Two spaces, yes 2 or TWO…

so very glad this was written!

This is a pet peeve of mine. This article elucidates the real facts on end of sentence spacing. Thank You!

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A little aside…may the season live always…

I can not let the year move forward without a little tribute to the drifting away of my favorite season.  I mention this because I am always so busy at Christmas time.  I wanted to share a picture from the season which will inspire me throughout 2014.  I carry the Christmas season in my heart and I wished to explain why, because it matters.

We live in an age that is becoming soul-less.  We are skeptical, we are irreverent, we lack any real wonder, and wonder why.  The Christmas season, in the United States at least, was a time we could all come together in a harmony that recharged us as a people.  What I mean is, the spirit of this season was shared, it was embraced, and it carried itself across races, creeds, religions, and other obstacles.  It was a time we shared a joy.  It was a time we thought about others, treating them better, about being better ourselves.  It was a time of true humanity  But this has changed.

Now, even I, have found myself less likely to let the magical words “Merry Christmas” spring from my lips so readily as it has in the past.  When is it appropriate, who will respond in kind, who will be offended?  REALLY!?  Even I feel this pressure.  Wow.

This strikes me deep.  Here is why.  I feel the spirit of the season being strangled by some opposing force.  It is not subtle, but it is not right out there either.  I went home for Christmas.  It is a simpler place, not as crowded, not as cynical, not as affected by the zeitgeist of skepticism and disconnectedness. I could barely go anywhere without someone wishing me a very sincere “Merry Christmas.”  It was refreshing, it was invigorating, it truly made my year end in the best way possible.

There is a beauty in the season I love that can not be foudn any other time.

There is a beauty in the season I love that can not be found any other time.     Copyright 2014-2015 B. Baldwin

So…what does this mean?  What it means is we are losing something that is part of our national identity.  It is being lost on Black Fridays, Sales, Cynicism, Disbelief, and on the sorrow of those disillusioned with life in general who would steal the joy of others.  A time built on a great gift, a freely given gift of love, selfless love, is being made less than it is.  Less than it ought to be.  It makes me sad.

So, I wanted to share my thoughts.  I am not offering a solution, or pointing fingers, or even trying to make others feel bad, or less, or inadequate.  I am just saying.  Saying we need to be aware of what is being lost.  I went home, I had time with family, I had strangers sincerely wish me nothing more or less than a Merry Christmas.  In a sense whey wished me a joyous day…what can anyone find wrong with that?  I shared time with my parents and the church family I grew up with on Christmas Eve.  It was sacred.  It was special.  It was truly beautiful.  It fed my spirit and soul.

I just wanted to share my experience in a picture along with my thoughts.

#Reverb13 – What is Community?

The phrase “It takes a village” is often bandied about, in reference to child-rearing, running a business, just about everything. But if you’re anything like me, you may not be a natural born collaborator.
In 2014, how could you explore what community means to you?

It might be a question of sharing the load, asking for help or signing on someone with a complementary skill set. Or it could be about a creative collaboration that pushes you to explore new ideas and media.


Where might the alchemy be?

Wow.  What a big word this is…  “Community” and then we add “Alchemy.”  Yikes!

     Unlike so many other people I am NOT a natural collaborator.  In fact, I am the opposite.  I like working on things, cracking the codes of life and learning, pretty much on my own.  I do have those I bounce things off of.  I have people who keep me grounded and are my honest critics whom I rely upon.  Some realize they do this, others do not.

     I will say, my community is an interesting group of crazy critters with unique personalities.  I think the alchemy in my life will exist in not losing touch.  It will exist in finding those who can inspire and challenge me all at once.

     A part of my life that is infinitely important, but has not been expressed in my life as important is my faith.  I have mentioned my parents in the past, but I have not mentioned how important my faith in Christ is to me. I would like to build my church community more this year as it has been absent from my life over the last few years.  This is with the exception of when I visit my parents.  I never miss Christmas Eve, as it is what highlights the closing of my year and my beloved Christmas season.  I also always attend with them whenever I am home on a Sunday.  My faith grounds me, and my Church community where I grew up treat as though I am one of their children to this day.

     This year, perhaps, I will try to challenge myself greater in finding my sense of community.  My friends, I have found, tend to be of interesting and rare personality types.  They all tend to have very specific things that make them who they are.  In other words, they are not part of the average or normal crowd.  We all stand out.  This year, I think I need to work more on collaborating, and perhaps transforming my creative world through some alchemy of relationships.

     This year I shall work to form a stronger mastermind group.  We can use technology to meet, and share and inspire.  Actually, I think, in spite of my introverted ways, I can really benefit and enjoy this!

     Here is to 2014!

Muddy Waters #Reverb13 – 12ish

I’m a big fan of muddy experiences. They become our greatest teachers when we’re wise enough to exfoliate with them; roll around in the deep until we finally feel ready to get clean. 

Today, identify something muddy that kept recurring for you throughout 2013, and then ask yourself this: What’s the clear truth underneath this damn mud if I finally wash myself clean?

