Tag Archive | seasons

RIP 🎃 🎃💀👻🍁🍂🌕🎑♡

Happy Halloween!! I LOVE all the decorations all around! It probably shouldn’t but this one makes me laugh. It’s so strange how we have a holiday (in US at least) where we celebrate dark stuff for fun! (N teach kids to take candy off of strangers?!)

🎃 🎃💀👻🍁🍂🌕🎑♡

Xoxo Kim

Hello, March

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(this picture is not mine)

Yes, hello there, March! I love you & thank you for existing! ❤ 😀

I LOVE the Month of March! I'm so inspired every year in March. I'm inspired every month (though I'm least inspired in August and other Summer months) but in March, my inspiration usually runs deeper than other months.

Here is why. March. It's a sweet medley of
 all four seasons. It like has madd mood swings. One day it's all Summery and hot then the very next day there's a snow blizzard and it's below freezing, other days it's sunny & warm or cool and Spring is in the air. Some days, it doesn't know what season it is and all throughout the day the weather changes hot then cold, cool and warm. 

There's something so beautiful about this last Winter month and knowing Spring is about to bloom.

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The trees are still bare but there are some signs of the coming Spring, some green growth blossoming.

The days are often warmer then the nights are still cold. March brings with it rain, snow, sun, wind, moonlight…just lovely!  

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(cute or creepy? To me it’s cute! :-D)

I can strongly relate to this wonderful, beautiful month and all its chaotic beauty. 

I’m like this myself sometimes. 
I recently have been depressed and dangerously suicidal off and on with joy and happiness in the middle. This happens now & again. Sometimes triggered by something specific (like recently), sometimes not triggered by anything. 

(I will share my recent struggle in a later post)

It’s beautiful to be so full of life.

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March inspires me to create even more than other months. It inspires me to take out my arts & crafts journal and to take lots of pictures and to tap into my most creative parts!

Every March, this deeper inspiration just comes flooding into me and it’s just beautiful.

Last night and early morning was perfect! I was laying in bed reading a ghost story and the night couldn’t have been more perfect for a ghost story! It was dark and cold and raining hard and extremely windy! The windows were rattling and the bare tree branches were shaking! 
Just perfect!  

I’m reading a novel called “The Haunting of Blackwood House.” My first impression of the main character, Mara, wasn’t a real good one.

She seems kind of rude at first. And she kind of mocks her realtor who has a breathing condition and talks in a breathless way and calls people “honey” very frequently. I don’t mind being called “honey!” lol 😀

Something about this young woman just rubbed me the wrong way. She acts out of anger and lashes out somewhat frequently it seems. Not like real frequently but she gets all worked up and claims she can’t help it. But she’s sorry later, which is good, because she tries to make up for it. She doesn’t really want to hurt anyone. I prefer reading books where the main character is lovable/likable. It’s not her anger that I have the biggest problem with. I don’t not like people because they have anger problems. 

It’s hard to suck it up and read a book where the main character is super annoying. But it’s a great book and I’m only on page 73 out of 344. It’s a Kindle book.

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I learned later that the young woman was abused as a child. Her family wasn’t trying to be abusive probably, but they are extremely religious and brought her up in a way that damaged her psychologically. She lived on her own for four years now and still has terrible nightmares. Not all extremely religious people are abusive, in fact, I think most aren’t. But it is possible to unintentionally use religion in a very detrimental way against others. These people made her go to people claiming to be psychics and they made her attend frequent séances and told her horrifying ghost stories they claimed were real. They used ouija boards and killed her pet rabbit claiming someone on the other side told them too. 

After learning this, my compassion for her deepened. 

But even when I viewed her in a somewhat negative light, I also have found things in her that are very respectable and inspiring. 
She’s only 22 years old and has been on her own since 18 years old. She doesn’t have much money but she has a job and her own apartment, a loving boyfriend, and she gets by on her own. She’s extremely independent minded and wary of accepting the help of her boyfriend. She’s kind of on the poor side (financially) and he’s upper middle class and lives with his mom. 

He offers to let her have or borrow money which she refuses because she is proud to be independent. I think that is very respectable. There’s nothing wrong with letting her man help her out but it’s great to choose to be an independent woman. And if she wanted, she can take advantage of his money but she never does. She just loves him for him and doesn’t need him. It’s great to be wanted, not needed. She’s with him because she wants to be. 

But she does allow him to help her in some ways. It’s great to find the balance of being independent but also accepting help when needed. 

