges. Every dollar donated to No Kid Hungry will help connect hungry kids to healthy meals.
Together, we can end childhood hunger in America.
To learn more about the No Kid Hungry campaign, contact us at info@strength.org
info@strength.org

Wishing children everywhere freedom from worry,

bernadette

 

SLICE OF LIFE – THE POWER OF WORDS

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity  to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

On Sunday I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter, Maya.  After she corralled me for a good 45 minutes into making play dough butterflies, she told me she was hungry.  Now Maya is a little bit of a fussy eater and does not have a large appetite except when it comes to sweets.  I try not to make a big deal out of her finishing her plate because I am always worried about girls developing eating disorders.

Well, I made her the pancakes she requested and she filled her whole plate with them. (I know, not the most nutritional lunch but hey, I am the grandmom.)  It is no exaggeration to say that this was a tall stack for a tiny person.  Without thinking about it, I said, ” Maya I will be SHOCKED if you finish that plate”.  Well she was just charmed at first by that word SHOCKED and we started joking and having fun with it.  But somewhere along the way she started worrying about the word and her demeanor changed from happy and laughing to a little scared and worried.  I think at three years of age, she thought she knew what I meant by the word but then got a little nervous about maybe SHOCKED was a bad thing.  I stopped the word game and she had her lunch and all went happily from there.

But it got me thinking about the power of words.

PowerofWords

Isn’t it strange how with the combination of just 26 letters and the inflection of your voice,  you can make someone smile, or you can fill their eyes with tears?

My Sunday visit ending up being a potent reminder for me to watch those very powerful combination of letters before they roll out of my mind and exit my mouth.

Wishing you a week filled with kind words,

bernadette

SLICE OF LIFE – KINDNESS CHALLENGE WEEK #2

sols_green
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

Yesterday was the start of the second week of my Kindness Challenge.  The challenge this week is to notice the moments of kindness that arise in my day to day experience.

I am really looking forward to this week. I hope to become more mindful of my daily experience by seeking out the evidence of kindness in my daily experience.

Yesterday, I received an Email notifying me that I had received a new follower to my blog.  I went to the web address, http://www.fattymccupcakes.com, to check out their web.

The first post I read was from the teacher named Katie who writes the blog.  It was a post about her desire to teach in the U.K. but she had no idea at all how to go about fulfilling this dream.

I have to admit that I thought the comments were going to run the gamut of:  good luck, live your dream, never give up, etc.  And several of them contained exactly that sentiment but tucked in between those comments were people from the U.K. reaching out to her with offers of assistance – REAL ASSISTANCE!

When I caught up with her latest post, it appears she is well on her way to achieving this goal.

This was a completely unexpected opportunity to witness kindness,  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

Wishing you many moments of kindness,

bernadette

SLICE OF LIFE – KINDNESS REVISITED

Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers provide an opportunity to share your writing.

A while back I  wrote a post prompted by Earl Dizon on the difference between niceness and kindness.  I gave this a lot of thought because it seemed that the general consensus of opinion was that niceness seemed to lack authentic feeling.

One of the conclusions I came to after doing all this reading and thinking is that kindness is niceness on steroids. It springs from the same well and is activated by need in a time of suffering. I don’t agree with the idea of being nice as being shallow. I am thinking of kindness as a muscle. By daily reputations of niceness, you will build that muscle. So, when you are called upon to act, your kindness muscles are very strong with the muscle memory of being worked daily by niceness reps and do not tire from acting with kindness.

I still agree with the above conclusion.  Over the weekend I happened upon a seven week kindness challenge.

kindness

This challenge started this week and is run by Nikki at The Richness of a Simple Life, http://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com.

In this political year when there seems to be so much unkindness in the world wide web I thought this was just the thing to strengthen my kindness muscle to remind me not just to pay the NICE lip service to differences but to be truly KIND to people who do not share my political point of view.

Wishing you many opportunities to exercise your kindness muscle,

bernadette