Tag Archives: life

The Ultimate Guide to Meditation

In meditation it is often advised to clear your mind. If you ever tried that you will know that thinking of nothing is impossible. Thoughts constantly flash through your mind or your mind wanders.

Rather than pulling your mind back to the here and now, let it wander. In fact, take your mind for a stroll with this exercise and find true serenity.

Imagine yourself in a cottage. See a cheerful fire in the fireplace, a rustic dining table with six chairs, a lounge with overstuffed chair, a chandelier casting a golden glow over the room. On the kitchen table there’s a large bowl of salad, while a delicious aroma is coming from the oven.

You decide to go mushroom picking. You open the door of your cottage, close it behind you and pick up a basket that’s left on the porch. You make your way through the front garden, enjoying the sight and scent of wildflowers. You open the gate and close it behind you.

You walk along a meadow, where thousands of yellow buttercups and bluebells bob their little heads in a gentle breeze. You feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the softness of the grass under your feet.

From the meadow you enter a forest. You’re surrounded by tall trees, the sun filtering through the foliage. You hear birds singing and squirrels playing. Butterflies are resting on the undergrowth.

As you walk along, you see a variety of mushrooms. They stand together like miniature umbrellas. Some are brown, some red with white speckles, some an unusual shade of blue. You know exactly which ones to take and which ones to avoid. You carefully place them in your basket.

At the edge of the forest you come across a rock formation. You enter through a narrow opening and find yourself in a cave. An old man is sitting on a bench by a fire. He has long white hair, a white beard and is dressed in brown linen robe. He looks at you and beckons to join him.

You sit next to him. There is no need to talk. When his watery blue eyes meet yours, he can read what’s on your mind. When his wrinkled hand with paper thin skin and gnarled fingers takes yours, he eases your burden.

You get up, leave the cave, cross the forest and the meadow. Back at your cottage you open the gate to the front yard and close it behind you. You open the front door and close it. You’re home. You place the basket of mushrooms in on the kitchen counter and move to the lounge.

You kick off your shoes and lie down on the couch. You’re tired from your walk, tired but happy. You fall asleep with a contented smile on your face.

Are you afraid of a spider?

I nearly suffered a heart attack this morning

There I was, checking updates on a popular social media site on my phone. Alex shared a little something from her garden, Grace posted a political comment, Noreen showed a beautiful cat moment. I casually scrolled down when suddenly … EEEIH !!! (loud scream) there was a picture, posted by Lisa B, of an ugly spider (is there such a thing as a beautiful spider?).

My phone went flying, literally. I got such a fright of seeing this ugly monster and was so disgusted by it, that I threw the phone away from me as far as I could. Fortunately, it went sailing in the direction of the sofa where it landed with a soft thud. And I wondered … why do people do this? The majority of folks are afraid of spiders, so why post pictures of them?

Anyway, along with the picture, Lisa B. posted the question if anybody knew what kind of spider this was. And I thought … WHO CARES? Whether it’s a little spider or a big spider, I hate them, I hate them all. Whether I see a real one or just a picture, my heart skips one or several beats.

I do realize that spiders play an important role in nature, and if I see one outside I wouldn’t harm it in any way, but if a spider dares to set one or all of its eight legs in my house … it’s toast.

As such, in my opinion, there are only two ways to deal with a spider … squash it, or suck it up with a vacuum cleaner. Not that I perform either of these options myself. When I see a spider, I scream, run away, and let someone else take care of the monster.

Some might say that there is another option … treating the spider to an anti-bug spray. All I can say about that is … it doesn’t work. Bug spray might work on ants and other little critters, but spiders … they just pretend to be dead.

Many years ago I came across a spider on the kitchen floor. Since I was home alone I realized I had to do something before the spider took off to a place where we’d never find it. So after I had recovered from the initial shock, I grabbed a can of bug repellent and sprayed so much on the spider I nearly gassed myself.

The spider lay there, curled up in a ball. Now all I had to do was get the dustpan and a brush, sweep up the body and get rid of it. Could I do that? No, I couldn’t. I tried, I honestly tried but I couldn’t bring myself to brushing op the black ball.

And then I got an idea … I would vacuum it up. With a vacuum I wouldn’t have to go near the spider, I could use the long metal hose and do the deed from a safe distance.

Off I went to get the vacuum cleaner, plugged in it, and dragged the machine into the kitchen. Much to my surprise to spider was gone. The bloody thing had bided its time for me to leave the room, unfolded its legs, and ran off.

For days I looked for the spider, but it seemed to have disappeared. As such, I can only assume that it went outside for some fresh air. Which was fine by me. Outside is where spiders belong.

Which also leaves me wondering about their Creator. If He can create animals so cute and adorable like kittens, puppies, and bunnies, why make spiders so frightening? A sense of humor perhaps?

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Why shacking up before you get married is a good idea

Couples are more reluctant than ever about getting married. Whether they are crazy in love or just seem right for each other, saying those wedding vows that will bind them to each other for life is a risk fewer couples are willing to take. Couples offer the following reasons for why shacking up before you get married is a good idea.

You don’t really know someone until you live with them

Dating someone a few times a week with an occasional sleep-over may give you an idea of their personality, but it doesn’t show you what they are like on a day to day basis.

Little things make a difference

When you live with someone 24/7, you get to experience firsthand how the person handles stress, disappointment, anger, and life in general. For some those little flaws might be endearing, while for others they could become major obstacles.

Avoid taking each other for granted

Others prefer shacking up before marriage because it keeps both partners on their toes. Once married a lot of men and women feel they have it made and overnight develop a careless attitude. They relax to the point that their partner no longer recognizes the person they dated. They may quit their job, put on weight, or generally no longer take care of themselves. By living together, especially in the early stages, there is always the chance of the other calling it quits. That percentage of danger keeps the relationship fresher.

Children and family in the mix

If one or both partners have children, shacking up before you get married is certainly a good idea. The adults may love each other, but can they tolerate each other’s offspring? It worked for the Brady bunch, but it may not work for you if the kids don’t get along with each other which, in turn, puts stress on your relationship. Or the kids might like each other, but you might dislike your partners’ kids.

The same could apply to extended family members. You and your partner may get along perfectly, but inconsiderate parents and difficult siblings could sour the deal.

Sexual compatibility

You might love each other dearly, but are you sexually compatible? While you may have tested the waters already, dating sex and relationship sex are two different things. Your partner’s needs may be different from yours over the long haul or you may discover some unusual requests which you may or may not like.

Maintaining a healthy and compatible sex life over the long-term becomes a challenge for all couples. Shacking up before you get married can be a good barometer of how your sex life will mature if you remain together.

Financial compatibility

Why shacking up before you get married is a good idea also applies to whether or not the couple is financially compatible. She may love to spend money and be addicted to shoe shopping, while he may be hardcore thrifty. When you live with someone it becomes more difficult for them to hide their money habits.

Lower exit costs if the relationship fails

Probably the biggest reason why shaking up before you get married is so popular is because if the relationship doesn’t work out, no divorce is needed. With no lawyers or alimony in the mix, the couple can walk away with a clean slate without spilling as much financial or emotional blood that usually happens during a divorce.

Most people don’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first. Before making a legal and spiritual commitment to another person, many couples today are opting to go slow and take that all-important test drive first.

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couple sitting in front of a house