Him and his mom offer to let her live with them but they are Christians and very into their religion and she is so repelled by religion because of the way she grew up. Just the thought of it sickens her. This is another thing I love about her, she’s not just an atheist, she’s totally put off by religion, outright loathes it, it seems, but she still accepts the views of others and will even have a serious romantic relationship with a very religious man. This shows open-mindedness. Some people in her situation would reject him. But she loves him just the way he is. She just won’t live with him and his mom and their religious ways. His mom is more religious and he lives with her to take care of her but the girl wouldn’t mind living with just him if he doesn’t go overboard with the religion.

They have been together for six months and deeply in love! I love it! ❤ They have an extremely loving relationship. I love watching it unfold. They are so cute together! I'm a sap! Lol ;-D He is big and strong but very gentle and loving and loves to help people. 

Anyway, she has some money she has been saving for a house but it can't be too expensive.
The apartment she currently lives in is trashy. Lol

Recently a house was brought to Mara’s attention. It's like a mansion in the middle of nowhere. She falls in love with it even though it needs serious repairs. The structure is good though and it's safe to live in.

It's way less money than it would have been because in the early 1900's (I think), a serial killer lived there and like seven people died in the house. He took his victims back to his house and murdered them and then he hanged himself in there. (eww)

No one wants to live there now and the house has been on the market for 20 years. It has a reputation for being haunted. But the girl isn't even fazed. To her, there's no such thing as ghosts and so what if people died there, it's just a house.

So she buys the house and still has money left.

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Another thing I love about Mara is she is very intelligent, educated, and informed. I don’t know if she has a college education, probably not, it only mentions her work, but she is clearly just as educated as anyone who does.

She stands up for herself and is assertive and bold and makes decisions based on facts and logic and what she wants. She doesn’t just accept nonsense because most do.

I agree with her atheistic views but I do practice Buddhist techniques but in a secular way. She probably wouldn’t like that. Lol

I don’t think I would want to buy a house seven people died in though, or even one person, especially if they were murdered. Nothing to do with hauntings and superstitions. It’s just the thought of the whole thing! Like eww! :-O

But it’s a great book up until now! And I am reminded of a life lesson to look for the good in others even if we don’t like other things about them and that it’s not always wise to go by first impressions.

I love the feeling I get reading about this young woman starting her life how she always dreamed after struggling so much, buying a new house and getting a new job and becoming who she always dreamed of being. It inspires and thrills me. 

I’m nearly 30 years old and still don’t have a place of my own, work only at a store, the same job I had as a 20 year old college girl, which I love but sometimes I think I should be more accomplished by now. It can seem kind of pathetic, sometimes, how I turned out. Oh well though, it is what it is, and it inspires me to hear about/read about others who are successful whether they are real or characters in a fiction book.

Right now the only ghost-like thing that happens is the old rocking chair started rocking on its own! But Mara brushes it off as a draft of an unknown source. 

The whole kitchen table was set with 20 year old, rancid food, all the old furniture is still in there and it seems as if the last family who lived there (20 years ago, years after the serial killer incident…) all left in a hurry, in the middle of eating their food! The table is all set and all like they were prepared to eat then had to bolt and fast. 

Interesting! I can’t wait to read more! I love reading it in the dark at night! 😀

Something must have been seriously wrong for an entire family to run out, just leaving everything in the middle of eating, and never coming back. I heard something for real like that in the news. A whole family just left in the middle of eating and disappeared and were later found dead, murdered I think. This one is just sad, not thrilling because it really happened. 

I hope you are having a beautiful day/night wherever in the world you are!  😀

Hugs & love to you now & always,

Xoxo Kim 

For everything, there is a season

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“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
~Yoko Ono

Today is the first day of Winter and I felt like posting something about Winter before I even remembered today is the first day! 😀

It’s unseasonably warm here in Philadelphia! (I just learned the word “unseasonably” [which my mom is shocked about saying how could I have never encountered that word before now…:-/ ])after reading it in a fiction book and I wanted to use it! lol And this year it’s the perfect opportunity because it IS in fact unseasonably warm! lol) ;-D

What a great quote about the beauty of each season and what it can teach us. Not everyone lives in a place where they get to experience the diversity like some of us do. But whatever it’s like where you are now, there’s something to cherish & be thankful for! ❤ 😀

This is also true not just for seasons involving weather but stages and seasons of life. There's always something unpleasant but always something beautiful too! ❤

😀

Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds – mobile

Turn! Turn! Turn! – desktop

“A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven”

~Hugs & love~

xoxo Kim ❤

October <3

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery 

October is back again!! Like a long lost friend waiting to be warmly embraced! And it couldn’t be more perfect! It’s cold & rainy today!!

❤ 😀

In honor of this beautiful month, I will share some lovely Fall quotes & my pictures! 

Here goes! 

