Seattle is a great place for scrapbooking, and several locally owned stores offer supplies to create beautiful pages. Whether it is a class or product, the staff of these stores are knowledgeable and help customers find the right products for the project.
I want to apologize for the spam posted on my blog. I was hacked. Please let me know if it happens again.
Thank you. . .Karen
The holiday season is upon us, with Thanksgiving next week. Soon, the roads will fill with more cars, the malls will be packed, and the grocery store will have more people. It is important to take time to step away from the stress. This is part 1 of a series of local places to go to unwind. Please check it out, and hope you enjoy. . .
For the entire article and photo gallery, visit Urban trails and for stress relief during the holidays.
This post is something that has been writing itself for a few weeks. I have watched the political scene, and listening to the messages. I have posted my thoughts on Facebook. I’ve had many who like the message, and others who cannot understand why I would support certain issues. . .hence this post. . .
First, I want to thank my high-school friend that has challenged me on my support of the Occupy Wallstreet Movement. He/she has gotten me to think, and that challenges me to grow as a person. . .so thank you. . .
I support the Occupy Wallstreet Movement, because they speak a language I understand. I have experienced the issues they speak about. Also, I see that the government is not listening to the “we the people,” and promoting their own personal agendas.
With that said, I don’t agree with the violence, but people are angry. They don’t know how to express that anger. We have lost respect for ourselves and others in this society. We have become focused on our own lives and money. In some cases, our own survival is at stake. But I will say this again – Violence is NOT the answer.
I really do not wish to argue over numbers of arrests or incidents of violence. I think both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have the same idea from different view points. I think we all want a better country, where people can live peacefully and earn enough income to support themselves and their families (or at least that is how I wish to view it).
I do not believe that the middle and lower class in this country can support the rest of it. I believe that we need to tax the rich and corporations.
I do not believe we should cut out Medicare and Social Security, because we would be leaving thousands of people homeless and without medical care. From a humanity point of view, that is morally wrong.
If we do cut these programs, then the government needs to refund to each of us the payments we have made for our own futures. This way, we can invest it for ourselves.
We as a country need to stop “fixing” the world, and fix our own country. We do not need to be spending our tax dollars on cultivating a society built on fear, and that is what we are doing now.
When we go out and spend millions of dollars a day to kill people in other countries in the name of democracy, we have forgotten our own people, and many are suffering the consequences. If we cannot afford to spend money, why are we choosing to use our tax dollars in this manner?
Why is it we cannot choose to change our primary energy sources? Why are we stuck in the back-pocket of big oil companies? Why do we have limited choices for banking? Why is our food supply contaminated with GMOs without labeling them? Why is congress choosing to make the average person suffer monetarily by not helping the economy, and complaining that their salary of $174,000 isn’t enough to support their life style? Why do they get to vote on their own pay increases?
Obviously, I have more questions than answers. . .
Love & Light to All. . .Karen
I grew up on stories that started with “Once upon a time. . .”, and the fairy tale became my entertainment. It was a world filled with imagination and creativity. The books were illustrated with drawings or paintings, instead of photographs or graphic designs.
I remember Cinderella and Snow White, instead of Bevis and Butthead. It seems like our society is de-evolving in my lifetime. We may have electronic communication and smart phones, but do we still have our connections with the physical world?
When was the last time, we hear a news story celebrating the beauty of the world around us? It seems like it is filled with riots in London, suppression of peaceful protesters in Syria or the hostile budget negotiations in Congress.
This is a sad state of affairs we are living through, and many appear to be missing good coping skills to manage all this change.
“So. . .once upon a sunny day, a tired, over-worked young woman sat down at the bus stop. The pollution from passing cars made her cough, and her eyes watered. A rude man yelled at her for sitting in his spot on the bench, and threatened her. Life sucked!
As she looked up at the man jestering violently, she noticed a bright object in the sky, which was blue today. She squinted, and continued to marvel at the expanse of blue the seemed to go on forever above the tall city buildings.
Suddenly, she felt the warmth of the sun upon her face. She couldn’t remember the last time this had happened. It had been work, work, work, after all, the bills needed to be paid. The noise of the city seemed to fade away, as she noticed the bird sitting on the building across the street. . .”
