Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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The Daily Examen

Candles in the Dark

I am quite ashamed of myself. I made an agreement with myself that I would become involved with a daily self-assessment practice. My plan was to take a few minutes each day to write in my journal an inventory of my behaviors, both good and bad. If I had been unkind that day or morally failed to step up to the plate in some situation, I would note that in my journal so that I could own it, make an amend if necessary, and in general try to improve myself.

In addition to confessing faults, I would also note those things for which I have gratitude.

I have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back, and an income. I live in a place where I am relatively safe, there are people who care for me, and in some small way I am making an impact in the world. I am more fortunate than 99% of the rest of the world.

Yet I consistently fail to state that gratitude for what has been provided to me.

That selfish, self-absorbed, center-of-the-universe attitude — well, I own it. It is mine. And I need to excise it from my life.

One way that I will deal with this is to get back on track with writing a daily examen. Let this be the first entry:

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity.

Ljg

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Why the Pelican?

Isn’t she pretty?

If you have wondered why I use the pelican as my avatar, a trademark of a sort, it comes from an encounter I had with a pelican a few years ago.

Pelicans are actually indigenous creatures where I live, but I never saw one while growing up. DDT and other pesticides had killed them off, but when those substances were banned, they made a comeback.   One day while I was hiking along a sea bluff, I came across a juvenile or a female — it’s hard to tell which– perched on the railing. She did not startle when I approached. Had I wanted to I could have reached out and touched her. Instead I just marveled at such a magnificent creature. Right then she became a symbol to me of one coming back from the brink. Whenever my creative spirit feels crushed I think of her.

The picture above is the actual pelican I encountered.

I have other “trademarks” — ravens, the moon, the sun, stars, and dancers — but I always seemed to come back to the pelican.

 

ljg (C) 2017


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So Your Genius Dumped You?

When I saw this morning’s Daily Post prompt, Genius, I immediately knew I had to share with you one of my favorite video clips. It’s Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk on creative genius. I know I’ve posted on this video before, but I feel compelled to share it again from time to time. I listen to this whenever I am feeling down in the creative dumps.

In the talk, Gilbert states that the Greeks believed a genius to be a divine being that helped the artist or writer to create.   The genius would create through the person.   They believed that the individual was a vessel through which divinity entered the world to create a work and that the ultimate success or failure of that  creative work rested on the genius, not on the individual.   This takes the pressure off, in my opinion, when I realize that I am truly NOT a genius.  LOL!   In other words, this concept keeps one from losing his or her ever-loving mind.

She concludes by saying if you feel like your genius has let you down, you keep on writing… or painting…. or dancing…. or singing anyway.  It’s your calling and your vocation. Just DO IT!

Here is the video. Her comments on genius starts about 6:30, but I urge you to listen to the whole talk. It’s worth it.


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Yoga and Green Tea

I am establishing some new morning habits.

For a couple of years, my old habit was to wake-up to inane talk radio and listen to it for a whole hour while lounging in bed.  I would then drag myself out of bed and get dressed, then watch a half hour of depressing and oh-so-repetitive cable news while I ate breakfast. When I left for work, I was already tired and spent. It was no wonder that my right knee felt like a knife was slicing through it. It was as if all that negative energy was settling into the structure and mechanism of my knee.

At the end of March I got a wake up call that I needed to be doing more cardio exercise to improve my health. But how would I do that with a bum knee? Past experiences with western medical practitioners made me skeptical to ask them for help. I did not want to take painkillers or other drugs and physical therapy never proved helpful in previous situations.

So I got off my butt (literally) and engaged the services of a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner. I just finished 17 weeks of acupuncture treatment, including herbs and nutritional counseling. The results: Four months ago I could not walk two city blocks or climb a flight of stairs without stabbing pain in my knee. Yesterday, I walked and actually jogged TWO miles with no knee pain whatsoever. (Okay, I just jogged on the flat parts of my very hilly town– but still!)

My new morning habit is to wake up at 4:45, make a cup of green tea, leave it to cool, take my walk, come home and do some yoga and meditation, and then re-hydrate by drinking the tea– all before 6 am. This leaves me time to clean up and dress, pack my lunch, eat my breakfast, maybe read a little, and still get to work 7:30.

Do you see what’s missing? NO media. No news about stupid, inept and embarrassing politicians, acts of violence, the destruction of our environment, social unrest, injustice, et cetera.     None.   Nada.   Zip.

Those issues are important and are not forgotten.  I just deal with them later in the day.   My goal is start my day in peace and harmony.

Now the trick is to keep these habits engaged until they become a fully complete life-style.  There’s no going back at this point.

I’d better get myself some more tea.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2017

Tea


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Slow Time

I had slow time in a labyrinth today — a stunning 11-circuit Chartres -style labyrinth under coastal oaks and Italian pines. Entering slow time means that one leaves all the daily cares and dashing around at the entrance of the path. Walking the labyrinth services contemplatives in many ways. For me, it meant dumping some baggage along the way and recharging my spiritual batteries.


A natural stone fountain.


A stone platform at the center.

Other visitors had left pine cones, stones, and coins on the center stone.   To mark my passage through the labyrinth, I left some purple jacaranda petals.


On  the edge of the City of Angels.

Ljgloyd (2017)

Dash