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~George Eliot

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“October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.” ~Nova Bair

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“Falling leaves hide the path so quietly.” ~John Bailey

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“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” ~ Stanley Horowitz

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Pumpkin ice cream!! We have pumpkin & pumpkin pie at work! The pumpkin pie has pie pieces in it which I love but I like the taste of the pumpkin better! They’re both delicious though! Yum! ;-p 😀 ❤

“Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” ~Humbert Wolfe

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Pumpkin pj’s!

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“The milkweed pods are breaking, and the bits of silken down, float off upon the autumn breeze, across the meadows brown.”~Cecil Cavendish

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“Then summer fades and passes and October comes. We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.” ~Thomas Wolf

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Full Autumn Moon ❤

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“October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came – The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples, And leaves of every name. The Sunshine spread a carpet, And everything was grand, Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind the band.” ~George Cooper

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It’s Hoodie weather!! Doesn’t get much better than this!!

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There’s so many, many things to smile about! 😀

Let’s remember to be mindful of all the beauty around & within us. ❤

And here’s a song for you!!

I love this old video, it’s a youtube video of like an old show or something in the 1960’s and it’s the song “Monster Mash” sung by Bobby Boris Pickett! ❤

Monster Mash – mobile

Monster Mash – Desktop

Happy, Happy October & lottsa, lottsa love to you!! ❤

xoxo Kim 😀

Another Fall in Philadelphia <3

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So, it seems I have this tradition each year now where I post a blog entry called something along the lines of “Another Fall in Philadelphia” and share Hall & Oates’ song, “Fall in Philadelphia.” lol Hall & Oates are the best! And they are Philadelphia boys! Like me! (except I’m not a boy…)

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And they attended Temple University! Like me again!
I am thrilled every year when it’s about to be Fall!
I love the whole Fall theme, pumpkin spice and everything nice! Pumpkins, hot cocoa, tea, hayrides and crunchy leaves, haunted houses and the Eastern State Penitentiary! Cool nights & hoodies! Crisp air and Halloween, the bright colored leaves all around! The whole thing! 

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So in honor of this lovely season on its first day, here are some sweet Autumn quotes! As well as some of my pictures, the best Fall-like pictures I was able to get. It’s not exactly lookin’ (or feelin’) a real, real lot like Fall out there yet. It’s cooler at some points and there are some signs of Fall but it’s not raining crispy colored leaves all over just yet. And it’s hot as hell outside but I’m loving every second! 

Here goes!

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~ Jim Bishop

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“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.” ~Carol Bishop Hipps, “October,” In a Southern Garden, 1995

I love all four seasons. Summer is my least favorite (I don’t like the heat waves and humidity at all but regular summer days are lovely) and Winter is my favorite with Fall right up there with it. But I agree that Summer & Winter have “opposing miseries” and Fall is perfect. Winter & Summer can both be painful, one with the scorching heat and sticky haze, the other with the blasting cold and slippery ice. Spring is beautiful too with lovely qualities that the other seasons don’t have much of but can tend to be like Summer in its excessive heat. Autumn is just flawless for sure! ❤ 

“No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….” ~John Donne, “Elegy IX: The Autumnal”

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“Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin…. We anxiously anticipate it every year.” ~Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer, October 2010

So do I! All year! 

“October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.” ~Nova S. Bair

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Isn’t it something how someone can be just so THRILLED over weather and a season?! I couldn’t be happier if I just won a free shopping spree! 

Lol 

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The last Philadelphia Summer sunset til next year. Beautiful, isn’t it?

I will miss all the little flying insects and pretty flowers. </3 ❤

And here it is! Hall & Oates' thrilling song!

Fall in Philadelphia – mobile

Fall in Philadelphia – desktop

(I absolutely love the container of oates! hilarious!!) ;-D :-p

Unfortunately it’s not the most cheerful song about our wonderful city!

It’s about how it’s all dreary and gray and their house is falling down, and we’re all hopeless and people are getting rich selling dope and a boy named Johnny is getting his ass kicked, and they want to escape out into the country. Anywhere but here. 

How rude! 

What a lovely picture they paint of us!

;-D

Oh, well. It’s still has my heart. ❤

And here's another one of my favorite songs, a sweet love song sung by Paul Davis, perfect for Fall nights!

 Cool Night – mobile

Cool Night – desktop

Also, today is my mom’s b-day! She loves Fall and how her special day is on the first day of Fall! She said her name should have been Autumn but instead it’s Lee, short for Leona. She’s named after my grandmom. My sister and me bought her a big vanilla scented candle. Vanilla is her favorite. ❤ At least it cheered her up! She wasn't happy because my little sister and me got into a stupid, trivial argument today (I started it…oopps! Sometimes I can totally be an asshole but at least I’m honest about it, right?!)!