      Doubt.  It can be such a powerful, even destructive word.  It has had too much power at times in the last year.  What I learned was that underneath the muddy doubt muck was strength.  If you do not doubt, you are not thinking enough.  But doubt is also a powerful tool if you shine it up…because it helps you identify obstacles that you can then remove!

     More than once this last year I doubted my ability, or sanity in pursuing a Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine.  Aside from the obvious mental and academic rigor of any study of medical related fields is the mounting debt.  Yikes!  But then I shine of that doubt removing that mud, that soot, that tarnish of worry, and underneath is resolve and the knowledge that I will be able to truly help people in miraculous and safe ways…I can do it, and I will find many ways to use my talent to remove that debt from my life.

     Yeah…use that doubt to renew your resolve, remove obstacle, and re-ignite your drive!

Ten to Go!

There are roughly ten more prompts from #Reverb13  and I will finish them.  I am trying to schedule more time now that my major commitments have passed.  I wish to make this blog everything I have dreamed up.  Well, really that is just whatever is on my off-centered mind!  My thoughts.  Things that interest me, fascinate me, make me think.  Oh how scary and fun this could become!  🙂

#Reverb13 – Face It Fearless!

Yes!  I am still finishing my #Reverb13, and I am not ashamed!  I intend to finish it in order to set great intentions for this year that I am in!  What a year 2014 is going to be!

The Prompt:

What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?

     I will be honest, my main challenge is one that most of us face.  Money.  I am intent on learning to manage my money, and not let it manage me.  I am intent on moving from a sole proprietor of a business to an LLC.  I will learn to automate my business, streamline my studying and manage my time effectively and efficiently.

Wow…that is quite the list (and not everything), but I will face it boldly and have already set my intentions.  Now…just have to build my vision board, write out my goals in a proper format to assure I set their intention correctly, give a timeframe, and make them real, not just ideas in my head!

Happy Wednesday!

A Life I Love! #Reverb13 day 10ish

Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?

How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014?

Dull routines, how I do not thrive on thee!

So much of my life is defined by my work and my schooling at the moment. Auto-pilot is something that is easy, almost comfortable to fall into. Except, dull-drum drives me insane. Really, I like to do different things. I thrive on discovery and wonder, and generally making each day as special as possible.

Being in school, working on cultivating and honing my healing gifts with a Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine does not leave room for dullness. It challenges me. There is an entirely new philosophy on life and medicine that is literally foreign to me. Surprise? Nope, it is tough. Sometimes it is routine, going to class, taking exams, cramming new information in to my head. Yes, it is blessing and curse all at once. But I do love it. But, I do need a break from time to time.

In 2013 my breaks were basically trips home. In 2014 I am committed to a few things. First, exercise, both physically and mentally, or external and internal. I will make more “trips” to spend time by the water, and actual trips to get out and go hiking. I will spend me time, and I will be in better contact with my friends. I have essentially lost contact with far too many of my friends in the last couple of years as I have been so very focused on my education and success therein.

This is how I will turn off that “auto-pilot” button! I will do so by living, being mindful, and by keeping myself active and above all…taking care of myself and cultivating my relationships with others!

#Reverb13 – Day 9 Yup, I’m back!

Who inspired you in 2013? And why?

What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2014?

Yes, tomorrow is 2014! It has been a busy month, and I did well enough on my Finals, took some time with my family, and did my best to recharge…so here we go! I am going to finish this commitment!

Who inspired me this year? Who indeed. I never look far for inspiration. No one actually should. There are too many people in our lives who may inspire us in small and large ways. So, I look to my Aunt Marylin.

My Aunt Marylin is no longer with us. Her cancer recurred in April of 2013. Through it all, she kept a positive attitude, lived as deeply as she could and inspired me. I only got to see her once. She had a big smile on her face and that is how I will remember her. She fought, she lived, she enjoyed life, her family and the time she had.

The lesson her example and inspiration taught me for 2014 is that we must live. That is the proverbial meaning of life…to live! I intend to live fully, freely, and to drink the very marrow of existence!

Silver linings…something always goes right! – #Reverb13 – Day 8

What went right in 2013?

Maybe you didn’t quit smoking or lose those pounds or go to Paris, but something did work, did happen, and/or was realized. What was it?

I think it was in the midst of sickness. Maybe it was while I was ill. Or perhaps not feeling well was the time.

Any way you slice it, three weeks of illness at the beginning of summer gave a great deal of clarity. I had to call in to my place of work a time or two, yes. I had to turn down opportunities to see friends, true. I was forced to rely on others, indeed. But something went right.

I lost some weight. Surely I jest? Nope. My blood pressure went down. What? It sure did…meaning my diet was to blame. Knowledge is power. I had to take it easy. Sure did. I am always on the go. Then, a week or two later I was done with my job. Yep. I had a choice…stick to my principles or be bullied into taking on more than was good, or legal. No more spa. And you know what? Something went right!

I found I could make it. I was working at a spa in stead of at my business. It was a distraction! And the owner was a liar while helping people was my truth!

Sound like jibber-jabber? Well, something went right, and this is how I chose to explain it!