I remember days when I didn’t see the sun, or feel its warmth on my face. It was part of a cycle of being addicted to work or a workaholic. For me, I couldn’t face the person I saw staring back at me in the mirror. My highly imaginative and creative world had collided with the Corporate world, and “Reality”.
The world wouldn’t change so that I could be happy. I had to change myself. I started the process back in the 1980s, but it didn’t come to fruition until recently. It is a worthy path to pursue, even through the seemingly hopeless challenges.
Today, I love my life. Why? I love my life, because I write my own life-script. The only person I need to please is myself. . .not my husband or child or parent or boss or anyone else. I could not find that when I worked for other people. Even if I knew my boundaries as a person, others didn’t know theirs, and I was supposed to get along with them. It’s hard to stay healthy, in an unhealthy situation that lasts for an extended period of time. . .
More Later. . .
Love & Light to All. . .Karen
I’m slowly coming out of a fog, that I’ve stumbled around in for a few years. I see a bright light, and a happier present. Life is about being in the present, not living the past or future.
I’ve been working on my images, wondering why it has taken me years to edit them. I have let some out to the world, but it’s a fraction of the thousands I have waiting to emerge. It’s like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. As it spreads its wings for the first time, it embraces itself and the world it enters. That’s what it is like being a reluctant artist.
From the confusion, I have emerged stronger and smarter than before. It is easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is another story. I was walking the walk, then crashed (with the help of outside influence). I have expressed some of the challenges in this blog, such as my family of origin and the related issues. It’s just one of the many facets that influence our understanding of ourselves, and our place in the world.
My pathway out of the confusion was a strong faith that it was “all going to work out” in the end. It was a place that I was traveling through for some reason that I could not understand. At this point, I think I needed to see that happiness and a positive life was easy. It’s all in the way one approaches the world. And, nothing more. . .
Love & Light to All. . .Karen
I always dreamed of being a professional photographer. I knew it from the 8th grade. I had no doubt in my mind what I was supposed to do with my life. Those around me didn’t see it that way. They tried to steer me in a different direction. I complied, until the call to the camera was stronger than my will to fight against myself. I left a nice, “safe” corporate job to chase my dream. . .that was in 1997.
In college, I wanted to pursue fine art, but was guided away. I finished my degree in English Composition. I think that was a good thing, as I look back. It gives me more skills. I do a lot of writing to go along with my photographs.
BUT, photography was my dream. I had no concept of what it would take to become a photographer, and no family support. It didn’t matter. It was the only thing that made sense to me, and how my brain operated. Yes, I can survive in the corporate world, but why be so unhappy?
So in 1997, I quit my job. I pulled out all my investments. I spent a month at home writing in my journal. Then, I spent 17 days traveling and camping through the desert southwest by myself. Armed with a journal and camera, I journeyed through the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Arches and the Columbia River Gorge. It was April, and I was greeted with snow storms. It was magical. . .
More Later. . .
Love & Light to All. . .Karen
Often with addiction running through families, the individuals never find time to heal their relationships with each other. Often, we leave, and find our family in the friends we meet along our life path. It is true that we cannot change someone else, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could heal our relationship with our birth family?
I think this is a challenging subject, because there is so much history between people. We learn that speaking about the issues cannot be done. . .it’s against the family code of ethics. I was asked if I had learned that my family didn’t talk about family issues. I responded that I didn’t. . .at least I just remember being afraid to speak. Maybe, I was supposed to translate the fear into the thought that I was not supposed to talk about the issues. I don’t know.
What I can say is that I’m not speaking of my family’s issues in this blog. I’m speaking of my own issues. Unfortunately, those issues involve people who I grew up with, so I am trying to keep this entries from my perspective. I learned that I shouldn’t talk about other people’s issues and secrets. We all learn these rules in abusive or addictive families. Besides, they are adults, and can take care of themselves.
I still talk to my sister, an aunt, a couple of cousins and an uncle or two. I am grateful that we have different perspectives on the family. I cannot speak for them, but it does help me see my issues from a different perspective. I would hope that my words and actions would help them, as much as their’s help me. It is part of the healing process to explore the feelings and memories of the past, without getting sucked into the past.
I have a sister that I love very much, and am proud of. She has had the courage to stand up for herself, and grow into a person determined to become whole. We spoke today, and our conversation is the inspiration for the exploration of this subject. We parted today, both wanting to heal our relationship.