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So Happy Fall to you!  😀

Xoxo Kim 

P.s. Thank You so so much to everyone who reads, likes, shares, follows, lurks, “likes”, reblogs….my content! I deeply appreciate it! When I set up this blog account three years ago, I never expected to have even just a few people read it but I always knew even if just one person comes across my content once in a while, that would be amazing. If just one person is uplifted or inspired that is good enough.
And when we post something it’s here forever so even if no one sees it til years later, it always has the potential to be seen. And that’s good! 😀
But I’m so honored and filled with gratitude for all those who visit here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! ❤ 😀 Hugs & love to you! ❤

It’s beginning to look a lot like….Fall?!

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“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.” ~
Helen Hunt Jackson

As much as I LOVE Fall and am absolutely thrilled that it is almost here…sort of, I feel a tinge of sadness whenever I hear someone talk about the “end of summer.” Part of me even wants to yell it’s not the end! It’s still only August! We have the rest of August and the whole month of September almost!

I have been cherishing every bit of Summer. The warm and cool breezes, the bright green leaves and flying insects all around, the Summer nights with the bright moon and crickets chirping and the vibrant green light of the fireflies, the fragrances of green and wet Earth, the golden sun, the flowers…all of it. Well, all of it except for the disgusting heatwaves. I will never love 100 degrees weather and heatwave after heatwave. 

But my heart dances with joy when I think about how soon pumpkin coffee will be here(i think it already is here in some places but eww, it’s August, it’s not pumpkin season yet! Pumpkin coffee is made for cool nights with crunchy leaves floating around under an Autumn sky, not for hot, humid, sticky Summer nights!)!! 
And pumpkin smoothies and donuts and crispy colored leaves all over the ground! And cool nights and hoodies and the Eastern State Penitentiary haunted prison attraction! Who is not thrilled for all that?!

It’s absolutely amazing how just the thought of a certain season or weather can have me in a state of like pure ecstasy.  Something as simple as that. Like I just won a billion dollar lottery or got an amazing new job or am falling in love. I AM in love but at this moment it’s not romantic love for a person but love for life itself.

I love when I can feel this way.

And it’s not only when it’s my favorite seasons. I can feel it any part of the year, just out of the blue. It’s not a regular/general kind of happiness like I usually experience. It’s like a thrill that is usually reserved for when something out of the ordinary happens but I feel it out of the blue even when nothing unusual happens. It’s not a quiet serenity or calm bliss. It’s more of an ecstatic joy. And I love it! 

“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun.” ~
Kent Nerburn

So here are some of the sweet signs of Autumn I have encountered:

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These may not really be Fall leaves but they sure are crisp and colorful! And quite lovely. 

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Today?! It’s only August but I guess it’s never too early to start preparing for flubug prevention! So influenza season is right around the corner, which means that pumpkin patches, haunted attractions, Halloween, hayrides, and other lovely Fall gems are too, so at least there’s a bright side! 😀

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But let’s not forget it’s still Summer and have fun basking in all of the end of Summer treasures like this little thing here:

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What in the world is this beautiful creature? He hisses real loud and flies in people’s faces scaring the piss out of them. He is BIG! Like gargantuan. Like bigger than a large butterfly.
Bigger than he looks in the pictures. 
 He has been hanging outside my work for a few nights and one night he came up to a man and grabbed his dollar and the man pulled it back and the thing hissed and flew away. Lol It was hilarious! He is really cute and I hope he lives a long, happy life wherever he goes. I kept trying to get him to put him in a safe place but then decided that he would just fly wherever he wants anyway and I don’t want to provoke a heart attack in him by scaring him silly when I’m trying to pick him up. 

He flew into the window with a loud thwack and I thought someone threw something at me until I saw him. 

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I love him. ❤

😀

Good day or night to you!

Xoxo Kim ❤

Today <3

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

Today is a very cold, very gray, beautiful wet day. It’s not exactly raining but everything seems wet. It’s night now but all day was gray and beautiful. It’s very cold, almost like Winter or the end of Fall. It’s bittersweet. I know it’s probably the last day or one of the last days that is cold. I LOVE all four seasons and they all have their blessings and unique qualities. They are all beautiful. I cherish each one and try to always be mindful of the beauty they are. But it’s always Winter inside my heart. In Winter and Fall I rarely wish for warm days. In Summer, there are more days I long for, even crave Winter or Fall. 

I’m soaking up every single bit of wet cold beauty I can today! 
Today on my way to Buddhist meditation class I was astounded by the almost palpable beauty. It was almost as if I could touch it, not touch the beautiful things but touch or hold the beauty itself. Touch or hold the concept, the very essence of beauty. I felt very alive and felt the heartbeat of the city become one with my own, as if throbbing in my chest, pulsing through my veins. I felt it deep in my bones, tingling in every cell of my body. Every breath I took, I felt I was breathing in the sounds, the sights, the scents, the intense beauty of the city. This feeling is not new to me but it always feels new. I feel it often, sometimes immensely, sometimes more quietly, sometimes not at all. But I can never get used to it. Sometimes this feeling, this life inside disappears for so long I am convinced it will never be back again. Then out of the blue, it comes and tightly embraces me like a long lost friend who promises to always come back to me.  

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This feeling has always come naturally to me but with practice and certain experiences, I have come to strengthen it. Sometimes it comes out of the blue, like today. And sometimes I can summon it on my own. 

One thing that I find that helps me deepen this sense of beauty and gratitude and awe of everything around me, is taking pictures/photography.  For people who are interested in capturing beauty in artistic forms like painting, drawing, or photography, whether as a hobby or professional career, it can be easier to see, feel, taste the beauty all around because our brains get trained to see things and look for things to capture in a photo or painting or drawing. Then even when we’re not out looking, even when we are without our phones or cameras or paints and pencils, these little gems jump out at us. The more interested I have become in taking pictures, the more developed my sense of awe has become. I originally loved taking pictures because I feel so much beauty and want to capture & share it, but then picture taking only enhanced that feeling of awe in me.

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Photography, painting, drawing, writing…. can all capture simple beauty in a way that makes it stand out more than it does in “real life.” I think many of us generally overlook very simple, very mundane things such as reflections, shadows, a sliver of light creeping through the slit as a result of a door on a dark room being ajar when the hall or other room outside is lit. We often stand in awe or deep appreciation of something dramatically beautiful such as bright, colorful flowers, a beautiful woman in a wedding dress on her wedding day or in stiletto heels and tight blue jeans walking down a street, a dramatic sunset over the ocean waves while lounging on a beach, a baby who is just born, an expensive mansion, an exotic animal, amazing looking food, an incredible looking car, an elegant dress, a flashing diamond ring,…you get the picture! But how often do we look in wonder at a shadow on a ground, maybe a shadow of a tree or person, the way sunlight reflects on signs or cars, the fuzz on a honeybee, the gentle illumination of street lights on a dark street at night, tattered signs, faded poles at busstops with the bus numbers on them, old pay phones, broken glass glittering in the daylight against concrete, an empty beer bottle resting in vibrant green glass, a lemon floating in iced tea, glistening ice cubes chilling a cup of soda….for many, it’s probably never or extremely rarely. But in photography, paintings, drawings, and writing like poetry or novels or descriptions, these things can be beautifully captured and portrayed in artistic forms that can’t help but force us to see, notice, feel the beauty of them, these things we tend to ignore in real life outside of artistic creations. 

And for people who engage in these activities, they can help us further ingrain our habit of seeing and feeling the beauty in real life outside of poetry and novels and photos and paintings or drawings. They help deepen our wonder at the things our eyes and hearts catch. They make it easier for simple treasures to jump out at us as we’re walking up a city street, sitting quietly at a riverside, driving on a busy expressway, meditatively peering out a bus window on a dreary gray day or a green day with life blossoming all around. 

But not everyone is interested in photography or painting, writing, or drawing. Whatever you’re interested in though, it’s fantastic to pursue it, engage in it, get lost in it and let it reel you in. This can bring you to life, fill you with passion for all of life, enthuse you in general. When we are so happy and passionate in one aspect of life, it can carry over into other aspects, even ones that aren’t so great at the moment. It’s like falling in love or having a big crush. You know the intoxicated feeling when you meet someone you are very attracted to or seeing someone you are in love with? That feeling carries over to everywhere and suddenly life is amazing in ways you never really noticed or forgot about…it can be like this even if we aren’t in love with someone. It’s falling in love with life itself. 

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We don’t need “big” things, lots of money, kids, or romantic love to feel this way often. These things are great too but we don’t need them to be in love with life. All we have to do is open our eyes, heart, and look, see, feel, stop ignoring the simple things, the mundane things, the blessings surrounding us always. You don’t have to be a photographer, a painter, or an artist of any kind. 

“Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most every thing I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream
Everything I want the world to be
Is now comin’ true especially for me” ~ the Carpenters 

Imagine feeling this way everyday or at least very often or even just more often than now.

It’s possible.  