The healing starts with a conversation, and both parties wanting to become whole. Without that, there is nothing to work on except one’s self, and wait. We cannot change another person. Only they can change themselves.
More later. . .
Love & Light to All. . .Karen
To continue my thoughts on changes, I pondered depression as I drove today. It seems like depression is both a chemical imbalance in our brains, and environmental. Yet if it is viewed from the perspective of quantum Physics, it would lead us to believe that depression is manifested by the person depressed. Though, this is a HUGE leap in logic, but hear me out before leaving.
Generally speaking – When it’s rainy and dark outside, we tend to feel more gloomy and depressed. Sunshine brings a lighter mood. Good news brings happiness, and bad news. . .
What would happen if we changed how we felt about things. Instead of a dark rainy day, maybe it could be an opportunity to finish an art project or clean-out a closet (that’s been put off). Would we feel happy at the end of these projects? Or, depressed? And, is the reaction our own feelings, or the feelings of our parents, siblings, spouse, neighbor. . .and we have decided that it is our own?
Change is important in our lives. Without change, we would become stagnate, and spiritually die. Sometimes, our depression comes from a lack of change in our lives. It is a feeling of being powerless, and over-whelmed with the world or our own lives. Change and perception are integral parts of our experience. How do we become the best person we can be? Why does it seem someone else is living the life we thought we would have? Why does everything seem so down?
Our focus needs to be on our own path. We do need to be aware of others, but the only thing we do control is ourselves. It is easier to look to other’s lives, instead of our own. When we look at ourselves, we see our past, present and future. Many times, our past interferes with our present. Unfortunately, we do not own our past, therefore cannot change it. It comes down to accepting ourselves, faults and all, and moving in the direction we choose to move. If an apology needs to be said, find the courage to apologize.
I think the hardest part is the past memories, that are not quite at the conscious level of my mind. It is far more frightening to look at shadows, than the issue at hand. I find that self-medicating to avoid these “shadows” only intensifies them. Fear is the biggest obstacle to change. Even I battle with fear and change, though I find that I am doing the right things when I feel that fear come to the surface. It may not be pleasant feeling, but it is an opportunity to become my own person. . .
More thoughts on this in my next entry. . .Love & Light to All. . .Karen
Events in Tuscon, AZ this past weekend are a reminder that we all have to work on a peace-filled world. Each of us makes a difference in the stability of our families, communities and our country. We all have the power to change the direction of our own lives, and touch the lives of others in a positive way. We can sway others with our words and actions.
We have a choice to act in a positive and peaceful way, exercising our rights to “spirited” debate, or to harbor ill feelings until they explode out of us and harm others. In our country today, we are seeing a lot of angry words boiling out of people of influence. They direct their words at people who have similar beliefs, and it is creating a volatile situation for all people.
I agree that change needs to happen. I also believe that change is the most constant “thing” in our world. We can either choose to guide this change responsibly or let it run its course. If it runs its course, we will feel out of control, because it is all of our responsibility to guide change for the positive. That is how peace will find its way into our lives. We need to choose to be responsible for our actions, words and engagement with the world at large.
Saturday was a breaking point. We have to make a choice which path to go down – peace or violence. We have to make this choice for ourselves, our children and for the survival of our country. Since the health care reform, the mood of politics has changed into a hostile weapon being wielded by a few power-hungry individuals. Their words and actions have called people to arms.
This country is built on freedom of speech, but it was also built on respecting each other, our individual values and our differences. Without this respect, our country will be pushed into another civil war. Personally, I’d rather not go there. Why would any of us allow our anger to burst into violence on the streets? Do we want this reality for our children? Does this change need to be so drastic?
It’s not just health care, or alternative fuels sources, or . . . It’s a clash of ideals. It’s based on money, and having “things”. We deal with it everyday we go to work, pay the mortgage, attend a workshop. This world revolves around money, and he who has money feels he can make ALL the rules.
In truth, it should be based on family, friends and our environment. Without these, we have nothing in the world. We wouldn’t be alive. Since when can money give us a hug? Good health? Clean air to breathe? Clean water to drink? Non-polluted food to eat? True love or happiness?
Love & Light to All. . .Karen