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Isn’t this beautiful?! It just goes to show how someone can inspire us and we can see life through that person’s eyes every now and then even if we aren’t interested in the same things. We can feed off of the passion, life, enthusiasm of others. This police officer is deeply inspired by his wife who is a painter with a passionate thirst for life, and while at work, he wishes she was there. This is out of a fiction book I’m reading called “First Do No Evil,” Book 1 in a series by Dr. Carey Baldwin who is an author, a medical doctor/family doctor, and has like two ph.d’s as well, she’s a wife and mother of multiple children. Ummm…is she like Wonder Woman?! I read Book 2 in this series already, not realizing it’s a series. They can be read together or separately and in any order and still make sense. The same characters appear in the books and there’s some subtle references to other books but the author makes it still make sense just to read one individually. She’s an amazing writer of mystery books. It seems most of her books are about doctors. Usually her main characters are a very strong,
beautiful, compassionate, loving, and broken woman who is 30 something years old, has a very painful past, a medical degree, and gets into trouble like is being stalked and needs help. I love her characters and how much depth they have. They are so realistic. And she’s a doc herself so she knows her stuff! Her novels involve romance, mystery, adventure, and healing. They also involve humor, sometimes I laugh hysterically, uncontrollably. They contain adult content in certain scenes. Very vulgar language at some points, and hot sexy scenes, definitely only for adults. Amazing plots, characters, and endings!

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Let’s remember to allow others to inspire us and remember to be the inspiration to anyone we can!

I hope you are having a wonderful day or night wherever you are! Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim

Spring is in the air! <3

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But not really!

Today is the first day of Spring!

And this is what we get!

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(this pic showed up by accident but he’s cute so I’m leaving it – he’s my baby, Woody, almost eight months old!)

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What a hilarious joke it seems the uni-verse has played on us! 😀

Lol it looks like Winter is milking it for all it’s worth, going to snow and be All frigid until the last second it possibly can!

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I love it! I’m so so happy it will be warm soon! And life will
Blossom
all around! Green & flowers and a floral fragrance in the air! 

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Google flowers! @—}—-}

But I’m so happy for one last snow blizzard until Winter/the end of Fall comes again! Yay! 

It’s a Winter Wonderland today and I walked in it to get my mom a coffee! It was beautiful but eventually my head was throbbing terribly because of the cold, I thought I would pass out. Or die. Lol ok, not really die but it was almost as painful as brain freeze when I eat ice cream too quickly! 

The quote in my daily quote book for today, March 20th is:

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we’d have a pretty good time.” ~ Edith Wharton

Isn’t this so true?! How often have you heard someone say or have you said or thought yourself something like “when it’s warm/hot outside and I can go on vacation, I will be happier, when I lose 20 pounds I will be happier, this weekend I will be happy, when I have kids I will be happy, when I find true love or get married I will be happy, when I grow up/get older, graduate college, get better grades, I will be happy, when I get a job or another job I will be happy, when I have more money I will be happy, when I have a place of my own I will be happy…?”

I’m definitely not innocent of thoughts like that occasionally, thoughts like “when…..then I will be happier.” While I’m often mindful of and happy right now, there are definitely occasions I begin to think I need more or “should” have more. And then it leads to a very low feeling, negative comparisons to others, or even a full blown depression. 

But the truth is, we can be happy now. Let go of the conditional happiness concept and living too much in the future. Let go and allow the beauty and joy of right Now to seep into our essence and soak it all up! Be happy now!

The external things that we think can lead to happiness or can bring us fleeting happiness will not last very long and are not necessarily as purely blissful as we think they are. Warm weather comes then leaves eventually and we’re stuck in the bitter cold, vacations end and we have to come back to reality, people can leave us, we can put weight back on after the hard work losing it, fashion trends eventually end after buying all those expensive clothes, people die of heatstroke and exhaustion in the Summer, freeze to death in Winter, suffer with horrible allergies in Spring & Fall, are used for money and have lots of financial management when they are financially rich, have the pressure of having to keep up their grades when they have a perfect gpa, even great things like kids and relationships and money, a great job,….come with consequences that aren’t always pure bliss, the thing is to practice and learn to be happy NOW or at least in general under any circumstances. 

Pay attention to the gifts right before our very eyes. It’s great to have relationships with others, have kids, get a new job, shop for new clothes, experience the seasons, have money, get amazing grades in school…but we don’t need those things to have a sense of happiness or self worth. They can bring us certain joys and a certain kind of happiness and blessings we won’t have without them but we can also have joy and true happiness and blessings without them. They complement our happiness and our self, not complete us.

There are great things and drawbacks to just about  every stage and phase and season of life. Let’s cherish them all and appreciate now!

Coincidentally this is what we talked about and meditated upon in class last night. Then today that is the quote for this day!

Also, I read that today brings with it a Super New Moon, a Total Solar Eclipse, and the Spring Equinox! All of which symbolize new beginnings! A perfect reminder that no matter what happened, no matter how stuck or depressed, or broken we are or have been, there is new hope and a blank slate to turn around and begin again! And we can begin right Now! ❤

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Much love to you! ❤

Xoxo Kim

Random Inspiration #13 {March Magic}

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March is a beautiful month! I love it! I find it very unique because it seems to be a complete mixture of all the seasons. It has snow, even snow blizzards, but can also feel almost like Summer the very day after a blizzard just ends. One moment it can have the bluest, bluest sky you have ever seen, decorated in the fluffiest white clouds and the bright golden sun blasting then later the sky is beautifully gray and cloudless. The trees are still all bare, the land still cold and barren, but flowers begin to blossom on the branches and through fences.  
Like Fall, March is cool but a different kind of cool than the Fall months, there’s more of a gentleness to the March coolness. 
It’s just beautiful how Winter & Spring come together in March, a beautiful medley of Winter & Spring. March is magical! 😀

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Here are some March pics & quotes!!

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” 
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. “~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

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“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

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“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” ~Doug Larson

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“Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.”
~John Burroughs, “A March Glee”

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“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.” ~Nadine Stair

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I hope you’re having a beautiful day/night!! 😀 ❤

Xoxo Kim ❤

The Vinegar Tasters

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Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.”

Within the last month I have experienced quite a few profound losses. I lost a human friend as well as two of my pets to death all in a month. All very shockingly and very unexpectedly. 

It’s seriously like the worst emotional pain imaginable. The deepest kind of sadness. 

 Then I lost my job, unexpectedly, because the owner is selling the business(i knew it was happening but not so soon). I don’t have much work experience other than years at a store and some work in college I did as a peer educator so it’s not easy finding another job. Not because I wouldn’t be good at it but the employers are wary of taking on employees without experience for whatever the job is. I don’t have much experience for exactly what I want to do but I am very confident I will do a great job and I’m also quite confident someone out there somewhere will give me a chance one of these days! 😀

Then I lost my Temple University system account (e-mail and things) because someone hacked it or tried and it showed suspicious activity so the University suspended my account and since I cannot yet pay back the student loan, they can refuse to talk to me when I call Monday and not restore my account. I use my account for everything even though I’m no longer a current student there. 

Then the media card in my phone broke (it keeps working then not working because my phone itself is too full of files and stuff which I need wifi to transfer it all to a computer, which I will do when I get wifi) and I lost all my pictures and all my songs and everything else on the media card. I think it’s all still there, just can’t be accessed yet. This is very trivial next to the deaths of my friend, Diane, and my pets, Dylan &Lizz , but it is very distressing, especially on top of the other losses.

A few days ago while getting a shower and experiencing raw grief over the losses of my friends(human and animal), it doesn’t go away but the severity and rawness fluctuates – acceptance to seemingly unbearable, back and forth, I began thinking more about the seasons of life and how pain and loss are inevitable. Whether it’s a very tragic, devastating, senseless, unexpected loss or a natural but still devastating loss to old age or a loss of a job or place to live or something, these are all stages and phases and seasons of living and we can learn to accept them. Acceptance doesn’t mean not experiencing pain or not trying to make things better. It doesn’t mean not speaking up against something we disagree with, not taking action. It just means acknowledging that painful things are part of being alive, whether they are fair, unfair, unjust, happen to most people or are rare…., and working along with these painful circumstances and seasons of life. Not denying them, not wishing them away, they won’t go away. Just soaking up every horrible emotion and also the beauty that comes along with it. Using it to our advantage, to strengthen us and our empathy for others, to deepen our wisdom. And knowing we can be happy and filled with joy along with the grief and any other pain. 

Grief and missing someone and happiness in life can reach a point where they are not mutually exclusive. We can feel both, grief/sense of loss & happiness/joy. It’s the same with physical pain and happiness and even with having a depressive disorder. We can have struggles with these and other things but ultimately be happy. 

The more I ponder this, the more I see the beauty in it and accept it. 

“More is a man of an angel’s wit and singular learning; I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness, and affability? And as time requireth a man of marvellous mirth and pastimes; and sometimes of as sad gravity: a man for a seasons.” ~ Robert Whittinton

I’m reading a book called “The Tao of Pooh” written by a man who finds deep and ancient wisdom threaded throughout the Winnie the Pooh series, Benjamin Hoff. I had this book for a while but never read it yet and coincidentally, I picked it up to read at 4:00 in the morning, not completely sure what it’s about, and I realize it’s about just what I was thinking about during and after the shower that day, accepting and working along with, and even cherishing, all of life, painful and happy, good and bad, joyful and sorrowful. How comforting! How beautiful and inspiring.

In the book, the author tells a little story of “the vinegar tasters.” A painting of three men, said to be Confucius, the Buddha, and Lao-tse, the author of the oldest existing book of Taoism.
These three masters are standing around a vat of vinegar. Each man has dipped his finger into the vinegar and tasted it. Each man’s reaction to the taste is different and each of their faces displays a different expression. 

Confucius has a sour look on his face. The Buddha has a bitter expression. And Lao-tse is smiling.

This painting is not to be taken literally but allegorically. Each man is a representation of “The Three Teachings” of China and the vinegar they are tasting represents the Essence of Life.

So the painting is an allegory for our reactions to life. Confucius, in the painting, views life as sour. He believes that the present is not properly aligned with the past and that the government of man on Earth is out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of the Universe. He has a thing for long ago and reveres the Ancestors and ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, or Son of Heaven, acts as an intermediary for limitless Heaven & limitless Earth.   

The use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all add up to an incredibly complex system of rituals, under Confucianism. Each ritual is used on a certain occasion for a specific purpose. A quote to convey the gist of this concept is “If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit.” This shows the extent and rigidity, and a kind of perfectionism, of the ideas and rituals of the school of thought of Confucianism.

As for Buddha, the second man in the painting, life on Earth is bitter. It’s filled with attachments, illusions, and desires that lead to suffering. To him, in the painting, the world is seen as inherently full of traps, a generator of illusions – a revolving wheel of pain for all sentient beings. According to this Buddha in the painting, we must overcome “the world of dust” to obtain inner peace and reach Nirvana (complete liberation, zero suffering), which translates literally to “no wind.”  We must eliminate all the unpleasantness in life, all our struggles, to be truly happy. 

The author explains how the optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism, making it more positive, after it extended to China(it originated in India). But the devout Buddhist often viewed the “bitter wind of everyday existence” as an interruption to the process of reaching Nirvana.

To the last man in the painting, Lao-tse, the one pleasantly smiling, there is Heaven on Earth. The harmony that naturally exists between Heaven & Earth and has always existed can be found by anyone at all in almost any circumstances, during any occasion, as long as the strict rules of Confucianism, which leave no room for diversity and imperfection, are not followed. 

According to Lao-tse, in his Tao Te Ching, , the “Tao Virtue Book,” Earth is essentially a “reflection of Heaven.” It’s run by the same laws which are not the laws of humans. These heavenly laws are said to affect the spinning of distant planets as well as the activity of the birds in the forest and the fish in the sea. 

 Lao-Tse in the painting story, believes that the more we interfere with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the more difficult it is to reach harmony. The more we interfere with the natural seasons of life, the more forcing, the more trouble. 

The author, Benjamin Hoff, states 

“Whether heavy or light, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour.”

(pp. 4) 

Lao-tse sees life, in all its pain and beauty, as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons. Life is our teacher, our chance to awaken to deep wisdom. Unlike the Buddha in the painting who advocate for turning away from “the world of dust,” Lao-tse advises us to “join the dust of the world.” He speaks of Tao, the Way, the “law” or essence governing everything in Heaven & on Earth. 

Tao cannot be explained in words. It must be lived, experienced. It’s acceptance of life as it is. It is basically and simply working with our life circumstances, pleasant or unpleasant, appreciating all of life, life itself, letting our experiences teach us, working with every single thing that happens in everyday life, going with the flow.

As I have mentioned, it’s not about not working to fix problems that can be fixed for the better. It’s not about never experiencing pain. It’s about acceptance of life, both beauty and pain, and not denying our emotions or circumstances. Acknowledging what is and just flowing with it. 

Lao-tse believes this naturally brings us happiness.  

We can experience great happiness even in the midst of imperfection, struggles, pain…but when we work in harmony with these circumstances, “Taoist understanding changes what others perceive as negative into something positive.” (pp. 6) 

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Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin

According to Taoism, bitterness and sourness are results of being unappreciative and interfering with the essence of life. Life itself is sweet if we understand it for what it is. This is the message of The Vinegar Tasters.

This painting or story is not really about religion or debates or disagreements;it’s a metaphor for life that can be incorporated into any of our lives irrespective of religion or absence of religion. 

I find this concept to be deeply inspiring and very helpful to remembering during difficult and painful situations such as depression, grief, loss, stress….anything.

You can find different versions of the painting in Google images. I found none worth sharing here. In most of the images I looked at, all three men look miserable. Lol

I’m wishing you lots of love & happiness! ❤

Xoxo Kim ❤